Archive for the ‘energy’ Tag

Fukushima Solar Fire   21 comments

 

Japan’s Renewable Energy Village

Fukushima Farmers Solar Rays of Hope in a Dark Land

renewable_energy_wno.org

 

Deserted Minamisoma_City_Office_wikimedia creative commons licenseDeserted_Lawson_Haramachikitahara_Shop_wikimedia creative commons licenseContaminated and deserted_Fukushima Prefecture_March 2011

Radio-active farmland in the Japanese prefecture of Minamisoma, a coastal city contaminated by nuclear fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi N-Plant in March 2011, is now leading the way in building a blueprint for modern Renewable Energy Villages.

Construction has already begun on this community run project to build the foundations of its Renewable Energy Village.

solar-energy-panels-and-wind-turbine

Roughly two-thirds of the Minamisoma farmland is located inside of Fukushima’s radio-active exclusion zone.

Hi level contamination Minam.outskirts_greenpeace.org

  • To date the Renewable Energy Village (REV) prides itself on 120 photovoltaic panels, generating 30 kilowatts of power which is sold to a local utility.
  • Locating wind turbines on some of the land is another innovative idea currently in the planning stages.
  • Recreational and educational facilities as well as an astronomical observatory are also being aspired to depending on the availability of further funding.

Solar-SharingFukushima Farmers Solar Rays of Hope

renewable-energy-world_nuclear-news.netThe basis of this project is known in Japan as "solar sharing"growing crops beneath raised solar panels. Most other large-scale solar parks in Japan whether already operational or still in the planning stages have/will have solar panels resting on the ground itself, which makes growing crops impossible.

Solar sharing_bellona.ru

The largest solar park to be built in Japan of this nature will also be located in Minamisoma causing Project Leader Ryozo Hakozaki for the Renewable Energy Village (REV) some concerns; "If farmers decide to sell up their land, entire communities will be wiped off the map." However Sohei Takahashi, Project Chairman believes the Renewable Energy Village project offers a workable solution to this problem. "Through the project we can protect farmland and communities, and with two parallel revenues create increased prosperity compared with before the disasters."

 

Rapseed_anagarden.seTakahashi also plans to conduct research into crops that can tolerate radioactive contamination. One crop, rapeseed, has already been planted, as its oil is contaminants-free, although the actual plants do absorb a percentage of radioisotopes such as those of caesium. The project is supported by generous ‘feed-in tariffs’ the government set and which were introduced in mid-2012.

solar-energy-panels-and-wind-turbine_rapeseed field

All proceeds from the crops and energy will go back into the REV project, the hope and aspiration is that the model will inspire and be copied by farmers whose livelihoods were decimated by the nuclear disaster. "People evacuated from areas closer to the plant have given up ever farming their fields again. There might be an amusement park feel to the project, but we’re trying to show them what the future could hold." Project leader Ryozo Hakozaksolar-energy-panels-and-wind-turbine

Source: New Scientist

Where Life Begins –Earth and Beyond   10 comments

 

Hydrothermal Origins of Life Theory

 

hydrothermal_ventUntil 1977 scientists believed that all forms of life ultimately depended on the Sun for energy. With the 1977 discovery of the first hydrothermal vent, (Geysers that billow out from the sea floor.) and the teeming, diverse arrays of life surrounding its base Astrobiologists are now believe that life on Earth might have originated in the sulphurous base of hydrothermal vents.

Vent ecosystems are the only system on Earth that we know of where life can thrive in the complete absence of sunlight offering an alternative way for life to meet its fundamental need for energy. They depend on microbes that tap into the geyser water’s chemical energy – energy originating from within the Earth itself.

hydrothermal vent Amino acids, the building blocks of life from which many of the primitive molecules required to jump-start life form from, could have occurred within these hydrothermal vents. Vent environments minimize oxygen and radiation, which can damage primitive molecules. Along with geothermally-heated mineral-rich water these molecules could have been thrown up into cooler waters where life may have originated

Astrobiologists have struggled for years to define the range of conditions in which “life as we know it” could exist. The discovery of hydrothermal vent ecosystems expanded that range. They were the first discovery of life as we don’t know it and suggest this is a realistic and possible scenario.

The ability of life to tap such geothermal energy raises interesting possibilities for other worlds like Jupiter’s moon Europa, and ancient Red planet Mars.

                                                 Europa (Thera and Thrace Macula (2dark features)   Mars

BlackSmokerGeysereuropa Europa is squeezed and stretched by gravitational forces from Jupiter and neighbouring Galilean satellites. Its icy surface has, gradually, broken up and reformed into icebergs, but the core is considered molten. Tidal friction heats Europa’s interior possibly enough to maintain beneath the icy surface, the solar system’s biggest ocean where active hydrothermal vents are believed to exist. Astrobiologists theorize that much like the hydrothermal vents at the bottom of Earth’s oceans the ones in Europa’s dark seas be similar enough to provide all of the ingredients needed to support life.

 

NASANASA is planning to send a probe to Europa within the next 20 years, which will penetrate the ice  layer in search of water and vent debris. Work carried out on Earth suggests that if basic ingredients for the origins of life are there, there is a chance of discovering vent-based life forms,

Babel Fish Full Moon   23 comments

  

  

  

  The Babel Fish Full Moon…

                    (The tail end of “Fish Tails”!)

  

   

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”

Language is often a barrier to so much. The Babel Fish is a fictional species of fish in the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. A small, yellow, leech-like fish it functions best as a biological universal translator at the time of The Babel Fish Full Moon. At this time it is particularly zealous about translating from one spoken language to another simultaneously.

 

 

When it is inserted into the ear of its hopefully willing host, it then converts sound waves into brain waves, via its nutrition processes. As a convenient consequence the Babel Fish has created an end to the language barrier between any and every species in galactic space. An important point for an interstellar hitch hiker.

 

 

“You’ll need to have this fish in your ear.”

 

 “I beg your pardon?” asked Arthur.

 Ford (Prefect) was holding up a small glass jar which quite clearly had a small yellow fish wriggling around in it…He gasped in terror at what sounded like a man trying to gargle while fighting off a pack of wolves.”

 Arthur Dent, a surviving Earthling, commented only ‘Eurgh!’ when first inserting the fish into his ear canal. It did, however, enable him to understand Vogon Poetry – not, necessarily, a good thing.”

 

From The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Published by Harmony Books in 1979

 

 

The name Babel fish’s connects to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, in which events resulted in God introducing different languages into the world.

 

 

The Babel fish has proved very inspirational providing the title for AltaVista’s online text translation service. And also for another non-affiliated translation service Babel Fish Corporation.

 

 

And one other thing….

 

 

 

 

The HHGTG Official DVD WebSite

www.thefilmfactory.co.uk/hitchhikers/global/index.html?countryID=&section=&datastr=&

 

 
 

Mining the Moon   34 comments

  
Free Energy! But At What Cost? 

  

 

Forty years after man first walked on the Moon the people of Earth are now considering their options for making a new and potentially devastating use for our nearest neighbour “The Moon” running the risk of destroying one world in the name of saving another.

Just three space shuttles full of lunar soil heated to create Helium-3, could power the whole planet for years…BUT AT WHAT COST?  The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 says no-one owns the Moon.  It is free for both exploration and for use.  As such this leaves plenty of opportunity for the world’s super-powers to exercise their plans for mining the Moon.

 

Mankind the Destroyer of Worlds

 

Helium-3 is a potent, safe fuel which could be used to power nuclear power fusion reactors to produce clean electric.  It is created by heating vast quantities of lunar soil (regolith).  One ton of Helium-3 currently valued at $5billion (£3.27billion) and could power New York for one year.  Three fully loaded space shuttles could meet the entire planet’s annual energy needs.

China leads the way followed by India and Russia, and US plans to build a Moon Base by 2021.  Private investors are also funding missions.  Gerald Kulcinski, director of Fusion Technological Institution at the University of Wisconsin, is convinced it’s the future.  “Very small environmental impact on the Moon is far outweighed by the impact of green-house gases and having proliferation-free power sources that could last 1000 years.”

Mining the Moon

BUT!

It takes one million tons of regolith to produce one ton of Helium-3.  Large scale mining will scar the lunar landscape.  Fundamentally changing the Moon’s atmosphere and destroying its surface.

  

The Moon also has other areas of important scientific value – it will be from here that future missions into deeper space, will launch, and there are also those who seek to use the ‘radio quiet’ zone on the Moon’s far side to build long-range radio telescopes…. it is not inconceivable they may find signs of Extra Terrestrial Intelligence.

BUT!

If we start mining one world where will it end? 

  

  We should use the Moon but not exploit it.  The Moon is only a three day trip away, likely one day we’ll call it home…..

 

 

Remember! The Moon and the Earth are  intricately bound together. The Moon has much influence over the tides and seas of Earth.

Damage the Moon….and who knows what damage we may do to the homeworld and the future of the human race?….