DIYers “Do it Yourselfers” are a small percentage of the population. As I have mentioned before, if you get us together in a room face to face, you find we have more in common that you know. A lot of us were attracted to the technical fields, some migrated from things like Human Resources to Mechanical Engineering because their passions were like a torch in the night that lighted the pathway to that more rewarding job.
I have mentioned before how curious I was about the higher than expected number of Medical Doctors in our DIYer-Off Grid-Alternative Energy group. Why is that? A few MDs responded to that question to say that the human body is another machine, and we should expect MDs to have a lot of the same traits found in the DIYer group.
I think about a younger person attempting to make it through medical school, sometimes they have a family and no money. What happens when a home repair or an auto repair is necessary? The typical DIYer quickly recalls all the recent hired repairs that have been both expensive and done wrong. It’s nearly impossible for our breed to just ‘call the repairman’, we can always think of better places to spend the money. Whether it’s to pay down school tuition, an Orthodontist’s bill for a child, or buying more and better tools. Maybe we are born with this mentality and it forces us to pry off the top and look inside at the broken gear works and see if we can repair it ourselves?
I believe I have a wonderful example of how differently DIYers respond to articles in the news in comparison to the rest of the population. As profoundly disturbing as it may be to me, about five percent of the people who found this page will even read this sentence. If I insert a picture of Paris Hilton on this page, a good percentage would click it and never return.
Here’s the example….. I’d like you to test yourself, write down a few bullet items regarding your observations after you watch the video clips above, Consider opening another window in your browser and visiting hydrovolts.com. Study their claims, their endorsements, their awards.
Make sure you watch King 5 News coverage…. now note all the awards, there’s even a Professor from the University of Washington in the video clip to demonstrate there’s interest from the professional community.
Few people outside our community will ask themselves the following questions. Critical thinking skills are quite common in our group, and becoming a rarity outside our group.
The following questions we generally ask ourselves guide us.
Question: What are the objectives of the entities that either endorse or recognize the efforts of Seattle based Hydrovolts?
Question: What is the principle goal of King 5 News OR any other Broadcasting Organization?
Seasoned DIYers are normally critical thinkers, they will have asked themselves questions like the following:
Question: This is such a basic idea, why hasn’t anyone in the last hundred years or more done this?
Question: I don’t see any factual information regarding energy potential, why is that?
For me, I recall a book put out by Reader’s Digest called “Back to Basics”, it is a book put out about traditional American skills, and it is well illustrated and like most good books, it is written to convey information and not an attempt to impress readers with colorful vocabulary or math far more elegant than necessary to cover the topic and share the facts and information
Within this book are the basics for accessing water power potential. We find the data we need on page 97. Here’s the simple formula that has not failed man for hundreds of years in accessing whether they would receive a return on their investment in time and money to construct a water works at any given location.
The formula: KW= Head in feet x velocity in feet a second/23 x area in square feet.
Their example 10 x 1.4/23 x 4.8 = 2.92 KW
As you note, this is math anyone who actually graduated from eight grade should be able to follow. But we are busy people, and those who employ critical thinking will make quick note of that decimal point, and the fact that the first part of this simple formula is ‘Head’ in feet. We quickly reflect on the focus of Hydrovolt and note their mission is to extract energy from free flowing streams and canals. We also note we can attempt to calculate some type of head figure to plug in, but at the end of our study, we will find it most appropriate to enter a ZERO. With this understanding we simply move the decimal one place to the left and realizing we can drop that part of the equation all together. Wow! in this case we have the potential energy to light the typical light and fan combo we find near the shower in a bathroom. But for the DIYer, we understand that this is only potential and there are a few losses we need consider first.
We note again the design, and after some consideration we see the only potential we can work with is the volume of water that actually comes in contact with the paddle minus the losses. Losses?… what losses? Again DIYers can’t help themselves, they usually understand quite a bit about both aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, they learn these things because that little DIYer gene makes these things so impossible to ignore, we need undertand at least the basics. We look again at the frame that houses the hydrovolt turbine, those surfaces generate eddies that can impede the flow of water at the ‘all important’ top of the paddle and less important along the sides. The folding paddle is not without its losses, there will be measureable losses as we drag these forward and set them up against the current to capture more energy.
Perhaps the best way to visualize this in the mind’s eye is understanding there is something like a duty cycle or a ratio of time where the paddle does no work VS it’s exposure to the current flow when it can harness and transfer the power to the rotating shaft. But here again, we DIYers quickly notice that the paddle is only at a right angle to the water flow for an instant. We of course know what it’s like to try and run with a piece of ply wood, and from this we can start factoring the sharp power curve downward as any paddle on the turbine advances forward at an ever greater angle until it’s contribution ends, and it becomes part of the overall losses and inefficiency of the design.
So we add up these losses and subtract them from the miniscule potential. Now we add distribution losses and more. But let’s look at irrigation canals in general, there is mention on the hydrovolt website that one of the many potential uses for the hydrovolt technology is to use their hydrovolt generator to pump water.
Most irrigation projects were funded based on their ability to provide a return on investment, this was normally measured using real economic benefit criteria, and the projects needed to pay for themselves over a realistic time period. This often caused the irrigation canals to be connstructed well above crop land where gravity flow could be used to bring the water to the point of use. If we were to use a pipe, we not only control soil erosion problems, but what happens to our energy potential as the head pressure builds? After only 10 feet of fall, we have ten times the energy potential, after 100 feet of fall, we have 100 times the energy potential.
But what we need to question is the wisdom of generating the power at a point where there is no significant energy to capture and then use that miniscule amount of energy to pump water to places it would gravity flow to in the first place. Of course, you already see the wisdom of using the more traditional turbine wheel and the head available to generate power IF you will place them closer to the point of use and make use of the powerful multiplyer “head” No wonder it’s been done differently than hydrovolt suggests for a thousands years.
Now for the important part. Why all the endorsements? How did they find a TV station to give them coverage? What about the University Professor, and all those accolades? for me it is a reminder of why our group is so different from those who visit large websites who cover the escapades of Movie Stars, Singers and Al Gore. It’s my opinion that there is a real danger here. These unworkable Alternative Energy ideas influence people in a big way, it causes them to think there is energy to be had under every rock, that it is free for the harvesting if only we can get big oil and big energy out of the way to allow it to happen. We live in dangerous times, as reality becomes far less important to the average American every day. Now we have mainstream coverage of products like the bloom box and the Chevy Volt which has already been hyped to do the impossible and no one in the Media is interested in the facts. For them viewership is most important, the survival of our nation or our way of life has no weighting on the quarterly balance sheet, and the bonuses that are dependent on meeting those quarterly objectives. The question we need ask ourselves… has our media always been so neglectful of the facts, or have we just grown older and wiser and become aware of how little interest the public, media or elected officials have in the truth?
You have a very important responsibility, it’s to think and challenge irrational ideas, if you read this far, you are one of us for certain. How rare you are!
All the best,