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Archive for March, 2008

Foreword: Patrick has asked me to write something for this Blog. As this is a “Green” blog and the posts are (generally) about “Energy” and all that sort of stuff, and so far there has been a bit of a “scientific” air to the tune, I guess I better write about something involving energy and try to sound technical then. This blog also has “Green” in its name and content, so what I write should be “green” right? Having given that a good ten seconds consideration, I decided that the green angle can be either the Irish connection or, if you like, a euphemism for the degree of cop-on a person has, which ever you’re havin’ yourself! Here goes then:

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The Practical Principles of Energy Conservation

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The Development of the Wheelbarrow

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When people first conceived the idea of a wheelbarrow humanity was young and inexperienced in the laws of thermodynamics, consequently their efforts were somewhat awkward causing a great waste of energy. See diagram below.

wheelbarrow-w-o-wheel.jpg

As the human race – (“race” get it) became more mature, and of course when mankind’s greatest invention was invented (that would be the wheel), the whole conceptual design and implementation of wheelbarrow principles took a great leap forward.

wheelbarrow2.jpg

With all this technological advancement it was possible to achieve the same, or even more effective, motion with much less effort and therefore much less wasted energy. “Conservation of Energy” was a stated principle rapidly becoming ubiquitous in the vernacular.

We now move forward in time to the scientific age (sometimes called the industrial age), where we see the ultimate development of the wheelbarrow. The design now features many sophistications which have been fully optimised allowing the friction losses to be reduced to almost nothing, thus facilitating Energy Conservation. People also have learned to use the wheelbarrow in more effective way thus further amplifying the energy saving principles. You will observe a good example of this in the diagram.

wheelbarrow3.jpg

From start to finish the humble wheelbarrow charts the development of science through the ages, and adequately illustrates the principle of conserving energy. I must now conserve some energy and stop all this typing. In fact I must replace some energy by having my coffee and jaffa cakes.

That ends this very brief dissertation. I hope you have been able to understand the scientific and design principles outlined in the above paper and that you have enjoyed this little discussion as much as I have.

Thank you for listening.
God Bless Americum!! (It’s a great substance!)

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