Archive for the ‘Renewable Energy’ Category

Neat Idea for Growing Vegetables

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

A semi-conductor executive has come up with an affordable ‘closed loop watering system’ for vegetable gardens. It uses 75% less water than traditional vegetable gardens. This is great for people with patios or poor soil conditions like we have have here in coastal southern California. It seems like like this would work well for the very arid regions like Africa. Because it’s in a container the plant can be moved.

Unlike manual or drip irrigation top watering, the EarthTainer employs a bottom up, automated watering approach based on the principle of capillary action. Water stored in the lower reservoir is wicked up into the soil much like the wick in a candle draws the liquefied wax upward to the flame. Moisture meets the roots of the plant where the plant “drinks” just as much water as it needs. This water consumption will vary significantly throughout the growing season as the plant produces fruit, and by providing a constant supply of water from the reservoir, the plant can achieve optimal growth and productivity.

Earth Trainer Diagram

Earth Trainer

Full grown Earthg Trainer

There are PDF plans available for free. They do however ask for a donation to Feed the Children.org.

Via Matt Haughey

Solar Power Good News/Bad News

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

The good news is that the costs of installing a solar power system are falling rapidly.  Just since October they have dropped 10% and are expected to drop as much as another 20% in 2009.

The bad news is in this “Top 10 stories You May Have Missed in 2008” by Foreign Policy. Apparently Nitrogen trifluoride, or NF3 is used in the production of solar photovoltaics. “NF3 has a potential greenhouse impact larger than … even that of the world’s largest coal-fired power plants.”