Once the preliminary set of machines are established, the focus will shift to design and building numerous demonstration systems for alternative power appropriate to different climates, conditions and resources.
While waterwheels are largely out of style, and in the U.S. getting access to enough water has become more difficult, and environmental regulations more stringent (not a bad thing) there are still some opportunities for Water Power
Mitchell Banke Turbines (High Volume, Low Velocity) and Pelton wheels (low volume, high velocity) are both viable approaches.
Where the big greenhouse is sited, neither of these are appropriate, but the goal is to incorporate practical designs since others in the network will find them useful.
We will be looking at 2 classes of Bio-fuels, and Synthetic Fuels
- Synthesis Gas from pyrolysis
- Bio-methane from fermentation
- Synthetic fuels from carbon capture + hydrolysis
I am currently building one of Ben Peterson’s wood gasifiers
This will be used to power a vehicle, but would also serve as a fuel source for the existing propane power generators, reducing the size of battery system we need for the greenhouses power requirements. there are also opportunities to use the generated syn-gas as a chemical source for other synthetic liquid fuels in small quantities, Gasoline, Diesel and Kerosene as well as oils and waxes: from wood! Don’t forget your machines will need lubricants!
the Bio-methane can be generated by fermenting a wide range of organic materials, but the most compelling choice for this region (Central Texas) is the Nopales Cactus.
Very similar properties are exhibited by algae as well. although I have not analyzed and compared the equipment requirements involved.
This Methane can be burned in a conventional way for heating, but a more attractive pathway is to run it through a fuel cell to directly produce electricity & heat:
Building a carbon capture system is also on the menu for 4 primary reasons:
A worldwide system of local manufacturing and power generation could produce small carbon capture plants very quickly, in many locations.
Local manufacturing with recycling has a much smaller carbon footprint, due to much lower shipping requirements, than conventional manufacturing practices. Most daily use items can be produced locally. (meaning: you could produce a high percentage of needed goods, but probably not EVERY needed item)
Adding carbon capture to each manufacturing facility, AND situating that facility near food and fuel production allows for the 4 benefits
- Carbon capture and sequestration – to reverse the climbing carbon in the atmosphere.
- Carbon dioxide for enhanced plant growth
- hydrolysis for hydrogen and carbon for synthetic, carbon neutral fuels: Diesel, Kerosene, lubricating oils, small amounts of plastic and waxes.
Of course, the greenhouse project has roughly 200 large utility scale solar panels (325w) they are salvage and were purchased cheaply, but they are all slightly out of specification. What to do? We will be trying a couple different strategies: panels will be tested and classified into groups based on their characteristics, then several different subsystems will be constructed so that compatible voltage and current specs can be operated together. For the future, we will need to design and built two types of devices for addressing this type of problem: panel mounted DC-DC conversion so that even if the panels produce significantly different output voltages they can still be combined into banks, and micro inverters, for matched AC outputs. Microinverters are complex devices to engineer, but if and when CubeSpawn can produce them, it will be one more item in the system that can be made at component cost.
A second design is a heliostat system for heating to high temperatures for materials refining or liquid salt systems (community scale) or mid range temperatures for steam, hot water or other low temperature applications
One frequently overlooked area is Efficiency/Signal management, it has recently become possible to manage power very precisely with embedded supercomputing at the breaker panel https://3dfs.com/ which leads to much less power consumption and longer equipment life!
And of course the premise is: most of these things can be made or accessorized from stock materials via fabrication through CubeSpawn by standard, automated, digital templates.
If breakthroughs occur in small scale, safe fusion plants, those too could be made from templates!!