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Some Development of the Vertical Axis Windmill

Cleanfield in Canada have developed a variation of the vertical axis windmill which can generate up to 3.5Kw/h. Aptly called the V (for vertical I presume) V3.5, it’s three-metres tall and 2.75 meters in diameter. It stands on a stubby pylon for flat rooftop mounting.

The turbine blades typically turn at 120 rpm, but can go to 180 rpm (three revolutions per second) or higher in high wind. It has very low wind drag, operates at very low wind speeds, and makes very little noise compared to other windmills so they say. It is therefore very suitable for mounting on top of flat roofed buildings. It can be also mounted on a mast or pole.

I have made several attempts to get more information from Cleanfield. They are coy to say the least; maybe they don’t trust me, as I am known to be somewhat outspoken and critical.

I did manage to learn that the complete package for the 3.5Kw/h unit, which includes mountings, inverter and control gear, sells in Canada for C$14,000. That’s about €9770. It is therefore not a cheap unit by any stretch of the imagination. It would also require a fair bit of open space for urban use, the lady at Cleanfield I spoke to said a 1 acre site would be preferrable. It would therefore not be suitable for inner city or congested areas, other than for rooftop mounting.

It looks like a promising development of the vertical axis design of windmill but a bit pricey I’d say.

No doubt the Chinese will already be copying the unit and they will be able to sell it to us at half the price.

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Steorn’s Perpetual Motion – Free Energy Machine
Does Not Work

Steorn are a science development and management company but it would seem they overlooked one of the “Other Laws of the Universe”

I refer of course to “Murphy’s Law”. Steorn goes all the way to London to set up a demo and they don’t have a spare!!!! The thing breaks down, so they say, and they are being viewed by the masses on the Internet with their pants down, so to speak. You would have to pity them. But if they had been true to Murphy’s law they would have saved themselves much embarrassment.

Here is the Statement on Kinetica’s Site

KINETICA OPENING DELAYED: Due to some technical difficulties caused by the intense heat from camera lighting, Steorn’s demonstration of its ‘Orbo’ free energy technology has been slightly delayed. As a consequence, Kinetica Museum will not be open to the public today (5th July). A technical assessment is currently underway and information will be posted on the websites of Steorn and Kinetica as soon as it becomes available. We apologise for this delay and appreciate your patience.

Steorn’s ‘Orbo’ technology is based on the interaction of magnetic fields and allows the production of clean, free and constant energy. ‘Orbo’ technology is fully scalable and can be applied to virtually all devices requiring energy, from cellular phones to cars.

A Word to Steorn

In addition to the vastly wise “Murphy’s Law” here are a few other laws of the universe that Steorn might find helpful when considering future showings of their perpetual motion machine.

The “Other” Laws of the Universe

Law of Probability The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Variation Law If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will start to move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

Law of the Result When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will. And visaversa.

Law of Biomechanics The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of Rugs/Carpets The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

Law of Location No matter where you go, there you are.

Law of Logical Argument Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.
Brown’s Law If the shoe fits, it’s ugly looking.

Oliver’s Law A closed mouth gathers no feet.

All that said I sincerely hope that Steorn has something real to offer science and the world.

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Steorn @ Kinetica

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Steorn Due to Display Free Energy Machine
at Kinetica London

Steorn from Dublin – the people who announced they had discovered perpetual motion and free energy – are due to display their technology at the East London venue in the Spitlafields Market from next Thursday 5th July 2007.

This is either going to be the event of the millennium or just another bit of fudged science. It is an event to watch either way, whether driven either by mere morbid curiosity, or a hope for a pollution free – free energy future for humankind.

It should draw some media attention either way.

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Wood Pellet News

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New Wood Pellet Plant
Due to Come On-Line Soon


Irish Pellets new plant is hopefully moving towards a resolution in the not too distant future. When this plant comes on stream, it will ensure a stable and more than adequate supply of wood pellets to the Irish market. This will remove one of my major objections to going over to wood pellet heating. Hopefully, Irish Pellets will be able to offer highly competitive prices and furthermore, hopefully be able to guarantee these prices for at least one season.

If wood pellet supply and prices can be guaranteed not to fluctuate in tandem with oil and gas prices, it will give a huge boost to the use of wood pellet heating in Ireland. We will wait and see what tends to happen.

In the meantime, I am holding my breath waiting to hear from Briain Smyth MD of Irish Pellets on the latest progress of his factory.

Good luck Briain – more strength to yer elbow!!!

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Wisconsin Engineers Develop New Process
to Manufacture Fuel from Vegetable Sugar

The University of Wisconsin announced that one of their research teams have developed a process for turning biomass sugar or fructose, into 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF), a fuel ideally suited to use in cars etc.

Through chemically altering sugars in a series of steps involving hydrochoric acid and copper catalysts, salt and using butanol as a solvent, the team of researchers created a method for manufacturing a sustainable, carbon-neutral fuel.

Dimethylfuran has 40% higher energy content than ethanol and additionally sorts out other ethanol shortcomings, such as:

  • DMF is not soluble in water and therefore cannot become contaminated by absorbing water from the atmosphere.
  • DMF is stable in storage.
  • DMF is stable in the evaporation stage of its production. It consumes only a third of the energy required to evaporate a solution of ethanol produced by fermentation for bio-fuel applications.

Sounds like another little bit of good news for a sustainable energy – carbon neutral future.

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Chinese Ethanol

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The Practical Chinese

In the manufacture of bio-ethanol China may entirely switch away from food crops to non-food materials like cassva, sorgo and cellulose, according to government sources. The country would approve no projects designed to produce ethanol fuel with food from now on. Food-based ethanol fuel will not be for China.

China has been trying to avoid the use of arable land, or the utilization of large amounts of grain in developing its renewable energies. The current four enterprises engaged in producing corn-based ethanol will be asked to switch to non-food materials.

The four companies have a combined production capacity of 1.02 million tons of corn-based ethanol per year. The country has become a big producer and consumer of ethanol fuel in the world after the United States, Brazil and European Union.

China is also working on reducing the production costs of ethanol. I wonder if they will beat Brazil in reducing costs?

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Brazil will be able to produce BioEthanol
at $1 a Gallon

Brazil’s is likely to be one of the first countries in the world to produce economically viable cellulosic ethanol.

This is because feedstock costs alone account for 75% to 80% of the cost of ethanol produced from left over material biomass, whether it comes from sugarcane, wood chips, switchgrass or corn husks. Also Brazil already has the infrastructure to collect the leftover sugarcane mass.

Brazil and the U.S. together produce over 70% of the world’s ethanol. Brazil however can do it cheaper and is the world’s lowest-cost ethanol producer and the leading ethanol exporter.

If new ethanol technologies take off, Brazil could almost double its ethanol output – set to hit over 20 billion liters in the ongoing 2007-08 season – to 36 billion liters per harvest, without expanding planted area beyond its current 6 million hectares.

Only a few years ago it cost $6 a gallon to make ethanol from residual biomass in the U.S. it has fallen to about $3 per gallon in 2007, while the cost of producing enzymes has fallen 20-fold in the past four years
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Brazil’s Bioethanol Project could by be shipping bio-ethanol at $1 a gallon.

Good on ya Brazil, not just coffee, beef, and football!

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