AuthorTopic: The Future Solar Powered Steam Engine  (Read 2470 times)

Offline roamer

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The Future Solar Powered Steam Engine
« on: February 07, 2014, 08:14:33 AM »
Had to post this here: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/return-of-the-steam-engine-cheap-storage-for-solar-34662http://www.terrajoulecorp.com/unexpected-technology/how-it-works/

I've been thinking distributed solar power steam engines (even did some preliminary project work at Open Source Ecology on it) for some time and its cool to see it being realized.   Now they just need to integrate aquaculture into the system for economical distributed food and energy systems.

Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: The Future Solar Powered Steam Engine
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2014, 06:23:24 AM »
I've been thinking distributed solar power steam engines (even did some preliminary project work at Open Source Ecology on it) for some time and its cool to see it being realized.   Now they just need to integrate aquaculture into the system for economical distributed food and energy systems.
Hold the phone.... Roamer.... have you been to Factor-E Farm?!?!?
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline roamer

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Re: The Future Solar Powered Steam Engine
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2014, 07:43:35 AM »
jdwheeler42,
Yes i was there for the 2008-2009 winter.  This was before Marcin was on TED, it was me him and another crazy dude living in plywood dirt floor shacks building a CEB shop and trying to do project development.  The steam engine project was a disaster for me cause I had no tools, no money, and i was eating roadkill deer stew daily in a smoky dirt floor "hexayurt".   I left after my money supplied dwindled and could not see how i was to finish the project i started under those circumstances.  I hear things have improved at factor e quite a bit, but i have some strong opinions and hesitations about the project. The biggest critique is that the GVCS are just 50  machines selected from Marcin's head, they may or may not be helpful in a post fossil society.  I think the open source approach is correct, but feel it needs to happen organically on permaculture farms so that the machinery and needs coevolve.

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Future Solar Powered Steam Engine
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 07:54:36 AM »
For those kind of projects you need more than good engineering. You need a complete fab shop. We need PV powered machine shops more than we need built-from-scratch tractors. jmho. I admire what they're trying to do, and believe all those machines would be helpful...IF you could build them. Big if.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: The Future Solar Powered Steam Engine
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 04:15:56 PM »
jdwheeler42,
Yes i was there for the 2008-2009 winter.  This was before Marcin was on TED, it was me him and another crazy dude living in plywood dirt floor shacks building a CEB shop and trying to do project development.  The steam engine project was a disaster for me cause I had no tools, no money, and i was eating roadkill deer stew daily in a smoky dirt floor "hexayurt".   I left after my money supplied dwindled and could not see how i was to finish the project i started under those circumstances.  I hear things have improved at factor e quite a bit, but i have some strong opinions and hesitations about the project. The biggest critique is that the GVCS are just 50  machines selected from Marcin's head, they may or may not be helpful in a post fossil society.  I think the open source approach is correct, but feel it needs to happen organically on permaculture farms so that the machinery and needs coevolve.

Excellent observation.  Nothing funnier than a lab-developed tool being tested for the first time. 


Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: The Future Solar Powered Steam Engine
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 09:33:23 PM »
I think the open source approach is correct, but feel it needs to happen organically on permaculture farms so that the machinery and needs coevolve.
For those kind of projects you need more than good engineering. You need a complete fab shop. We need PV powered machine shops more than we need built-from-scratch tractors. jmho. I admire what they're trying to do, and believe all those machines would be helpful...IF you could build them. Big if.
Yeah, well, I think Marcin has kind of come around to your way of thinking, Roamer.  They do have a full-time farm manager onsite now, and the machinery is evolving.  And Eddie, it's more when than if.  They have quite the extensive workshop now, heading towards a complete fab shop.

That said, my problem with them is they are techno-cornucopians.  They understand things like peak oil and believe there are purely technological fixes.  And I say, if they can do it, more power to them.  But they don't really have a plan B.  Their fabricating equipment is highly computerized.  I'm not sure they could handle a Carrington level event or even breakdown of JIT shipping -- ever.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

 

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