The Spark

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Here’s a dream. This dream spins. It twirls in the wind. It is made of plastic and bamboo. It’s a make shift wind wheel! (Hyperbole! I think not. The principles are sound!) This dream made of trash is powered by nuclear energy. Pray tell, how does that happen? Fusion in the core of the sun produces photons, these photons take 100 years to escape the sun. Then a little under 8 minutes to traverse the space between. They heat the surface of a spinning globe to create wind. Put a blade on a pin and face it into the wind. If it spins, you are harnessing fusion energy that was produced 100+ years ago. Wow! Out of this world, right?

But Dreams come and go like the wind, for the faint of heart. We fickle beings easily forget them because life gets too hard.

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Walaybola, Morotai, Indonesia

I happen upon a little girl in a seaport town while prospecting for wind resource in the area. My partners and I sat while some folks graciously cooked us fish. I noticed the little girl some distance away playing with something that resembled a wind turbine. It was almost as if she wanted to show us it. But threw it done in frustration for it failed to spin. The girl disappeared. So I walked over to find the pieces thrown about. I made a slight alteration to the would be turbine blade. i.e. added more twist. I placed it into the ground.

My only hope is that she saw this when she came back. And was inspired so that she be possessed with conviction: the desire to peer into the unknown for others and not turn away. Delusions of grandeur if you will, but big things have crazy beginnings.

(This is my dream, to inspire others to aspire. Thank you little girl for giving me the opportunity.)

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Dreamers are the painters of reality.

To infinty and carbon-neutrality!

 

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Photo taken by Pikatan Tahta Prabhu Diwangkara. Mt. Gede Java, Indonesia

After hours of peering into the wonder of infinity, on top of an ancient volcanic mountain, you begin to yearn for a crispy black marshmallow. Your toil of rubbing sticks together has beget a bright fire, but now another query of wonder is upon you: ” why was there smoke before the fire?” Thinking back you discover that the heat from the friction of rubbing sticks releases gasses, which ignite from the heat and surrounding midnight air. Eureka! The wood itself does not burn. It has been¬†pyrolyzed.

 

The video is of a gasifier that does this action, but captures most of the gases before they are burned.The feed-stock is charcoal in the above video, which is heated inside the downdraft gasifier until it releases moisture, gases, ash and some tar. The aim is to capture CO and H2; these gases then can be used for direct combustion (as see in the video) or can be used for electrical power production.

 

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Fernando and Christoni — undergraduates at the Agricultural Institute of Bogor — check¬† for concentrations level of CO and H2. i.e. seeing if it catches a flame.

 

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Corn cob waste that has been densified into a briquette and then carbonized. It is essentially charcoal and ready to be burned.