Friday, 16 January 2015

The Great Squirrel Case Challenge of 2015.

John Michael Greer has announced a competition that will finally give my Great Idea the push it needs to make me the great saviour of The Whole Damn World.

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"I’m delighted to announce a new contest here on The Archdruid Report, the Great Squirrel Case Challenge of 2015. The goal is to come up with the most absurd new energy technology you can think of, and write either the giddily dishonest corporate press release or the absurdly sycophantic media article announcing it to the world. If you or a friend can Photoshop an image or two of your proposed nonsolution to the world’s energy needs, that’s all the better. Post your press release or media article on your blog if you have one; if you don’t, you can get one for free from Blogspot or Wordpress. Post a link to your piece in the comments section of this blog."

This great idea has been buzzing around my head for a while now, so I'd like to thank the Archdruid for giving me the push I needed to share it with the world.

Like so many brilliant ideas, this is simple, cheap, and effective. It makes use of an inexhaustible resource, and could potentially supply humanity with all the energy it needs, indefinitely.

Here's the idea.

Raindrops fall from hundreds or thousands of feet up in the atmosphere. In doing so, they transform those hundreds or thousands of feet of potential energy (obtained through the simple physical reaction of evaporation and condensation) into kinetic energy.

That's free energy, right there. Thousands of tonnes of water, sucked up into the sky by the laws of physics. No fossil fuel inputs required. You see a depressing layer of nimbostratus. I see trillions of potential milliwatts adding up world wide to an energy source that will transform our world.

  • It's carbon neutral
  • As global warming evaporates more water, it will become more and more effective
  • By taking energy from the ecosphere, it may actually help to offset the effects of anthropogenic climate change.
  • It's non-polluting
  • You can drink the waste byproducts
  • It works whenever solar energy doesn't!
I'd like to do a bit of maths here. I'm not a mathematician, but we can work out the precise details when I get the research grant and hire some people who can do that kind of stuff.

The terminal velocity of a raindrop varies between 4.5 and 25 miles per hour, depending upon size [1]. Rain  hits the ground hard. Hard enough to wash away mountains. And let's not even talk about hailstones.

How much do raindrops weigh? the smallest mass of a raindrop produced during a drizzle is 0.004 mg and the largest produced during a heavy storm is 300 mg. [2]

So how much energy is produced by a raindrop impacting upon the earth?

Not much.


There are lots of them. Hundreds.  Thousands. Hundreds of thousands. And lots of small numbers add up to much bigger numbers.

So how, you ask, do we turn this into useful energy?

The answer is piezo quartz technology.

This is a proven, cheap technology that requires no exotic or rare inputs to produce. They can even be made of wood [3].They work by producing electricity when deformed. If made thin enough, a raindrop, hitting at the speed of an olympic runner, would be enough to create a small charge. The very necessity of making these things thin would mean that less materials were required to produce them.

An array of such crystals would generate a charge that could then be either used locally, or fed into a larger grid.

Think about it! This is something that can be incorporated almost anywhere. They can be formed into a coating for roof slates, or road surfacing (surge of added energy produced by every passing vehicle).

They could be visually unintrusive, so that they would not generate the sort of backlash from the kind of people that object to solar arrays or wind turbines.

Because they can be made from relatively abundant materials, they can be produced locally, cutting down on the energy costs of production and distribution, and their manufacture, installation and maintainance would create jobs anywhere that gets any substantial rainfall.

Convinced yet?

Well as one final point, let me put this idea your way.

Where are the most energy intensive places on Earth? The Sahara? Antarctica? Nope. They're generally in places where you get a lot of rain. Great Britain and Western Europe. The Eastern Seaboard of the United States. China and Japan. None of these places are renowned for their vast dessicated deserts. They're all temperate or subtropical areas that have, close at hand, vast quantities of this criminally underutilised resource.

Harness the power of the falling rain! Turn a wet blanket into an electric blanket!

One last word.




driving lessons in North Wirral? learn to drive in Hoylake? driving instructor in Birkenhead?

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