Challenge Ecomagination Blog 2011 GE


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Powering Your Home was Phase II of the GE ecomagination Challenge, a $200 million innovation experiment where businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students shared their best ideas on how to improve our energy future. Phase II of the ecomagination Challenge focused on home energy with an open invitation for innovative ideas about capturing, managing, and using energy in the home. Ideas comments ptharso

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Challenge Ecomagination Blog 2011 GE

  1. 1. Promote Your Idea Posted by: Winston Rice on 02/16/2011 8:38:55 AM There is just one month left in phase 2 of GE's $200 million ecomagination Challenge: Powering Your Home, so now is the time to submit your ideas for new and better ways to collect, manage and use energy in the home. A key component to the Challenge is getting your idea noticed; the more people who see it, the better your chances of generating interest and seeing your idea developed. Here are some things you can do to help your idea get the attention it deserves: Make it clear Can you state your idea and its value proposition in one clear sentence? Focus on what makes your idea unique and what makes it important. A quick, clear description of your idea makes it easier for people to talk about, share and build excitement. Spread the Word Getting people involved brings energy, excitement and momentum to the Challenge and to your idea. Have you emailed everyone you know about the challenge and your entry? Be sure to include a link to your idea in your emails. Next, think about people you know less well, like friends of friends or a general audience. You could post a link to your idea on Facebook or Twitter. What else can you do online to get people excited? Consider making and posting a short video about your idea so people can see what you are talking about. Have you written to your local newspaper and told them about your entry and the challenge? Check to see if there is a writer who covers energy, ecology, or science and technology, and write them a short note about the challenge and your idea. How about your local radio station? Have you heard them mention the challenge? If not, give them a call and tell them what you are doing! Have you put up a notice at your local coffee shop or supermarket? Keep at it Finally, persistence can help. Have you done any follow-up emails or posts to keep people interested? Showing people that you are committed to your idea helps them feel like it's worth their time. Excitement is contagious– if you are passionate about seeing your idea realized and keep working hard to let others know about it, they will be more likely to give it their attention. Promoting your idea and getting others excited about the challenge will help us all arrive at the best possible solutions for our home energy needs, so don't be shy - the future is in your hands! 24 Comments Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 16 2011 Thanks for the encouragement and helpful ideas in today's blog subject: "Promote Your Idea." Yes, I need to re-capture some of my earlier enthusiasm and press on for further attention and support. Here's something to grab any intelligent person's attention: The possibility of finding Knights Templar treasure in MN. For GE contest readers' benefit and pleasure, I have provided a treasure map which is secreted away on my idea website, Go to the contact page, hit the history link, and be amazed at real, actual, medieval Norse history from America's heartland. This is real evidence all collected together for the first me. It's true, and I bring this up to add excitement to this contest, and even to provide you with this extra proof of my intellectual prowess, which I brought to the task of making my new and unique wind turbine. (So it's all related.) Anyone reading this, tell your friends about it, and tell them to support my GE contest idea. Okay, I'm going to keep at this! Again, thanks for the encouragement! Comment By panzer Feb 16 2011 Greetings, I pose the idea that this contest is a very innovative idea, as it will be that if it were to develop this technology it would replace all existing alternative energy sources so far. All the ideas I put it to the GE is based on a form alateen reduce considerably the surface of a solar cell used in this system, compared to photovoltaic systems known so far, which makes the idea is economical to manufacture and would produce a global impact and innovation that could supply power independently to all households worldwide. If all energy companies will migrate to this technology will make possible to solve the energy problems of mankind. It all depends if I get selected for GE, there are many secrets about this technology which does not reveal many details because the idea is part of the state of the art, greetings Comment By prospero Feb 17 2011 Looking at the general trends in this competition, the overall impression is that we are too anxious to get something for nothing, which goes against the golden rule of physics: “Nothing for nothing”. There it is baldly stated, you have to put something in order to get something out. Popular enthusiasms seem to be for wildly magnificent and impractical ideas, such as laying of solar highways or enthusiasm goes to the other extreme with solar chargers in the home for mobiles. There is nothing in between. Yet the world is built on transitives and not on definitives. . Also as whiskerbob had pointed out in a previous post, established technologies seem to rule the day. Take for instance solar panels (not PV) with heat exchangers, one of the most popular entries in this round and an exact duplicate of one of the entries that won in the last round. Will history be repeated ? Who can say? In any event I do hope that innovative projects such as whiskerbob’s ( and others ) receive their due share of attention and acclaim. Comment By prospero Feb 17 2011 Whiskerbob, Am I imagining things or are you setting up some kind of Da Vinci code for people to decipher. I am glad that at least some of that information goes into the making of your unique wind turbine. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 17 2011 Thank you, prospero. You are extremely perceptive, and probably even beat PK47 to the historical wealth I offered freely up above. Da Vinci code? No...something more real and based on fact, such as my wind turbine is based on historical fact. (Thank you, Iran.) The facts are: Knights Templar came to MN in medieval times, around 1362. Look up the book, "The Hooked X...." Look up new studies and updates about the Kensington Runestone. I am a code-breaker, prospero. I broke the Templar code which had concealed the Runestone by laboriously figuring out the sacred geometric design concealing said stone document. Also within the design, which you can plainly see in my website history page, is a large X. The runestone had been placed as a hook on the X laid out upon the ground. The Hooked X is a special Templar/Cistercian code, and not only was it found on the stone itself, but laid out on the ground and concealed within about a dozen large stonehole rocks scattered in the area. What is at the center of the X? Clue, prospero: what does a pyramid look like from above? Who will show up at Kensington Runestone Park to shovel away several feet of snow and thaw out a few feet of soil? Will someone do that task for me...getting caught in the process, or will it be easier for me to arrange professional archaeological help in the Spring? The Knights Templar visit to MN was real. Did they come empty-handed (?), is the question I leave anxious bloggers with. But equally as important as correcting American history, is the importance of people recognizing the potential of my new wind turbine. Each of these two endeavors was based on historical facts. Everything is real, except perhaps the treasure. But one never knows what may be buried within a well-placed X. In answer to your question, prospero, the
  2. 2. code I broke and now offer to you is more real than any silly Da Vinci code. Why would Christ be immaculately conceived, and then marry and have children? We have to be real here. Something for nothing? No. The chicks aren't free, either...they're only imaginary. We have to be real here. Happy treasure hunting! Comment By pk47 Feb 17 2011 Nice bait whiskerbob. Does it help promote your idea in this challenge? I think it does, and that is good, and of course prospero and others lucky enough to have some free time, can delve deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Knights Templar's materializing in the land of milk and honey of the West. If I could get a breather from my busy schedule, I would rather spend that free time looking for those Knights in the land of milk and honey of the East, where they belong(ed). Yours is a very innovative approach to promoting this challenge in general, and your noteworthy idea in particular. You beat me to that end, but thanks, but no thanks. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 17 2011 Land of milk and honey, indeed, pk47. A small and isolated spot out in the middle of nowhere (Minnesota) represented the land of milk and honey, inasfar as MN being at the heart of North America. Exactitude was everything. The milk and honey part didn't work out...but it did a few hundred years later on the East Coast. Freemasons. Knights in the East? What's this pk47? Not the Knights of Christ in Portugal? Uh-oh. Forget it. We ain't fighting those wars again! Anyway, I hope you found the history update'll be years before you see any of the changes in our history books. In the meantime, this GE contest is providing a nice history-update portal for a few curious individuals to jump through. You seem like a curious fellow, pk47, so you qualify. Thanks for your supportive comments, and good luck on any future treasure hunt should you decide to leave the comfort of Orlando. Comment By robinsonmom Feb 17 2011 I would like to see solar window clings with outlets attached. so if you want to run the blender, just pull off one of the clings you have stuck to your window, plug in your blender use it for what you need, and when you are done hang the cling back on the window to charge again. think of all the things that can be used for. not everyone can afford big solar panels on there house this is a way to help out the little guy. Comment By ciaran Feb 17 2011 I disagree with you on this one Winston. I think its GE's job to promote this contest. There are votes and then there are quality votes. Bias votes like ones from friends or family don't mean much. Where as votes from our peers and people who we don't know mean the world. Yesterday I went down to Calgary's water works division to show them my entries into this contest. Rhea one of my entries is capable of conserving water by simply using a small recirc pump with an electric in line heater. No more turning on the tap and wasting hot water. Rhea also provides the sewer line with a powerful 10 gallon flush over and over again providing any municipality with a much needed service now that low flow fixtures have taken root. You can watch the video and see the multitude of other things she can do at my site. I will be very surprised if I get any support from the City yet it provides two services that they need. I asked them to support my site and got a typical bureaucratic answer. GE needs to MAKE IT CLEAR that you are simply supporting an idea that you see as having potential. GE needs to SPREAD the WORD maybe feature some of us in there advertising. KEEP AT IT, GE has a beautiful thing here and they know it. GE needs to learn from their mistakes not repeat them this is not a popularity contest. GE should have an open form we could promote our ideas to each other. The day GE announced this leg of the contest I had wrote a letter suggesting changes that needed to be made I filed it away, I will post it now the timing feels right. Thanks Ciaran Comment By ciaran Feb 17 2011 Hello again Tore and friends. I hope all is going well with the next round of the competition, during the broadcast on Nov 16 the hosts repeatedly mentioned that 15% of the entries were students and 15 % were existing corporations. It was never mentioned that 70 % of the entries were people like me, individuals who shared their ideas with everyone. As you know GE partnered with 12 existing organizations and shutout the individuals and as a result turned the eco challenge site into a ghost town. That was an unfortunate mistake and definitely one that needs to be remedied. However this worked in my favour. As a result of garnering no attention I repeatedly went back to the drawing board and honed my idea further and further. Now the Self Flushing Green Drain has evolved into Rhea (recycling home energy appliance). ENCYCLOPEDIA RHEA (Rheia, Rheiê, or Rheê). The name as well as the nature of this divinity is one of the most difficult points in ancient mythology. Some consider Rhea to be merely another form of era, the earth, while others connect it with rheô, I flow (Plat. Cratyl. p. 401, &c.); but thus much seems undeniable, that Rhea, like Demeter, was a goddess of the earth. According to the Hesiodic Theogony (133; comp. Apollod. i. 1. § 3), Rhea was a daughter of Uranus and Ge, and accordingly a sister of Oceanus, Coeus, Hyperion, Crius, Iapetus, Theia, Themis, and Mnemosyne. She became by Cronos the mother of Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Aides, Poseidon, and Zeus. How ironic is that, my invention that recycles a home’s waste energy, Rhea, is the Goddess of Earth and Sky and her mother is Ge. My plan was to come up with a name for it to give it personality and Rhea came to mind. While I invented this appliance there is no doubt that GE and the ecomagination challenge is once again Rhea’s mother and I thank you for that. Rhea can save a family of four about $400 per year in energy savings and pay for herself in 10 years. She is a combination of 10 appliances working in tandem with each other, some already exist and some do not. Rhea will cost about $4000 and can also provide some of the homes heating and cooling. She is just the thing that GE needs for its Net Zero Home. Now that I know what GE is looking for I plan to start a corporation and position myself to be more like what GE and others are looking for and again I thank you for that. However many of the entrants myself included had hoped that this was a contest for them and an opportunity to be realised. I think GE needs to concentrate its efforts on this group. This round of the contest should include them and GE should email all contestants and challenge them to resubmit there entries based on originality, feasibility and impact. The magic of the ecomagination challenge needs to be restarted. Thanks again, Ciaran Comment By ciaran Feb 17 2011 This is something I wrote at the end of powering the grid. I wonder if GE will hold this contest again next year. Boy would I like to run it. I would make several changes to the format. First open the contest for 2 months. This time however the contest would be divided into 5 categories right from the start. People could enter as often as they liked into any or all of the categories. Next would be the voting stage of the contest. Those who entered the contest would get one vote per category per entry per day. So if GE accepted 2 of your ideas you would get 10 daily votes for the 30 days of the voting round. GE could allow late entries during this period and they would get the same privileges. Also in tandem with the contest would be a public forum where they could vote for their favourites. This information would be released to everyone as a list in no particular order such as a top ten and a top one hundred. Then this would have little bearing on the main contest. Once the contest ended all the results could be made public. To this I would add 5 open forums where the participants could talk to each other about their ideas relative to the 5 categories. GE could list the entries by most votes and most active. By giving one idea one daily vote and limiting you to only one vote for any other idea over the 30 days will promote fair play and honesty. What does everyone think about that? Comment By prospero Feb 18 2011 Ciaran It was interesting to read your in-depth analysis of both your take on the GE Ecomagination : Powering the Grid Contest and the name given to your appliance. When I named my engine the “Rotary Pulse Jet Engine” I congratulated myself on how accurate the name was. This turned out to be premature, I got innumerable comments on how the pulse jet (the original V2 bombs that rained down on Britain in the last months of World War II) was one of the most inefficient engines. Repeated endeavours on my part to explain that the name pulse jet was chosen because it showed intermittent rather than continuous combustion proved to be futile. So, as your comment implies, there is a lot to be said for a name.
  3. 3. Comment By jamast Feb 18 2011 The truth is that any serious inventor would be embarrassed if he were supported by the majority of the entrants here. Somewhat akin to an american democrat being supported by sarah palin. A harsh lack of credibility.... Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 18 2011 Chinese word for the day: serendipity. Comment By ciaran Feb 18 2011 Winston one more point I would like to make. My other entry in this round of the competition is Sword or the Smart Washer/Dryer. There are three major entries in this contest pertaining to solar thermal panels, James @ SmartSolar, Matt @ Sunnovations and Shawn @ Lowcost Linear Fresnel. These men have three of the most supported entries in this contest. All three of these men unsolicited by me took the time to look at my entry and add their support. That speaks volumes in my book; they are people who count, without their support Sword is finished. However I got the support of all of them. My point is I only just noticed this. How hard would it be to see these trends if your site was filled with well wishers instead of meaningful votes? Again if it is this hard for me to spot trends on my own pages then how hard is it for GE to spot? Thanks Ciaran. Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 21 2011 Hybrid electric cars that can be charged up at home and then run with high efficiency on gasoline or diesel or propane or hydrogen is probably one of the best things that's come along in recent times. Adding home based green energy generation from solar and wind, where and when available to directly recharge your car when not in use and at your home is a good supplement to this. Reducing your home's demand for electricity by way of more efficient appliances, lights, etc. is still another. Probably one of the most important areas for energy efficiency improvement has to do with heating and cooling of your homes to a suitable comfort level. Heat pump based heating and A/C systems in moderate climates can help improve this heat energy efficiency. Some of this can be handled by simply wearing the right clothing for the weather. Some of it can be handled by using whole house fans in the early evening to remove the heat from the attic that has built up during the day, while letting cool evening air into the home for a rapid cool down. Ciculating fresh air through the attic by way of attic ventilation fans or attic based wind turbine systems during the day is another. Better insulation can also help where there is adequate ventilation to prevent long term heat build up. Awnings on windows exposed to the sunlight in hot climates also reduces a home's heat load. One thing I've noticed is that once you decide to turn on an air conditioner, you tend to forget about all of these things you could be doing to reduce your energy usage and just let the A/C run round the clock. It's so convenient! Comment By ciaran Feb 21 2011 @ Bret you make a lot of valid points. People do tend to take the easy way out and not weigh the options they have like you just mentioned. That is what this contest is about and that is why an idea like a powered awning that can sense that temperature on the window is to hot for this time of the year and open its self automatically is a valid an entry as any. People are busy and they want systems that can do the job better than they can. In the winter time my entry Rhea can receive weather reports and adjust the homes humidity prior to it becoming a problem. If we listen this is what the public want and sooner or later this is what they get. Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 21 2011 Also, an A/C system that would automatically sense when the outside air temperature was low enough to allow the A/C to go from refrgeration to air exchange operation could save homeowners a bundle in especially desert and semi-arid climates. Comment By ciaran Feb 21 2011 @ Bret that is one of Rhea's many functions. In Calgary I once saw the weather change from 20 above to 20 below in a matter of minutes. Many times in the summer the outside temp has dropped below the inside temp. Rhea can sense this and draw air in from two separate sources. Rhea could even be programed to take cool morning air and drop the inside air temp to a lower setting than one would normally select once the occupants have left the home. This would cool the mass of the home and keep it from getting to hot. After all Rhea is a Recycling Home Energy Appliance. Comment By jamast Feb 22 2011 hey ciaran.... quite a few people do the same thing by opening and closing windows...that 20 to -20 drop is in Fahrenheit right? when the hell was that? i can't find the record of it Comment By ciaran Feb 22 2011 @ jamast I think it was oct 17 92 and it was Celsius it was a squall, I saw another one about 7 or 8 years ago but nowhere near a powerful. the point I am making is anyone who lives along the mountains knows the weather can change dramatically in minutes. a 30 degree day in Calgary can turn into a 15 degree evening in a matter of minuets. you could open a window but you would have to know the weather had changed all I am saying is Rhea can monitor this too. Comment By jamast Feb 22 2011 some friends and i had this same discussion a week ago and i said that if such a change ever occurred in a few hours it would have to have been in calgary or st johns nfld, i hope you're right, it will decide who makes we are on the coast complaining if it goes anywhere near zero/32f.. good luck Comment By Winston Rice Feb 24 2011 Dear Ciaran - (regarding your post of 6 days ago) Thank you very much for expressing your thoughts and concerns regarding the Challenge in both its phases. While it is true that many of the ideas supported in the first phase of the Challenge were from small companies, there is a logic to that. Quite simply, GE is looking for the best ideas, irrespective of the size of the contributor. The thing is, ideas that have made it to the level of a small company are often more developed. They have already been vetted and refined and are usually at a more advanced stage, making them more attractive investments. That being said, if an individual has had the time and resources to see his/her idea through to a stage of refined development, GE is 100% interested. It all comes down to arguments of quality and market feasibility.
  4. 4. So, GE is looking for the best ideas out there. The assessment of what constitutes "best" is based on many factors, including the idea's level of development and market potential. Since nobody knows where the next Great Idea will come from, the Challenge's intent of involving people at every level is to open the doors as wide as possible. While GE wants to reward creativity, it must do so with a clear directive from its investors that the ideas it funds be promising investments likely to see favorable returns. Your continued involvement speaks well to the level of commitment it takes to see an idea through to completion. The ideas funded by GE have all been worked at very hard by a number of dedicated people such as you who have had the tenacity and passion to see their ideas through to a level of technical development and commercial potential. I hope you can see the logic behind this. As much as GE may want to fund many more start-up ideas and reward creativity, they do have a responsibility to their shareholders to make sound investments in our future. Here's hoping that this second phase brings us ideas of such quality submitted by individuals. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments. Your interest in the Challenge and commitment to its ideas bodes well for our shared energy future. Best of luck and keep at it! Very best, Winston Rice Comment By ciaran Feb 24 2011 I agree 100% with you and that is why I suggest two voting rounds running in parallel. One for the popular vote and one for ourselves with limited vote available. This contest has great potential to become an annual event. We just need to work out a few bugs.
  5. 5. The Energy of Ideas (About Energy) Posted by: Winston Rice on 02/18/2011 10:22:49 AM With a little over three weeks left in phase 2 of GE's ecomagination Challenge: Powering Your Home, I thought you might be interested in how things are shaping up. So far we have received nearly 300 ideas, with site users leaving almost 4,500 comments, a great show of energy as we take a look at the home. New ideas continue to span a wide range, with some of the latest trending ideas including a controller to make your lighting and heating smarter, a rooftop hot water heating technology, a plan to use the stored energy of oceans, and, following up on last week's post, a social networking idea. As Trending Ideas, these are the submissions that site users are looking at and commenting on the most right now. Of course there are many, many more great ideas already submitted, so be sure to check out the Ideas page, search for a topic that interests you or sort through the most commented, most supported or most recent ideas. And if you haven't yet, give it some thought and submit your idea for new and better ways to collect, manage or use energy at home! 45 Comments Comment By ETT Feb 18 2011 Good to be part of this. We have received some genuine interest and some great link-ups through this. Keep the good work going. Comment By jamast Feb 19 2011 i agree with you ett.... investors are definitely looking at viable ideas here, this could turn out to be very positive, even beyond what ge has generously offered, but ge's motives are no more noble than others, everybody wants to make money off somebody has offered a forum and could very well get the pick of the litter.. this is just good business Comment By Tor-Eggs-Tor Feb 19 2011 My main reason for submitting entries to this Challenge are that all my innovations and concepts more than pay for themselves when implemented or in use. Anyone who adds tham to their Companies, Homes, etc; make as much or more money than I/my Company makes. If economic growth and prosperity is your "thing", check out my entries. Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 19 2011 As what I consider to represent a serious contender in this GE ecomagination challenge, Phase II, Powering your Home" event for R&D funding and industry support, I have a problem with some of the ideas that have been entered in this contest which have whizzed right on by me in popularity, yet are based on what I consider unsound engineering and/or economic practices or predictions or have little to do with something to be used in or around your home to reduce the need for central station utility based electrical energy. I know my approach is unpopular to the established wind turbine industry, but I have not as yet heard from anybody who has been able, or even tried, to convince either myself or others that my ideas are not workable and might, in fact, possibly even be made fully commercial by means of a properly funded R&D program. A prime example of over R&D funding being the established open propeller on a tall tower industry to the extent they have enjoyed it over the last few years and have now carried their funding requests over into applying for what I consider to be product improvement efforts. They should be able to fund these types of efforts themselves from their own "profits" by showing ROI's that make commercial sense with about a 1 to 3 year payback. Also, if others are trying my ideas in their own federally, state or other outside funded test facilities that don't have an incentive to make my ideas prove out and work as I would, they have not shared these results with me for my review and comment and challenge. Comment By Smart Green Energy [SmartSolar] Feb 19 2011 What I really appreciate about this contest, apart from the opportunity to be selected and get financing, is the synergy with fellow contenders. Concretely, this has already led to 2 cooperations (once we get financing). This is a great initiative. Comment By prospero Feb 19 2011 Brett, Your idea is great, as I had said once before. But speaking of bad engineering, you yourself can be accused of it, at least in your handling of your idea. You have dissipated much of the energy and interest in your idea by putting in 4 or 5 entries based on exactly the same idea with slight variations, updrafts versus down drafts etc., I was looking through your entries the other day and speculating where you might have been if you had stuck to a single entry. Others have also made the same mistake. Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 19 2011 Yes, I knew that would be the result when I did it. But some people didn't seem to grasp the original concept from my initial entry; and a few people even got a little insulting about it. However, the popularity part of the contest isn't going to help me and is not what this is all about for me anyway. I don't have the computer communication and advertising and modeling skills myself to make that happen and don't have the desire at this point in my life to learn. Give me an 18 inch slide rule and the log and trig and steam and air tables, however, and I can be dangerous! I'm pretty good with excel and word and power point, however, and that's where I have developed and documented my ideas and patents. I keep hoping my technology will catch the imagination of some of the younger generation and they will take care of that problem pretty quickly from that point onward. Give me a good, competent math modeling engineer to work with and we, together, could invent a new world! I live these days just to see the documented results of a fully scoped and thought out design optimization and prototype demonstration test program for my WINDGRABBER wind turbine systems as described in my USPTO patents, along with what's still in my head to contribute down the road. Then I'm going to go out and relearn how to play golf again and let others carry on the fight, if they will! However, If they should ever want my help as a consultant and inovator and troubleshooter-----. I've spent a lot of time in large utility boiler, multiple burner windboxes testing out air flow distribution problems and learning what makes low NOx burners work on both forced, balanced and induced draft fired boilers up to 1,350 MWe in single unit size and probably have a little bit better understanding of what makes air (otherwise known as wind) flow than most open propeller people do. Comment By ciaran Feb 20 2011 @ prospero, Winston, and Bret. Yes prospero I made that very same mistake in the first round. This time I kept it to two entries Sword and Rhea while either one can benefit from the other they are completely different. I however am itching to apply again. This time I want to apply as a group, I suggested to Scott at Solar Roadways that we should chose a group of contestants that would be capable of building the worlds first better than Net Zero neighborhood. Yes a subdivision that generates more electricity than it uses. This could give several of the serious contenders a chance to prove there worth. My plan calls for wavy streets to be built in an east to west direction. Scott could supply lite weight solar road panels which would make up the driveways, sidewalk and bike path on the north side of the street, the south side would have no sidewalk and be the only side where parking would be permitted. The heaviest thing the panels would have to bare would be a pick up truck moving at a very slow speed. The houses could be built using several of the excellent ideas already entered into the challenge, several of these are already up and running and need no or very little R&D. This whole neighborhood could be anchored by one Bio Mass sterling generator. This could be the the gateway to selling our unused power out to the grid and would be our only link. This neighborhood could manage most of its recyclables and provide a city with a facility to process bio
  6. 6. mass from others as well.Power companies already see the writing on the wall, and charge us for the power we use, and the delivery charge and now a charge to up grade the system. The only way out of these charges is to be independent of them and not rely on them at all. A proper culmination of our collective ideas can achieve this and it would completely embrace the spirit and essence of the ecomagination challenge. Scott's idea coupled with both of my own will cost a homeowner an additional $21k. 20 for Scott and 1 for me. Let me know what you think and how your idea could integrate with ours. Also let me know what it would add to the cost of the home. Thanks everyone Ciaran Comment By prospero Feb 20 2011 This post is about “The Energy of ideas: about energy”. A little over halfway through this contest, I would like to share my observations on what this contest has meant to me both as a learning experience and as a participant in a forum dedicated exclusively to the discussion of energy. One thing that has been made abundantly clear is that renewable energy represents an almost Universal goal to everyone. We have learnt about the possibilities of renewable energy. Yes, it is possible to generate tens of megawatts of electricity from placing solar panels near or over stretches of the highway system, Yes, it is possible to generate Gigawatts of energy from Concentrated Solar Thermal Energy Plants and Concentrated Solar photo-voltaic plants spread over a few tens of acres in places like the Arizona Desert. Yes, it is possible to generate Gigawatts of electrical energy from wind-mill farms placed in strategic places. Yes, it is possible to improve these efficiencies by means of new designs. But, with all of this there is also a collective blindness to the other facts about alternate energy. Alternate energy sources vary from place to place, solar might be suitable in one place and not in another, and it is completely absent at night. Similarly wind might be a great source of power in some places and absolutely impractical in others. Further, these sources of energy vary both seasonally as well as on a daily basis. Take cars what do we do about transport, there has been a marked reluctance to discuss transport, although it is an essential part of the home. I think my submission (no boast intended) is the only one (as yet) that gives even a passing thought to this extremely important facet of our daily lives. True the Toyota Leaf, an all electric car, is coming out this year, but it has a limited range and a minimum three hour charging time. The Chevrolet Volt also making an appearance this year is a hybrid, using an IC piston engine and batteries. Would this option be better than flywheel energy storage, or fuel cells. These are questions that need some thinking on. Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 20 2011 I agree with any new community development project being built based on the best of the "Powering your Home" green technologies, where the developer can show that the buyers will get a ROI on their up front added green energy investment in from 5 to 10 years maximum and that the cost of this new green technology is included in the initial purchase price for their home and, thus, the initial up front mortgage as well as any refinance loan considerations. I'm not sure how small home based wind would fit into this type of project, however, as most of these types of developments would probably not be in places that would support favorable home based wind turbine systems that are located closer to the ground. However, along with the neighborhood biomass (including sewage and RDF waste fuels I would presume) burning plant, I would think that there may be a favorable spot within the planned community for a development sized solar and wind farm to be included. This sort of neighborhood green energy production facility could draw on local people within the neighborhood for it's labor and management requirements and thus result in a lot of happy and involved neighbors! Watch out for large HOA fees, however, as the way to finance and support the green energy facility! It should support itself to be done right! I could even imagine where one or perhaps even two large wind turbines of the new 2 to 3 MWe size included in the local resident's field of vision at some central location would not be taken unfavorably if properly blended into the skyline in some pleasing manner. Comment By ciaran Feb 20 2011 Absolutely Bret, a neighborhood like this one would generate many quality jobs. This development would enjoy reduced municipal taxes one because it can look after its own needs and responsibly process its waste and two the sale of its excess electricity. Many forms of sustainable energy can be integrated into this development others could be added later as community projects. I could write about this for days but the point would be the same, by masterfully planing this community we could show the world that you can have an extremely high quality of life and keep a very small carbon footprint. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 20 2011 The overhanging umbrella of the contest is an advertising opportunity. We are ecoimagining the elephant bursting with joy over new jet engines, for example. Nothing wrong with that, as it gives attention to the green cause in the long run, kind of like how T. Boone Pickens advertised big-time wind at first. But the advertising goodwill lingered. Has anyone seen the Chinese Government's commercials directing our attention first to beautiful Asian women, and then to friendliness? Noting wrong with that, either. Except that there is always a sort of mysterious Wizard behind the avertising curtain. Nothing is as it seems. Awards, hearts, brains, friendliness are given out, but what is the Land of Oz really about? No, not false advertising...perhaps just a gentle bait and switch. Nothing wrong with that. The little man has a little chance. That's all the little man is looking for, just a little break from the Wizard of GE. Come with us down the Yellow Brick Road. Lean over and knock on's actually a little bit real. Comment By prospero Feb 20 2011 Brett, I was not trying to sell out to big Industry that make power in terms of Gigawatts. In the long term it is highly desirable that each house generate and monitor its own power. All I was trying to say is that to move forward we should stop discussing apples and pears, as in options between solar and wind or tidal and geo-thermal and start discussing nuts and bolts. As an Engineer who has dealt with big power generation, you are familiar with this concept. A consumer, does not want to know how many kilowatts a wind turbine might produce in a 20 mph wind. What he wants to know is, if a turbine is put up at a particular location, how much power can he expect from it, on say September 20th. at 10.00 am and again on the same day at 6.00 pm. Will the turbine produce the same amount of power on August 15th . And if the power produced in August is 5 times less than that produced in September, how does he get over it. Is the solution redundancy, i.e., put up five times as many turbines so that the output remains stable or does he arrange an alternate source and if so what. You and Bob have taken steps in this direction by using the thermal differentiation within a building to try and even things out. In an engine running on fuel it is possible to know the exact output at any given time, this is not the case with renewables. In order to lead ordered lives it is necessary to know what we are getting and when we are getting it. Comment By ciaran Feb 20 2011 @ Bob, The land of Oz is really about the American dream and making it happen. GE is the Wizard in this case and you don't get to be a Wizard unless you are quick on your feet and able to see through smoke and mirrors. I believe this round of the contest is for the little guy, I can see there little elephant dancing down the street of our development past the solar roads and looking up at the seniors and assisted living home that houses the neighborhoods bio mass engine in the basement. And there up on the top adorning all four corners of the building are turrets with Bob's idea built in. I can see him splashing in the shallow water of the floating beach and outdoor pool suspended in the filtered storm water reservoir that returns the water to our lawn services via a whole community sprinkler system. I can even see him strutting past the multitude of electric car that are being charged on 100% renewable energy. Don't lose hope just yet Bob the Wizard is going show us how we all have already won! Comment By prospero Feb 21 2011 My last post, convinces me that when we give expression to our thoughts or voice our fears, it often helps. In this case to paraphrase, Sherlock Holmes in Silver Blaze: “When you have eliminated the impossible, what remains no matter how improbable must be the truth.” Accepting the inevitable, which is that we cannot, at least for the foreseeable future, manage without fossil fuels and the engines that run on them, simplifies everything to an absurd extent. Each individual does his own survey and installs the form of renewable energy best suited to their location, this source of renewable energy is fitted with cut out switches that switch on the generator circuit at home when energy inputs fall below a certain threshold. If we have
  7. 7. engines that are efficient enough, such as the flywheel assisted rotary pulse jet engine detailed in my submission, that can yield almost 18.5 Wh for a single litre of fuel, or the Stirling Engine mentioned in Brett’s post that runs on bio-gas, home power generation should not only become a reality but an economical and viable reality. I realize that my post is more or less a re-write of Brett’s earlier post. But it is nice to get things in perspective. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 21 2011 Whisker Bob is nowhere near losing hope! I'm just presenting reality. Many of the big time advertisers use GREEN to help sell their products. Even some oil and gas advertisers have the nerve to start out with images of wind turbines in the distance. At least GE does end up pushing green. So, this contest and the Ecomagination branding is beneficial to both innovators and GE. Nothing wrong with that...and I'm not losing hope. As prospero said above, it's nice to get things in perspective. I have hope in a few little guys being chosen at the end, and I have ultimate hope in the GE advising engineers, although the decision to pick almost-ready-to-market ideas may prevail. I do not have hope in the Wizard of Oz himself, but the Yellow Brick Road may offer something to munch on along the way.... Comment By ciaran Feb 21 2011 This has a lot of similarities to the Wizard of Oz, us all meeting up on the ecomagination road as we are off to see the Wizard. With a name like Whiskers Bob you have to play the part of the lion. We get to meet colorful people along the way solve some problems and hopefully make it all the way to the land of Oz. We all know how the movie ends and I think this will have to have a similar ending too. I think this whole ecomagination challenge by design was to put a human face on GE. Comment By prospero Feb 21 2011 In my last post it should read 10KWh and not 18KWh. I have been reading about the Strata Tower in London that uses Bob’s idea of having turbines actually placed within the building. Each turbine blade is almost 30 feet across and generates 19KW to 20 KW. To prevent undue vibration 5 bladed turbines are used. I wonder how a VAWT would do under these circumstances. The article states that although wind speeds at the base of the building are negligible at ground level, winds gusts at 37 mph near the top of the building which is 137m tall. This might be a new trend for high rise buildings. Ciaran’s idea of using the best submissions from this contest to build a model village/town is actually very good if it is based on sound power sources that ensure a steady power supply. GE might actually go for such an idea. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 22 2011 Why not, ciaran? (Turn up yer volumn.) However, I don't want to play the part of the Cowardly Lion. I'll be that new character looking for cash. I hope you can stay on the road better than Toto. Enjoy. Just remember that this is related to my wind turbine help at the end...the end is more important than the beginning. Okay, lets go...(click), we're off to see that dad-gum Wizard. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 22 2011 Comment By ciaran Feb 22 2011 Thanks for the comments guys, well now we know what to call this subdivision or village idea of ours, GE's OZ yes Gesoz. Ok I have said it out loud now a couple of times now and I am having second thoughts. Comment By ptharso Feb 22 2011 The solutions of the problems accompanying the mutations of human needs. Modernization, Innovation, Improvement always mean the same thing, namely, the real need for human adaptation to environmental and social conditions today and tomorrow. Thus, the solution must begin with an abstract vision initially and then turn into a concrete idea. Subsequently needs to be done its basic engineering, detailing, specification of materials, budgeting, construction and putting into production. All these steps are the result of engineering and engineering is the act of continuing the work of God. This cyberspace "Ecoimagination"may be a pearl in the rescue of ideas that are lost worldwide head of all human beings. We all have solutions to numerous problems that plague us and hinder our daily lives. We need to encourage as many people to give their personal testimony in social and environmental issues! Comment By ciaran Feb 22 2011 Well put pharso, the "Ecoimagination"may be a pearl in the rescue of ideas that are lost worldwide. Where else could you get an opportunity to drive home your message. GE stated at the beginning of this leg of the contest that they wanted products for the home that people could feel and touch. I have entered a smart washer/dryer that can utilize any hot water source to wash & dry the clothes effectively removing the dryer from the electrical grid which lessens the draw of electricity of every home that uses one by 10%. Not to mention it can make any solar thermal installation much more effective. And I also entered a Recycling Home Energy Appliance capable of saving a family of 4 $400 per year. But the best part is I can come to this blog site and talk directly to GE. We are a group of two dozen people who comment here. I have an easier time conveying thoughts to GE than a contestant on the Apprentice has trying to talk to Trump. The cream will rise to the top all on its own, all you need to do is supply the container. GE thanks for the container. Comment By mario27861 Feb 22 2011 This is very good to know how much people are intrested in solveing the energy problems we are faceing today. my idea of a self sustained generator that also holds an electrical load. could also be a good thing for all of us. clean energy and cheap to make... vote for it. Comment By schnuckls Feb 23 2011 surprised to not see more ideas revolving around household or community based biomass or Pyrolysis systems given the fact that organic waste accounts for 64% of the production of refuse produced by our industrialized society. Organic food waste alone accounts for 30% of the traditional dustbin, i.e. 120 kg per year per capita. Just in France, food industries produce approximately 43 million tons of waste per year. And yes, I am includig basic elements such as household produced urin and feces in my statement. Comment By prospero Feb 23 2011 I have just been watching the film “The Pirates of Silicon Valley” and you know what , for me it doesn’t matter that Bill Gates got all the big bucks and Steve Jobs got the left overs. The end result is the same, namely they both got what they wanted, and boy did it change the world. I feel the same kind of dynamics in this contest also. No-one can deny the innovative thinking and calculated submissions of ‘Smart Solar’, even if the main submission is still a prototype. The central idea that emerges from this contest, at least to my mind, is that the smart grid, is the home grid. Let us, the renewable energy world, stop being step children and step boldly out and say: “We can do it on our Own.” The way forward lies with the home grid, this is the only way in which we can make significant savings to the National Consumption of fossil fuels. Because let us face it once the Grid gets going it takes 3 week to shut down, it is a
  8. 8. 24 x 7 service, can we afford it ? Renewables, whether solar or wind or any other available source, CAN make a significant difference in our lives . This is no more than fact supported by statistics. However hand in hand with this initiative, at least for the moment is the fact that we have to have a reliable back up system to keep us going when other resources fail. To my mind, my own submission (this is not a boast) can fill this gap, as can other ideas such as the stirling engine run on bio-waste, and also provide reliable, economical and environmentally friendly solutions for both home power back up generation and transport. Let us move forward “festina lente” make haste slowly. Comment By ptharso Feb 23 2011 Currently, two topics permeate my head and have focused on two solutions non-insertable in Ecomagination: 1) clean-up of dirty water by centrifugation, and 2) Micro Bio-Ethanol Production Automated. Here in Brazil we do not have a company such as GE that seeks sponsors and ideas of this kind. Our system is very closed to outside innovations and the Government is unable to promote this development and uptake of these ideas. Also we are unable to fund economic development of these ideas. This is the core of the problems of underdeveloped countries. Do not get a creative solution to implement solutions to their own problems. Always depend Engineering Imported from other countries. Well, but this is changing, and globalization is pushing ideas for yourself via the Internet. I believe that social networks and the translations will break down barriers and isolationists in the end we will achieve a new level. I am excited about what I have seen in ecomagination. Comment By ciaran Feb 23 2011 well said prospero, GE and friends have put up 200 million for this contest and that is noble and great. Imagine the money that could be raised from governments if this IDEA to build a better than Zero subdivision took root. We could find a suitable spot to build this maybe near the 12345 zip code, GE could monitor all involved the US government would assist along with the state of New York I know Canada and my province Alberta have funds they could draw from to help. This is where we need to go next and the contenders from this contest are the vehicle to take us there. Comment By jamast Feb 23 2011 hey ciaran i wanted to address your points if i may, there is no mood for investment in alberta as long as the tar sands put a new pickup in every driveway.. the fact is that you have such communities all over the planet, they just prefer to stay isolated and can you blame us? i once went over two years without any external needs, from bread to fuel we did it all. ptharso is very right though, the world is getting smaller and information is easier to get, unfortunately you get the bad with the good.. as for ge putting up 200 million, that is far from noble, it's just good business.. as for this contest being a vehicle of success, maybe, but the credibility is low, i was asked why i participated in an event that sponsored perpetual motion machines and brown gas.. even sadder is the support they get. the blind are leading the blind and stupidity thrives.. there are very few viable ideas here and supporting idiots only discourages valuable additions and thoughts. when i asked a class of high school students to review some of the ideas, they laughed and thought i was joking... i wish i was Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 23 2011 I propose a future rebellion away from the grid. Revolution is in the air. Who can we flashmob, gang? I agree, prospero, a smart grid is a home grid (when possible). So, let's pick a random date...hmmm, how about December 22nd of next year, if we survive the day before, December 21st? We (a mouse in my pocket?) can gratefully establish homegrown renewable power (off-grid) as the preferred home power of choice. Another Oz-land? Only in your dreams! In the meantime, let's keep that GE contest glass half-full, at a minimum. I agree with my earlier idea, ciaran: that joy-struck elephant should be checking out some of these contest ideas, in combination; so now also back to my very early GE eco-home idea, too. (Another mouse in my pocket!) ciaran, are you by any chance Chinese? Comment By ciaran Feb 23 2011 NO 100% IRISH... but I am very fond of Chinese food. Comment By ciaran Feb 23 2011 @ ptharso, jamast, Whiskerbob and Winston (where are you I can't do this all on my own) Janast my pick up truck is 11 years old. However Alberta is paving the way for renewable energy. They have to, they get such bad press over the oil sands that they over compensate here. Be careful who you believe when it comes to the oil sands I happen to think they do an amazing job of it and I as an Albertan with nothing to do with the oil sands still stand beside them. Yes it is good business for GE but it is also noble and GE's partners deserve some credit too. I think anyone who contributes to any kind of green fund can attest to the risks involved. Janast you need to reread ptharso's words "I believe that social networks and the translations will break down barriers and isolationists in the end we will achieve a new level. I am excited about what I have seen in ecomagination." Yes there is a lot of silly ideas in this contest there has to be it is open to everyone. Janast what you need to do is leave the science classroom cross the hall and show this to the social studies class. I said it before don't worry about those at the bottom of the barrel, concentrate on those at the top. The cream will rise there it always does. Comment By jamast Feb 23 2011 is it relevant as to you being chinese, we have a common bond, i'm half irish and love chinese food too.. as for the oil sands, i don't agree with you, i think alberta sucks in its environmental challenges, this is one time i refer to trudeau's emphasis on self sufficiency, we should not be tearing up real estate the size of vancouver island in alberta, just so we can sell oil to the americans, which in turn air condition their car ports... we should not sell this oil to anybody, canada is self sufficient in just about everything and i would like to see that enviable position shared by my children . as for social studies, this contest would make an even sadder statement on common sense Comment By ciaran Feb 23 2011 To late jamast its a global world now. Yes we are lucky to live in a country where we could close the doors and be self reliant but that is not the world we live in. You have a lot in common with the rest of the world as you have come out of the woods and urbanized yourself. This is the next challenge with 50 million people slated to migrate to our cities over the next 10 years, we need to find ways to consume less with out having to make sacrifices, if we don't the public won't go for it. Speaking of China and I have no ridea why he asked me that. They now have 49 cities of over 1 million people compared to the US's 9 and our 6. While their population will probably recede now, their consumption of energy and resources will go through the roof. These are the kind of things we need to prepare for. While you see the negative I see the ecomagination challenge as being right on the mark and right on time. Comment By jamast Feb 23 2011 ciaran>>>>>>> bite your tongue landlubber, i am hardly a candidate for urbanization.. i'm only in this tiny university city to follow and watch the daughter i raised aboard, sail on... in no time at all i'll be back in the boonies making my own energy and listening to the whales bitch about humans...i certainly don't see the negative in most things, i'm just a devout realist...
  9. 9. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 23 2011 Just for the record, whales used to be landlubbers. They heard humans were on the way and fast-tracked evolution back to water, where they thought it was safer. But they didn't calculate-in modern ships and gunpowder. Teddy K. was a devout realist, too, and a boonie-lover. Had a great little shack. He saw a bad tech future and hid out and took pot shots at the world in a nutty way, which is why he's still locked up. He should've had a greener brain, is all I'm in, Make Peace, Not War, Brother. Comment By jamast Feb 23 2011 whiskerbob>>>>>>>>>> please no comparison to tk..i fail to see how killing people for fun is being a realist, there are many more like him too, not all in the boonies either..... but quite honestly bob, when you look at some people around us, it's really not that hard to believe that whales are still roaming the landscape.... my turn for thought of the day bob... the pm of italy; berlusconi, because of his mafia contacts at one time was about to become a fugitive from the law, instead he became a politician Comment By ciaran Feb 23 2011 I would love to join you there it sounds beautiful, I consider myself a realist too yet we have opposing views. I might be in Victoria in May with my daughter at an Irish Dancing feis. Comment By jamast Feb 23 2011 ciaran>>>>>nice thing about this country, we can dump on each other without fear, please let me know when you come to our fair island, if i'm not at sea i'll show you some gasifiers...two feet of snow in Victoria today, rumor has it that it all came from alberta... Comment By ciaran Feb 24 2011 good it will keep that pile of you know what covered up in your back yard. Comment By jamast Feb 24 2011 no they were mostly american tourists, no btu yield at all... Comment By ciaran Feb 24 2011 you need to try the cruise ship variety. Comment By pk47 Feb 25 2011 saying No to Dirty Energy.,8599,2052627,00.html Comment By ciaran Feb 26 2011 pk I was watching the discovery channel the other day, a show called how it works. they featured a new mega coal power plant in england. this plant grinds the coal to dust and injects the coal dust into a furnace. they also grind up limestone and put it through a process where they remove the sulfur from the exhaust and trap it in what now becomes gypsum all this takes place in a plant twice the size of central park. watch it if you can find it. Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 26 2011 Sounds like 1990's technology to me. The coal fired utility industry's gone far beyond that today with Clean Coal Technologies that have been developed over the last 20 years. If you don't believe me, ask GE! Oh; excuse me, but that's some other divisions of GE altogether than those who we're dealing with here!
  10. 10. The Challenge of Getting Noticed Posted by: Winston Rice on 02/24/2011 6:19:07 AM Recently there have been a few mentions of ideas submitted to the second phase of the GE ecomagination Challenge in the online press. I thought it might be helpful to see how others are looking at Challenge entries and what they find of interest. Some of these ideas have been featured in this blog before while others have not… features an article about wind energy and provides helpful links to other articles about the same subject. Over on they take a look at a newer, friendlier form of power monitor. Meanwhile, has a couple of different articles featuring entries to the Challenge. One highlights wind turbines, one examines solar water heaters, and another takes a look at microgrids. These articles give the featured ideas valuable exposure and at the same time draw attention and interest to the Challenge and that benefits all the participants. Be sure to take a look at the articles and see what people are writing about and what makes a good story. And for those of you with a deep interest in the Challenge and home energy, there is an ongoing discussion on the TED conversations site with experts in a variety of areas joining in. Log in and check it out! 106 Comments Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 24 2011 Winston, I feel like you are prejudiced against me or my idea. I explained in length before how it is inherently unfair for you to pick out already-succeeding entries and then highlight them again. Most of the entrants here didn't think this would happen...that you would concentrate attention towards some ideas and therefore away from others. In my opinion, you should be replaced for this blog. You make it look like the winners are already picked...and it's those who have won other prizes or had a lot of help advertising their ideas. And now you are piggy-backing on the "outside" advertising. You should stop trying to influence this contest. I have no faith in you and wonder if you are getting some kind of kickback over this. I hope GE fires you and replaces you with someone who isn't so overtly biased. YOU are making this contest unfair, and I resent your involvement. Please go away.... Comment By jamast Feb 24 2011 >>>>>hey bob>>>>> go for it buddy, i didn't think you had it in you... he also fails to mention the numerous social network posts going around about the same thing you mentioned and the poor quality of some of the ideas(present company excluded).... unfortunately i found no credentials for this blogger, he may just be ignorant, not malicious... Comment By jamast Feb 24 2011 it is up to ge to bring attention to the ideas..... the reverse will take care of itself Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 24 2011 The funny part is that the blog today is entitled, "The Challenge of Getting Noticed." That could be: "The Challenge of Getting Fairly Noticed on the GE Blog." I may sound like a sour-puss, but the bottom line is that GE is running this contest, GE is running this blog, and someone representing GE is running this blog in an unfair manner. Knit-picking? Hardly. Now that the "official blog highlighting" has been done, I need to go to these outside media sources and try to get them to run my idea, too. I wonder how that will go for many of the ideas here? Not so well, probably...mostly because many of the ideas submitted to this contest are not so far developed as others. Mixing highly developed ideas in a contest with those not very highly developed, and then promoting the developed ideas, is just simply not fair. It's even more unfair if the contest sponsor allows for biased representation of some ideas, but not others. Yes, jamast, it's up to GE to bring attention to the ideas by way of bringing attention to the contest, but not by picking winners and losers before the contest is over. Otherwise (if I may give an example), it's like the racetrack announcer, representing the racetrack, urging certain horses on by name. Go Whiskerbob! Run! Run! Where's the fairness? How about sugar-cubes for all of the horses, or none of them? Comment By ciaran Feb 24 2011 @ Winston, Bob and jamast. I apologize on behalf of my peers and I feel they owe you one as well and here is why. Bob you need to walk a mile in Winston's shoes his only role here it to provide us with a topic to talk about. Look at what GE did in the first round they gave 44 million to existing corporations and organisations. What did we expect? What did this tell us? This told us GE is looking for professionals, go to emerald, foundation,rock port or KPCB web pages they all say the same thing, they would rather support a weak idea with a strong management team than support a strong idea with a weak management team. That's how the corporate world works. We as contestants need to understand that. How else could it work? Bob you need to show some Professionalism and take back what you said to Winston. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 24 2011 That's just it, jamast, I cannot assume anything about the final rulings when such blatently unfair "tampering" is allowed in the first place. If bias is allowed during the contest, why not bias at the end, too? To go along with my racetrack example above, they've got little ponies running with quarter horses, and they're urging the horses on! No shouts of "Go Little Pony! Go! Go Whiskerbob! Run!" Comment By Smart Green Energy [SmartSolar] Feb 24 2011 @Bob, Please let's keep the discussion decent and professional. @Winston, Don't blame Bob too much. During this competition I have seen useful and sincere comments from him. Everybody sometimes has a bad day Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 24 2011 ciaran, you need to stop sucking-up and taking everyone else's ideas. You aren't professional. At least I never spammed the site. You think you have a strong team? I have no team. I have myself, defending myself. How can a weak idea succeed, no matter how great the team? Everything I said to Winston is true...and I told him many of the same things before. He is leading a biased blog, and you are sucking-up for what? Comment By ciaran Feb 24 2011 Jamast, we had this talk yesterday. This is as much a social experiment as it is a scientific contest. GE and its partners don't have to do this and they definitely don't have to do it for free. Most of us see this as an opportunity maybe an opportunity of a life time. How likely are they to keep this going if this is how they are treated. Robert don't mess this up for the rest of us.
  11. 11. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 24 2011 SmartSolar, you're in the catbird seat. I don't need to back up. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 24 2011 Who's afraid of the truth? I have pointed out the truth, and some have reacted negatively. Comment By jamast Feb 24 2011 >>>>ciaran..bob........>>i don't agree with you ciaran, no surprise i suppose, i firmly believe that it is ge's duty to dig out the gems regardless of their management teams.... too many important concepts have evolved from poverty stricken environments.. and please don't apologize for me, i can't speak for bob, but he also gives me the impression of being able to do so himself if he so chooses ...maybe ciaran is sucking up to the teacher, send him an apple both have viable ideas, if they are ignored in favor of some flying carpet, i for one would be surprised but not shocked...i think bob's horse is reacting to the weather too... Comment By Winston Rice Feb 24 2011 The post is about articles found online highlighting Challenge entries. I believe that all such articles are good for the Challenge, bringing new interest to it and therefore benefiting all of its participants. In my online search for recent articles about the Challenge, these were the articles that surfaced. There was and is no judgement on my part as to the worth, technical merits or market feasibility of any of these ideas. I am simply showing that people are interested; they are watching and they are writing. I believe that to be good for all involved. Comment By ciaran Feb 24 2011 I happen to like this contest and its ideals, and I can see you do too. I have no management team either but I can see that I need one I can see that I need to take steps toward them as much as I expect the opposite. All I am saying is look and listen they are telling you what they want. We should be debating with each other not blaming GE. Comment By jamast Feb 24 2011 you are right.....ciaran.... ge does have to do this, and no amount of bitching is going to stop them from continuing though, we're not threatening to them, we're commenting and they are far more likely to keep this going for that very reason... geez guy, think about this, ge makes weapons of war ... do you seriously think that they are that thin skinned? Comment By ciaran Feb 24 2011 @jamast I like the fact that you don't agree with me, I firmly believe that it is your duty. That is what I like about you. and I brought the teacher two apples Rhea and Sword. Comment By prospero Feb 24 2011 I don’t know what GE’s policy is going to be with regard to the outcome of this contest. As jamast had pointed out GE is in this to generate income, that is only right. Yet the whole idea of this contest is innovation. What I suggest is that commercial partnerships be given to the promising corporate ideas, the one’s that are not innovative and not new but which seem to have commercial promise and let the cash awards, incentives, workshops etc., go to innovators. This would be a solution that is more in line with what the contest is all about. P.S I have made a path breaking new submission entitled : Micro hydro electric generation for the house (P.S., It should be home but that’s what happens like with Brett’s Copula) Check it out: Comment By prospero Feb 24 2011 I disagree with whiskerbob, on the usefulness of this blog. This blog has really intensified the whole experience, given me focus, and has made me understand what will work and won’t work with renewables and overall has been a really stimulating experience. As regards whiskerbob’s gripe, that his name was not mentioned even though he has been in the top five or so right from the start, I have to say that there is a grain of truth in it. Perhaps it would have been nice to read about an individual who has put so much of an effort into his innovative idea. Comment By jamast Feb 24 2011 i'm probably not the only one that has noticed that recent events in the arab world may very well impose a whole new set of rules very soon.... i'm betting saudi arabia joins the fray of malcontents in the next few days, leading to incredible instability in the oil flow and huge price hikes... if i am right, would that not lead to enhanced interest in some of the ideas here?... solar panels, wind turbines, gasifiers and anything else that works, is going to look pretty damn good when diesel hits 10 or 15us$ a us always in history, sadly conflicts bring out the very best innovations... ...maybe gaddafi will help create the proper political environment and fear to help convince the public that depending on these lunatic states for your fuel to drive junior to school is pretty dumb... politicians rule by polls, and you can be assured those polls will insist on alternatives very quickly.... Comment By prospero Feb 24 2011 The biggest problem facing renewable energy is the lack of sustainability. Now you see it now you don’t. What is needed is a glue to make it all stick together, something that will churn out the power regardless of the state of the weather. I have put in two ideas so far that attempt to do this. The first is one you have all heard about and discussed in depth, namely “The flywheel assisted rotary pulse jet engine”, the second has just been posted, “micro hydroelectric power for the home”, and is an idea that was germinated in these columns. This new micro hydel project of mine, has the potential of churning out a respectable 2 Kw to 3 Kw of power throughout the 24 hours of the day. How does it do it? Think of the Californian redwood, these trees suck up upwards of 4 tons of water a day to heights exceeding 300 feet. Absolutely incredible figures, right. So my idea is have one tank at ground level and one or two tanks at 40 feet above ground, either supported on its own tower or on some other structure (roof etc.,) A 4 inch pipe, it can be of any material, connects the upper tank to a generator at ground level, the water from the pipe spins a generator and then feeds the water back to the lower most tank. A 4 inch pipe using water falling from a head of 40 feet will generate a steady 2.2 KW of energy and use 850 gallons (3000 litres approx) of water a minute. Here’s the rub! Connecting the lower and upper tanks is a massive tree trunk sized one metre diameter pipe packed with 25 micron (or less) inner diameter capillary tubes. The upper tank has tiny motors run by solar, wind or back-up batteries, that create a fairly strong vacuum in the upper tank, the outlets for sending out air through suitable one way valves will be fitted with micron sized filters so that only air goes out and the water stays in the tank. The tank is insulated to reduce evaporation to a minimum. Will this idea work, I think it will. The capillary type ink pens that we used at school used to fill the ink reservoir in the pen in 10 secs – 15 secs when the nib was dipped into the bottle. The volume of the rubber ink reservoir compared to the volume of the capillary tube was enormous. So we have water going out of the tank from a 4 inch diameter pipe and water being fed back into the tank by a massive 1 metre pipe. Everything can be monitored by electronics to ensure its smooth working AND the same water (filtered) is used over and over again with timely top ups. Let me apologise for the length of this post. But , Hey, after all the topic is get noticed right. Comment By ciaran Feb 24 2011
  12. 12. look jamast we agree, now maybe people can see a value in what i was trying to do the other day when I suggested we all explain how are ideas could fit into a subdivision of homes and what it would add to the cost of the home. Comment By jamast Feb 24 2011 >>prospero.. you can't get more out than you put in, you'd be way ahead just using the power required to send the water up in the first place, common physics...unless you use maple trees of course, in which case you can sell the maple syrup for enough money to buy oil. otherwise, you're getting noticed for the wrong reasons.. Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 24 2011 I looked it up --- 1 Atmosphere = 10 meters, or, ~ 34 feet of water head. Is this some kind of multi-stage capilary system? Need more info! Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 24 2011 One thing I've noticed with many of the Green Energy Companies emerging from the forests. Few of them are short on top heavy upper and middle management and sales teams capable of selling ice boxes, with widgets included, to eskimos! Comment By jamast Feb 24 2011 hey brett.... that's interesting, could you link me up ? i've encountered similar situations, including the green party throwing conferences with styrofoam cups and their local leader running wilderness tours with two stroke motors..practice what i preach not what i do applies to a lot of these greenies Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 24 2011 Just let me know what kind of ice box you are looking for, and I'll throw in the widgets! Comment By prospero Feb 24 2011 Thanks Brett, You are always a great help and for the most part scrupulously fair. What you say is correct, in a purely atmospheric situation. 34 feet might be the limit. But remember that the California redwood gets water up to 250 feet and above using the same kind of capillary system. How does it manage this ? The answer is that we don’t know, transpiration might have something to do with it, what we do know is that something extra is added to the mix i.e., to make the capillary action perform better. The extra that I have added always works well and it is a vacuum. Call the tank at ground level holding tank A, Call the holding tank 40 feet up Holding Tank B, call the tank next to Tank B i.e., the precipitation tank, Tank C Holding tank B is fully, sealed it is joined to tank C by a 9 inch diameter pipe, attached to this pipe is an air pipe reaching above the height of both tanks to ensure water flow. Then as the water level rapidly sinks in Tank B it has a piston like action creating a vacuum, this facilitates the flow through the capillary pipes. So no need for either solar, or wind or battery to run pumps to create the vacuum, it creates itself, The system is self sustaining. Do I hear a broken record somewhere around here. P.S. I am an inventor , this is my bread and butter, so yes I have IPR. Comment By jamast Feb 24 2011 hey i'm getting a little worried about whiskerbob, if he got frustrated and started walking, it's 20 below where he is.. he could be in trouble.. or not.. come on wb, we need your space here... Comment By jamast Feb 24 2011 sorry prospero but we know exactly how the redwoods get water up hundreds of feet, it's very well known botany, high school stuff actually...and really prospero "self sustaining">>>>brett>>> that height of 34 feet is a little dreamy, 25 feet is about what to expect in real time..come on guys don't you see the problem here? how much for just the widget? Comment By prospero Feb 24 2011 My apologies Jamast, I would normally never have gone into such detail about a personal project on a public blog. Guess, I got carried away by my enthusiasm for the idea, (enthusiasm is good if you think about it.)In future I will take up matters like these on site. Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 24 2011 It's kind of like how veins work too? And yes Bob, about the best we ever got with the old loofa sponge/air jet condensers which used direct lake water cooling on the Great Lakes (once we got out of the Harbor that is) was about 24 inches of Hg. That's pretty close to your 25 feet, really. The ship was the James A Farrel ?? out of Lorain, Ohio and was built around 1912. It was 629 feet between perpendiculars as I remember, and had a 58 foot beam amidships. It smelled very strongly of wet iron down below. It also had a 1750 bhp triple expansion steam engine in it that was three stories high I learned to oil it without losing my oil can (or mine either for that matter) on the first trip around. Not so lucky the second trip. It also had two B&W sectional header - triple pass - straight tube boilers burning coal with automatic stokers and we usually had a clear stack - except when manuevering. Those were fun days - especially when I was down in the bilges oiling the main crank shaft bearings while we were underweigh at 90 main shaft rpms in rough seas. There I go; I knew we would get around to Sea Stories before we got done here! Actually, on a modern utility steam plant with once through seawater cooling, we normally get up to very close to 1 atmosphere in vacuum when the multi-stage high pressure/superheated steam powered air jet ejectors are working right. Since having to go to air cooled condensors, however, out here in the west due to water evaporation/use concerns, these steam turbine condenser vacuum capabilities - as well as the cycle efficiencies have suffered a little. And I don't sell single widget units Bob; I'm a wholesailer! Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 24 2011 Here ya go prospero!
  13. 13. Chow! Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 24 2011 It's just another solar system! Comment By jamast Feb 24 2011 prospero>>> you should never apologize for curiosity and enthusiasm if people don't like it they can go to hell..babbling and trying new idea is exactly why this blog exists...............>>>brett>>>> i've heard horror stories from the lakes.. i knew there was some death wish in you...that thing is a monster,.. i've sailed mostly my 42 foot motor sailor here on the west coast to alaska, perkins and a hurth do the propeller justice and i owned a few restaurants so it ran on used cooking oil, other than a smell of fish and chips coming from the exhaust it ran better.. i work on anything that floats, i have all my tickets and work when i have to. from cruise ships to speedboats.. i can't live without the sea..i suppose by now you've discovered that arizona does not have a widget factory or a sea port... Comment By pk47 Feb 24 2011 Whose job is it, to innovate in consumer products? The producer's R&D dept., or the consumers themselves. Here is a thought-provoking answer. Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 25 2011 Good point pk. I've found that you have to be real careful when you go to buy a duplicate widget to the one you saw somebody else using with great success - because it may have been modified to work better by the eskimo! "Oh, you wanted it in gray! We don't do grey!" Comment By jamast Feb 25 2011 why is it so hard to get a grey widget anymore? "eskimo" is considered derogatory by some native nations here, most people are unaware of this, northern tribes/people prefer to be identified individually, which only makes sense... people tend to forget that canada is no melting pot of cultures like the usa, we tend to celebrate and encourage multiculturalism, not assimilate them..for better or for worse it's who we are. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 25 2011 @jamast...I like to think this is your fault for encouraging me. Here's some true comedy for you, very pertinent to the blog subject, The Challenge of Getting Noticed. "I crawled a while...." - Jim Morrison Well, as a disclosure of sorts, I thought I might let “the blog” know that I may have been instrumental in GE deciding to have these contests in the first place. Huh? Yes, it’s true, and so therefore I must congratulate GE for developing the flexibility needed to have these contests. What am I talking about? Well, looking back over my exhaustive email files, I see that I did in fact write to GE way back in June of 2008, offering my new wind turbine for their consideration. It could be that my attempt to connect with someone from GE (along with many other frustrated inventors), may have indirectly led GE to offer these contests. Let me explain further. The issue for me back then was an issue of “gate-keeping.” Here’s what happened : I came upon a very fierce GE gate-keeper back in June of 2008. For anonymity sakes, I’ll affectionately call this seemingly stiff lady, “Maggie.” She told me that GE has a fixed company policy with respect to the consideration of ideas volunteered by persons outside the company. She nicely directed me to a link for GE Submitted Ideas, where I could review their policy and procedures for submitting my idea to GE for consideration. She added, “On the other hand, if you are not the owner of the “new invention” that you referred to, please understand that GE does not wish to accept or to consider unsolicited suggestions regarding the purchase of inventions or technologies that belong to third parties.” Very truly yours, blah, blah, blah. Manager- Submitted Ideas. To which I couldn’t seem to help writing back, questioning whether she was really the Manager of Submitted Ideas, or just a big fake. “If I am the owner of my new invention?” What an insult, I told her. Would I be offering my invention for sale if I were not the owner? Sadly then, I admit to telling Maggie that she seemed confined to a box, and that rigid was the word that came to mind. Then a few more sad comments, like “I’m sorry you can’t fast-tract this opportunity to the right people yourself, but I guess that is the nature of old, stodgy organizations.” I ended up telling her to keep killing birds with that old horizontal-axis turbine design GE was pushing… whew! And then I told her I was quitting her, and even worse, I very directly called her a “bird-killer.” Well, as bloggers can imagine, Maggie did not want to quit me just yet. She quite correctly told me that I was both rude and unprofessional, and that it was precisely because of the attitude of people like me that corporations have to establish set policies and guidelines. She added, “Please do not bother to respond.” Well, quite naturally, I responded right away and told her “You need to lighten-up, Lady.” I explained that GE should be tickled that a peon like me would even consider contacting such a giant with a first offer. “Policies and guidelines suck,” I told her. “The Army is rigid, too, but at least they have waivers and such. I won’t respond again, if you don’t. Also, don’t try to steal my idea, or I may have to sue you. Recall that you yourself are rude for suggesting I may not own my invention. What nerve! I guess you can hurl rocks, but you can’t even take a little joke. Watch some old Three Stooges, why don’t you?” Bloggers, I rest my case. I can be rude at times. I could blame TS or OCD, but the Army let me in just past my 17th birthday (which is why I missed Woodstock), so that’s not a very good excuse. Bottom Line: GE has, indeed, come a long way. Now, if they can get rid of the blog host, their innovative spirit will shine even better! (Should I push the button…why not?) Comment By jamast Feb 25 2011 well i sure as hell didn't miss woodstock it was wet but fun... and for the record wb, you're no way near as rude as i am, maybe you should crank it up, you have a point...i'm perfectly ok being accused of encouraging don't have any grey widgets do you? Comment By ciaran Feb 25 2011 Very interesting pk, I consider myself to be the average consumer, I have a moderate view on nearly everything. So when I think of something I want I feel everybody whose like me will want the same. I asked myself why are we making and transporting electricity so inefficiently only to bring it into our homes and turn it into heat to dry our clothes. I have already switched away from a hot water tank to a flash water heater. Why don't we have a clothes dryer that can run off of the flash heater, it's more efficient and the gas is cheaper to buy than the electricity. This was the train of thought that brought me to the Smart Washer/Dryer combo. From there it evolved into a single machine (now that we have taken out the hi voltage heaters) and by adding some simple controls and encouraging people to use it in conjunction with a solar thermal package we have developed Sword. This IDEA did not come out of the board rooms of appliance manufacturers it came from my basement. However CEO's aren't what they used to be either. Nowadays companies all over the place are asking us how can we make things better? what do have to say? and so on. The Ecomaganation Challenge is a prime example of this. Pk your link above needs to be brought to GE's attention and GE needs to find a way to take a chance on the little guy. Comment By jamast Feb 25 2011
  14. 14. >> i have to agree too, that link is an important statement of fact... and i may add no mention of widgets in any colour Comment By WINDGRABBER Feb 25 2011 I have to admit to having met a lot of strange individuals in Alaska. I have to think that a lot of people go there because they like being different. I can't speak for those who were born there and didn't have any say in the matter; like the eskimos. Frankly, I've never met an eskimo. They're probably fine people. Comment By jamast Feb 25 2011 there is a saying in the north that everybody has a relative featured on america's most wanted..and yes they are fine people Comment By ciaran Feb 25 2011 hey jamast -28 here this morning now the snow is melting off my roof! Comment By jamast Feb 25 2011 hey ciaran... we had the coldest day of the year yesterday, it went to -5C, tomorrow we harvest the pineapples :) next week we laugh at anybody freezing east of the rockies... unfortunately that will include you..... . . . . that link from pk is so true i'm glad he brought that to our attention Comment By ciaran Feb 25 2011 yes Forbes and fortune 500 need to do a few stories like that. I have a similar story to what Bob told this morning. I fell and broke my shoulder a few years ago and didn't feel much like working then out of the blue an idea struck me for a book. I am not the kind of guy to write a book but I felt a screen play was in my scope of abilities. So I penned a work called "the answer to everything" and in it I explain everything from the ice age to Jesus to who killed Kennedy. It's so plausible all of those who want to believe would take it for gospel. Same story as Bob, Nobody will listen, nobody cares. To bad, now every time I see a movie I compare it to my own and think of what could have been. Comment By jamast Feb 25 2011 jesus killed kennedy? now there is a movie i'd go to... i'd love to read it.... Comment By doctorno Feb 25 2011 Good Afternoon from North of 60..I am in a unique situation regarding this competition. I actually use one the ideas featured here made by Jamast. Because of some of the horrible slander, I feel I should respond, even though he specifically asked me not to. Sorry Robert. He would not sell me one unit, he told me his only interest was to make and automate many of them first. He gave me the unit I have and he carefully explained what to do, and how to connect it to my generator. I'm using the unit in an isolated clinic and it works fine. He was concerned with the cooling coils, but it's -40 here. No such problem exists. Without doubt, he is one of the smartest characters I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He has singlehandedly raised his kids and wants to use his gasifier designs to leave them something, all he ever talked about was getting back to sea. I represent some investors here in the North and we are always looking for items that contribute to our environment and cultures. Not only does he talk environment, he walks the walk. To Robert, I hope I have not breached any trusts and truly hope this develops into what it should be. Comment By jamast Feb 25 2011 >>doctorno>> i sure as hell don't need anybody defending me, but you have kind words and good intentions, in the future use my e-mail please and ignore idiots... and i am glad everything worked well, those cooling coils were never tested before thanks for doing that.. any widgets in alaska? Comment By ciaran Feb 25 2011 Jesus didn't kill Kennedy but there's a punk band name if ever I heard one. Comment By prospero Feb 26 2011 Whiskerbob’s account was interesting enough, maybe even more interesting than I said it would be. Woodstock and Watergate happened forty years ago and whiskerbob’s involvement with GE took places 3 years ago, that was then and this is now. The situation as regards oil is volatile to say the least because of the political turmoil and unrest in the Middle East as Jamast had pointed out. Who knows some, of the ideas here at ecomagination might really pay off. In any case, all things considered, it does appear to be a timely development. Comment By ciaran Feb 26 2011 Wonder if Bob had anything to do with it? Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 26 2011 A lot of cryptic stuff here...Bob, Robert, Whiskerbob. Who am I? Why am I here? Am I being referred to? When and where? Forty years ago? Three years ago? Holy Numbers? What's going on? Yes, I'm an unsuccessful writer. Yes, I'm a would-be screen-writer. Yes, I believe in Jesus. No, Bob didn't have anything to do with it...if I am Bob, and if you're talking about Kennedy. I'm the one who worked for years to expose the hit; I'm the one who asked the current President to let Sirhan go, since he so obviously didn't kill Bobby (too many Robert variations here). An innocent man is locked up and we're supposed to be concerned about justice in this Country? I wrote a short story a few years ago; its unpublished but out there. It was patterned after one of Hemingway's best short stories, and it sums up the murder of JFK (ciaran)and where the cover-up stands today. Bottom Line: Only violence can expose the dirty deed. In other words, the cover-up will continue until some entity forces a new investigation, such as a well-placed kidnapping. I am not advocating that, just to be clear. This wonderful short story I may share later, as a stuffed toy up my sleeve. Thanks for all the enigmatic support, everyone! Whew...I needed it! Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 26 2011 Clue: google Bill Lord or Billy Joe Lord...his letter to the FBI (and their answer) is the smoking gun back to W and his daddy. Could Poppy be the longest pole in the current JFK murder cover-up-tent? Holy Bonesman, you've got to be kidding! Stay tuned for the stuffed toy in my back pocket....
  15. 15. Comment By ciaran Feb 26 2011 hey jamast send me your e mail and i will send it to you. bob i was just teasing you, that you had the foresight to start the up rising in the middle east and cause an oil shortage to ensure the success of your turbine. sorry i brought up the whole Kennedy thing. Comment By jamast Feb 26 2011 you know ciaran, i feel deprived, we've never really had a good conspiracy theory here in canada....sent email to u Comment By ciaran Feb 26 2011 Ireland has great conspiracy theories like who's rely responsible for moving the rainbow every time you get close to it. Comment By pk47 Feb 26 2011 Ciaran, there is no need to bring that link to GE's attention. You can be sure that they have seen it before we even knew that it was getting published. In any case, if you were to read that article carefully, it is not so much of interest to corporations, as it is to the entrepreneurs themselves. I put that link there for our benefit, as a morale booster, especially after the many comments expressing disappointments and accusations of bias, where there is none. I was just trying to steer the whole discussion back into positive territory. Just read that article and feel good about what it has to say, and redouble your efforts. I never compare myself to anyone else, but myself, and I am my own worst critic. That is the best way to excel in anything you do. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 26 2011 We have the deciding factor in determining if there was any bias against whiskerbob. Thanks, pk47 for your grandfatherly conclusion to the matter. Your opinion means so much to us. NOT! Actually, I never heard back from you concerning that line you started on my page, questioning my Norse findings. You were wrong there, too, in your very brief summation, but you didn't bother to try to clean it up. Again, what about the astrolabe, Einstein? What about the Kensington Runestone? Facts and the truth can be troublesome when directed both ways. Are you in a catbird seat in this contest, too? I think not. Back to bed! Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 26 2011 This is mostly for ciaran. Your name is easy to remember because it begins with cia. Thanks for the encouragement. Between you and jamast, I'm getting plenty of encouragement. I wonder what other absurdities anyone might bring up to discuss? Okay then, this will only be available for about 24 hours. Go to my hallmarkemporium site and then go to the contact page and hit the link towards the bottom for the JFK info I just put there. You will find a very clever short story letting you know about the sorry state of affairs concerning the ongoing JFK murder cover-up in America, and also political cover-up spoofs. What does that have to do with wind turbines? Absolutely nothing. You brought it up. Thanks for the idea and what a nice National platform! Comment By ciaran Feb 26 2011 pk and the bear, truer words were never spoken.I am pretty sure quite a few people at GE read this anyway. Whiskers can you start speaking english I don't understand Norse code. Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 26 2011 Questionable comment to whiskerbob 2 weeks ago: Whiskerbob, you need to broaden your geographical horizons. The US is not the whole planet. When I said West and East, I meant REAL West and REAL East, not the West and East coasts. Try West as being the American continent, and East being the Middle East, where you are more likely to encounter the descendants of those knignts, at least those who managed to survive. If they ever did visit the American heartland, and more specifically MN, they must have been great navigators, in addition to being formidable fighters, because the first compass-assisted expeditions did not take place for at least two more centuries. I can only guess about what they did next, but most likely, they must had exchanged their swords for plowshares, and used their acumen to design great Wind Turbines. Is that what we are looking for in that treasure hunt? Comment By Whiskerbob-stein Feb 26 2011 Follow-up by whiskerbob from 2 weeks ago: Ha! Ha! You fell for the bait. Indeed, we are talking of lands of milk and honey. Talking about the Eastern land of milk and honey is a bad idea, though, as that land is currently (still) being contested. Contested, indeed. I know the US is not the whole planet. I found that out during the 8 years Bush destroyed our country. Yes, the Norse were great navigators, and they were aided by not only mechanical means, but by maps. Apparently, you chose to ignor the many evidences I brought together. Facts are facts, pk47. What are you going to do with facts...with the Kensington Runestone? Historians now, finally, realize its not a fake. The Templars used mechanical means of navigation, plus the sky. They had no trouble finding the geographical center of North America. The evidences from this area cannot be ignored, and ignoring the evidence is foolhearty. Facts are facts, and the truth is the truth. You surprised me by not researching my findings yourself to determine the authenticity of what I'm claiming. I am a very serendipitous person, pk47, as I have an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. I seem to make fortunate discoveries while looking for something else, sometimes related, sometimes not. However, that doesn't alter history or the truth. Bottom line, pk47, you need to brush up on your history...I'm talking about your American history! Look at the evidences I myself brought together and explain them away, please. Or, look at the totality of the evidences and come away enlightened. That's what you are looking for in this treasure hunt. A serendipitous attitute, which can play roles in both science or technology. There is real treasure in discovering correct history...and then it's a plus if the possibility of real treasure in thrown in. Serendipity is finding something good by accident. Many good innovations are discovered by accident, by good forture. Consider yourself lucky today, as you have another chance to google, google, google, until you see that everything I've said about Templars coming to MN is true. The other land of milk and honey, I won't quarrel about. It's a quarrel God apparently set up, so He can handle that one Himself! Peace, Brother. Another clue: what is an astrolabe? You are having a very serendipitous day, pk47...and yer never too old to learn something new. You aren't fooling me with that crop of "silver" hair. Confucius Say: Keep smears to yourself if you can't back them up. Comment By ciaran Feb 26 2011 Oh. Thanks Bob that clears up everything. Comment By mario27861 Feb 26 2011 Prospero