Geothermal energy – what is it, and can it be a good renewable energy

Geothermal energy is the energy harvested from the warmth of the Earth core, which can be trapped to produce electricity in geothermal power plants that use it to warm water for industry, agriculture, bathing and cleansing. Even though it is in use worldwide, its real potential as an alternative energy source is not fully utilised, thus geothermal may offers an actual alternative in future environment-friendly energy source.

There are several ways to use this geothermal power:
Wells of geothermal power.
A geothermal reservoir is a mass of fractured rock in the Earth’s crust, saturated with hot water or steam. In order to bring the water or steam to the surface, wells are drilled into them. If the fluid coming out is hot enough, bubbles will occur and cause the water to flow to the surface, if not, the wells may need a pump. Power plants make use of the hot water or steam from the wells by redirecting it to a steam turbine and a generator that produce electricity. These plants are working much like any power plant. The hot water can also be used directly to heat buildings.

Ground Source Heat pumps
When the sun light shines on the soil its heat energy is absorbed by the ground. Then, ground source heat pumps can extract this energy, and use it for space heating. The energy source that is actually used for ground source heat pumps is the sun and not the heat from the earth.

In the UK, the constant ground source heat temperature is around 12ÂșC and can be utilised to heat and cool buildings. Pipes that are buried underground in a ditch or in a vertical well and water is pumped right through it, heated by the underground energy.

Heat Pumps do need some power to operate. However for 1 unit of energy they consume, they can generate up to four units of electricity! The energy that is generated by a ground source heat pump can be considered 100% renewable if the power to operate the pump comes from solar electric panels or a wind turbine for example.


Honda new Hydrogen FCX cars

Honda presented new Hydrogen car in DETROIT on January 13. The car is called FCX Clarity, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

The FCX-Clarity is a new-generation, no-emissions, fuel cell hydrogen powered car based on the novel Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack.

That car featuring marvelous upgrading to driving power, range, mass and competence - boasting a low-slung, dynamic and very sophisticated appearance, Those traits were previously unattainable in a fuel cell vehicle.

the FCX Clarity marks the important progress Honda is making in advancing the real-world performance and appeal of a hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.

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From Honda site:
“American Honda current plan is to lease the FCX Clarity to a limited number of retail consumers in Southern California with the first deliveries taking place in summer 2008. Full details of the lease program will be set closer to launch, but current plans call for a three-year lease term with a price of $600 per month.”

How it works?:

“The FCX Clarity utilizes Honda's V Flow stack in combination with a new compact and efficient lithium ion battery pack and a single hydrogen storage tank to power the vehicle's electric drive motor. The fuel cell stack operates as the vehicle's main power source. Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where chemical energy from the reaction is converted into electric power used to propel the vehicle. Additional energy captured through regenerative braking and deceleration is stored in the lithium ion battery pack, and used to supplement power from the fuel cell, when needed. The vehicle's only emission is water. The FCX Clarity's revolutionary new V Flow platform packages the ultra-compact, lightweight and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack (65 percent smaller than the previous Honda FC stack) in the vehicle's center tunnel, between the two front seats. Taking advantage of a completely new cell configuration, the vertically-oriented stack achieves an output of 100 kilowatts (kW) (versus 86kW in the current Honda FC stack) with a 50 percent increase in output density by volume (67 percent by mass). Its compact size allows for a more spacious interior and more efficient packaging of other powertrain components, which would otherwise be unattainable in a sleek, low-slung sedan. Honda introduced the FCX Clarity at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show in November.”

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A great video tutorial on how to make biodiesel at home

Here is a great video I found on YouTube about home made biodiesel.
Although this guy is almost a pro in biodiesel production at home, I believe that the demonstartion can be very helpful to beginners as well.

You might find more great movies in YouTube about biodiesel production.
I'll try to give some more tips in the future.


Build your own Electrochemical solar panel - 2

This site shows a great Idea on how to build your very own solar panel to produce electricity.

I tried it myself and I must say that this is a very cool idea. Highly recommended;


The idea is to use an insulator - Cuprous oxide - When light hits the electrons in the cuprous oxide, some of the electrons gain enough energy from the sunlight to jump past the bandgap and become free to conduct electricity.
Then, Tte free electrons move into saltwater, and then to a clean copper plate, into the wire, through the meter, and back to the cuprous oxide plate.
As the electrons move through the meter, they perform the work needed to create electricity.

Although it is suggested as a "science toy", I belive that with just a little thought, you can really make it usefull to your daily life.
good luck.


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