Topher Belknap

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since May 19, 2014
Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
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Recent posts by Topher Belknap

Connor Macreno wrote:Any idea where I can buy a cheap compressor out scavenge one that would be suitable?



Dehumidifer or dorm fridge would be where I would start looking. Or rather not, since I am not confident about securing the chemicals they use in them, which should NOT be released.

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
4 years ago

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:I did not know they could be a beneficial predator as well.



Isn't every predator, a beneficial predator?

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
4 years ago

Connor Macreno wrote:I'm now really thinking I need to build this.



Let us know how it works out.

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
4 years ago

John Elliott wrote:Now if there was a way that passive solar energy could be stored in the mass of the pendulum, well then maybe we would be talking about something.



Which, of course, there is. However, pendulums make terrible energy storage devices, a flywheel is in all ways better, while working essentially the same way.

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
4 years ago

Putting the best possible light on it, it is a human powered machine designed to match the natural ways our bodies move. So it won't be producing more than the 1/10 horsepower I mentioned earlier. It won't reduce expendable energy usage (at least here in the US) because that oil will come in the form of food. 1 Calorie of food requires up to 10 Calories of fossil fuel input, so any American-human powered machine is at best 10% efficient. Nor will it solve unemployment. If anyone was willing to pay a living wage for humans to convert food into energy of motion, they would already be doing it. In order to out-compete gasoline, one would only be able to pay $0.07 per day. Even most depressed countries are doing better than that.

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
4 years ago
USDA says: "The zones in this edition were calculated based on 1976-2005 temperature data. Each zone represents the average annual extreme minimum temperature for an area, reflecting the temperatures recorded for each of the years 1976-2005. This does not represent the coldest it has ever been or ever will be in an area, but it reflects the average lowest winter temperature for a given geographic area for this time period. This average value became the standard for zones in the 1960s."

So the only information going into the maps is minimum temperature. Data is also only fine down to a square 1/2 mile on a side. I suspect that I have at least two zones on my property, possibly three. If you are determined to have almonds, and willing to put in some effort, and have a few failures, I expect you could grow them.


Thank You Kindly,
Topher
4 years ago

Connor Macreno wrote:

You assume a COP of one, yes? How about spinning a heavy flywheel to even out output and gearing it to run a heat pump compressor? Shouldn't it be possible to cut the time to less than half your estimate? Maybe use one side to cool a cold pack to take with my lunch and the other side to heat my coffee, both with less time than many people devote to a morning exercise routine and no need for grid power.



Yes. If you have seen a heat pump small enough to be hand cranked and produce a cup of heated water, I would be fascinated to see it. No need for the flywheel, compressors work fine with slight variations in input.

If we are going to try to avoid grid power at all costs, we should really calculate what that cost is. How much money, energy, pollution, etc. are caused by the food you need to eat to pedal the bike to make your coffee? US food production and distribution make electricity production and distribution look efficient.

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
4 years ago