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Posts Tagged ‘automobiles’

A Diesel Powered Future?

19/05/2010 1 comment

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Diesel Power was a revolution that still inspires new innovations even today.
Bridging the gap for Industry and Transportation as they seek out a sustainable Future.
Check the Green History of Diesel!

Rudolf Diesel's first Engine, 1897 - deutsches-museum.deUpon operating his first successful engine design back in 1897  Rudolph Diesel changed the world in ways that most people still don’t fully appreciate today. Especially now, as we begin the long process of moving out of the petroleum-powered era, we should pause to take lessons from visionaries like Tesla and Diesel, and consider how they harnessed natural forces and physical phenomena to revolutionize existing technologies, and enabled enormous leaps into the Future by allowing others to build upon the solid foundations that they laid. The venerable diesel engine was an innovation of the internal combustion engine that continues to be improved upon even today, with the new methods and materials that are offered by modern science.

Many of us associate diesel power with loud smelly trucks and buses, so it might come as a great surprise that Diesel technology is actually still being improved upon after all this time. In fact, in just the past few years we’re seeing a level of improvement to efficiency and emissions that are actually positioning diesel as a sustainable interim solution for our transportation needs…While other options continue to be researched for that quantum leap in technology that will slingshot both Industry and Society towards the next century. So If you’re ready to see how diesel power still holds a few tricks up it’s sleeve, then let’s start exploring, by looking at railway locomotives as our prime motivator!

BTW: If you’re curious about Rudolf Diesel’s sense of environmental and social responsibility, as it was well over a century ago…Just pop-open another window by clicking HERE for further insights.

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Diesel’s Vision

18/05/2010 2 comments

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At one time, Diesel power was poised as an alternative to big Coal and Oil…
Today it could once again bridge the sustainability gap, offering Industry and Transportation the time to find its renewable power for the Future.
Learn More Here

Paris World Exhibition 1900At the World’s Fair of 1900 in Paris France, Rudolph Diesel demonstrated the virtues of his new pressure-ignited “rational heat motor”  which came to bear his name to the world then, and has done so to the present day. We’ve come to also know Rudolf Diesel as an eminent mechanical and thermal engineer, a multi-lingual and knowledgeable patron of the Arts, and not least of all a highly progressive Social Theorist. Although his legacy is inestimable, his rise to fame was as quick as it was brief…and leaves us with some unanswered questions about how Diesel’s vision may have offered us a different world than the one ruled by Oil and Big Banks.

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Hemp Diesel

17/05/2010 4 comments

A century ago, Diesel Power and Hemp Products
could have combined to side-track (eliminate?)
our dependencies on Oil and Forestry…
…Things could still come full circle!

CLICK HERE
to learn how Diesel can clean up it’s act,
and kick the big-oil habit!

In 1893, German inventor Rudolf Diesel published a paper entitled “The Theory and Construction of a Rational Heat Engine” which described a motor in which air is compressed by a piston to a very high pressure, causing a temperature spike where injected fuel is auto-ignited and efficiently burned in the expanding compression during the down-stroke. This basic concept results in a simple, safe, cool, highly efficient engine that could run on locally produced vegetable oils – and therefore level the playing field for those who otherwise couldn’t compete with the large steam-powered Industries and Shippers of the day.

Unfortunately, in the early 20th century big-banks and financiers were already exerting their powerful will, in support of their oil and forestry interests, and thus assuring the dominance of emerging petro-chemical industries. So instead of seeing how Diesel’s vision would have played out, we’ve had to wait until the combined and destructive effects of a Financial, Energy, and Environmental crisis, here the 21st century, could obviate the ideals and benefits that Rudolf Diesel had envisioned for Society, well over a century ago; when he built his first engines to be run on the same types of bio-fuels that we now have available today, and which could have cut coal and oil out of the picture from the very start.

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GRID2.0: Why Upgrade?

19/04/2010 1 comment


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Our various electrical grids have been built, rebuilt, and patched up in an ongoing process that began when electric power first began to be generated well over a century ago.  Of course plenty of new power plants and transmission towers have been patched into the existing infrastructure since those early days, and the costs of maintaining these have been paid for (repeatedly) by ratepayers who would presumably like to benefit from these fully amortized assets (at least for awhile) before incurring any new costs, or adding to already enormous public debts. So why exactly should anybody be bothered to consider the staggering expenses of undertaking a major upgrade of our various electrical grids at this particular point in history?

Most people are in fact much more interested in the development of newenergy (re)sources, rather than in understanding the boring details of delivering existing electricity into our homes and commercial spaces, so why worry about the distribution of power in a ‘smart’ electrical grid, when the old grid seems to be doing an adequate job ?

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Global Warming: Who’s the Real Enemy

11/02/2010 2 comments

– SOCIAL REPORT –


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Political strategy is a moving target in any debate, but can we at least be sure that our Leaders have selected the right objectives in their bid to win the battle against Global Warming?

In the ongoing heavy-weight bout against Global Warming, the tag-team proposals for pricing CO2 emissions (primarily either via Taxes or Carbon Cap and Trade) both took serious blows to the head at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and were allowed to drop to the mat. Rather than standing back up in desperation, and vowing to take the fight into the streets, the proponents of these (so-called) “solutions” seemed content to just hang onto the ropes and wait for the bell to end the Copenhagen round. This event has now fallen apart with little to show for it than promises that things will be settled at the next U.N. Climate Change Conference, that nobody can even be bothered to set their forward sites upon at this point. Hell…Even the Copenhagen Conference website was dismantled less than a month after things wrapped up in Denmark, with little of value being forwarded from the defunct address.  Luckily there are still lots of excellent resources out there to explain the functions and perceived benefits of such complex concepts as Carbon Cap and Trade, for example…

One can’t help feel as though the Post-Copenhagen letdown has left us to either take this fight to a more personal level as the Media moves on to it’s next ‘cause celebre’, or otherwise just allow Human Nature to overtake us, and simply focus on our more immediate needs as we sub-consciously recoil from the unknowns of an uncertain Future.

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Autonomously Automated Automobile

04/02/2010 4 comments

The Future of highway transport could be driven on current roads,
without changing any existing infrastructure!

What if this Change started inside each car instead…

It was Jean-Paul Sartre who said;  L’enfers c’est les Autres, or “Hell is Others”.
So it seems more than just a little bit ironic to use the name “Sartre” for an automobile-guidance system that requires you to join others in a convoy, or  “train”. So leaving aside the existential quandaries of grouping cars together, let’s just look at the practical implications.

Sartre is a guidance system that creates “trains” of cars. Once cars join this train, drivers cede control of their cars to a lead driver through a combination radio telemetry, remote controls, and GPS (called ‘telemetrics’) to enable this automated form of road travel. Perhaps the philosophical tie-in offered by the “Sartre” system is that by willingly choosing to give up some of our cherished egotism and autonomy, we can become more socially aware (safer?) on the road in the process.

At the very least, it might encourage nervous or downright bad drivers to just group themselves together, and free up some time/space for those who can more effectively navigate the mildly ordered chaos of our shared roadways.

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Highway 401 in Ontario: Flickr / David Vincent Johnson

Highway 401 in Ontario: Flickr / David Vincent Johnson

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