The Weekend Link List

December 7, 2007 | 2 Comments

Lets start with Al Fin and his post of December 7, 2007 “Understanding Solar Wind.” Al discusses and quotes about data derived from the Japanese satellite Hinode. The satellite was launched to look at the basic mechanisms of solar structure and the wind of particles that the sun expels at a varying rates. While most “science” is looking at the equivalent of less than ½ of a molecule of CO2 in one thousand molecules of air, this project goes to the source of atmospheric warming, the sun. Al also links to the wikipedia page for solar wind, which is a part of the solar research needed to actually grasp what the main input is for understanding climate trends or “global warming.”

Jyllian Kemsley writes in Chemical & Engineering News “Methanol’s Allure.” This article is very straight forward as you would expect in an engineer’s news magazine, but its written with enough care that everyone can get the full sense of the value of methanol. Methanol is the simplest alcohol with one carbon atom. It shares some of the problems that ethanol has, but is even more easily made and the variety of resources available to produce methanol are extensive now and more are likely to be available as oil based products increase in price. Methanol will be a fuel player and reading Ms. Kemsley’s article serves to help us “get it.”

Next up is the hugely interesting Sanderson Engine. The link goes to an article, that while hype like and thin on specific details, offers site links at the top of the page. There is some prospect that this design could see some traction in both engines and pumps. The most interesting aspect is the connections between the alternating motion of the piston in its cylinder and the rotating crankshaft. If you’re familiar with some of the driven pumps like refrigerant compressors the mental light will go on with a “how clever of an insight!” thought. The Sanderson people are much more forthcoming and obviously have more resources and deeper pockets than Kazimierz Holubowicz, who we looked at on November 19th. The Sanderson design does seem to offer a claim of doubling the efficiency of internal combustion with better mechanical physics. It would be quite something if the Sanderson and Holubowicz mechanical physics were combined.

The biggest contract research organization in northern Europe is the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Their press release “Wind Power Need Not Be Backed Up By An Equal Amount of Reserve Power” is based on a study titled Design and Operation of Power Systems with Large Amounts of Wind Power.” The study is an assessment drawn across 11 countries and other studies. The study offers three areas for the concluding assessments, additional costs, grid reinforcements that wind requires and wind capacity to replace other power generating types. The underlying study is quite complete and likely past what most of us would use. But for those dedicated to adding or displacing power generation with wind power this article is a strong resource to add to the information posted on November 27th about interconnecting wind farms and December 6th about storing energy from wind.

Last up is Steve Heckeroth’s piece, “Solar Is the Solution” in Mother Earth News. It’s a nice mainstream article that makes a case that solar power in its various forms is the solution to mankind’s drive to utilize forms of energy to magnify his intellectual and physical work. Its chock full of interesting bits that he uses to make his case and while true, its rather simplistic and rushes over a huge amount of current technology and research in progress. But the premise is true and the hope and confidence he exudes is warming and builds confidence. It’s a worthwhile read with a jaundiced eye, as he’s concluded that everyone can and should adopt his total view. It will trigger a lot of thoughts of “overlooked, and left out” things as you read along. Interesting, light and may well be just what you need to send to barely interested friends to get them going.


2 Comments so far

  1. BRE U Value on January 2, 2012 3:38 AM

    Can I buy a vowel…

    I do not have an idea about this topic. None of it does make sense to me….

  2. Brunilda Defreese on June 22, 2012 10:27 AM

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