Monday, 3 July 2017

A plastic bottle house and other stories

​I've always had a problem throwing things away. A lot of people see an empty bottle and think it needs throwing in the bin. I think what a fantastic piece of engineering it is, how many possible uses it could have, and how long its life could be. So I found this article from the Guardian about buildings made of plastic bottles particularly interesting.

​In other news, here's an examination from the Zeitgeist Is Changing blog debunking the "wind farms kill birds" meme. It puts fossil fuel power stations fifteen times more dangerous to birds than wind farms. 

This is supposed to be following on the coat tails of Solar Impulse, which set several aviation records and was a genuine testament to the state of renewable energy and a gauntlet thrown down for bigger and better air craft to follow.

But this green boat is not going to come anywhere close. For a start any claim to be the first zero-carbon circumnavigation of the globe ignores at least five hundred years of wind-powered journeys starting with Magellan. And even then, most of the places he travelled were already inhabited, and the natives had not arrived there by jumbo jet.

There is a claim that this will be the first round the world trip using renewable energy and hydrogen fuel. And it will probably be the last. Hydrogen is a ridiculous way to store renewable energy. As we have seen in EROI, solar power is just becoming a viable source of power in terms of the energy it will generate over the lifetime of an installation compared with the amount of energy needed to install it. Electrolysis is a great way to produce hydrogen... in your bedroom. As a commercial process, it is very energy intensive.

The comments below newspaper articles are usually full of profanity, insanity, and complaints but these comments contained a lot more insight than the article itself.