Comment 43322

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted July 14, 2010 at 20:39:56

The biggest and best appropriate technology we'll probably see in the west is passive solar. Not just in heating homes, but also for water. A bunch of plastic or metal piping comes together almost as easily as Lego, and can do all sots of nifty things by exposing a dark pipe to sunlight. Water expands when heated, so it can pump for you. Under low pressure it boils very easily, so it's a fairly decent refrigerant - meaning we can make ice, refrigerators and air conditioners which work best on the hottest, sunniest days. And if you can heat and pump water with sunlight alone, you can drive an engine. With only cardboard and tinfoil you can concentrate a horrendous amount of energy to cook (or melt things on youtube videos).

Such a vast and productive energy source, much of which could be built for free out of garbage, would be very difficult to profit from in the way that either big "renewables" (hydro, windfarms etc) or conventional energy are easy. It could create nearly permanent systems, so simple that very little industry would be needed. So instead, government subsidies and big corporations focus on things like windfarms which are much easier to centralize and control. One more really good reason to do it without 'em.

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