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Member since: Tue Jun 22, 2010, 11:27 AM
Number of posts: 6,183

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Lithium, manganese, and zinc from the most prolific hydrothermal brine resource in the world

I read about this company in the March 2012 issue of Popular Science but here's a link to a 2011 article about the company and it's process for extracting Lithium from geothermal power plant cooling water:

Smart idea since it would otherwise be wasted anyway... and electric cars need only a small amount for their batteries... this will turn the US into a Lithium exporter. Oh, and it shows the lie of "scarce Lithium reserves" and "Lithium shortage" claims and "we can't make enough batteries for all of us to drive electric vehicles" BS claims.

Start-Up in California Plans to Capture Lithium, and Market Share
Published: September 28, 2011

A start-up company will announce on Wednesday that it is beginning commercial operations at a factory in Southern California to capture lithium from existing geothermal energy plants, a technology it says has the potential to turn the United States into a major lithium exporter.

The plant, built by Simbol Materials near the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley, will also capture manganese and zinc.

None of the materials that Simbol plans to produce are so-called rare earths, but a study by the American Physical Society in February identified lithium and zinc as likely to be very important in the new energy economy of the future. The society considers them “energy critical elements.”

Lithium is a crucial element for batteries that power electric cars, and manganese is used in batteries and in specialty metal production. The United States imports much of its lithium and does not produce any manganese at all.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/business/energy-environment/simbol-materials-plans-to-extract-lithium-from-geothermal-plants.html?_r=2

Here is a link to the company's site: http://www.simbolmaterials.com/

Towering tablets rise from a central green-roofed mound at new U. of Indonesia Library

Towering tablets are set to rise from a central green-roofed mound at the new University of Indonesia Library
by Tafline Laylin, 03/30/12

Towering tablets are set to rise from a central green-roofed mound at the new University of Indonesia Library, which will house five stories of books and other precious reading materials. Insulated by a grass-covered roof and stone cladding, and protected from direct sunlight, the library's contents will be preserved in an ideal interior environment that does not exact a hefty cooling load. Winners of an open design competition, Denton Corker Marshall modeled the granite-clad towers after stone tablets or prasati, which the ancients used to inscribe wisdom. They are carved with narrow slots of glazing that allow daylighting to reach far into the interior.

Read more: Indonesia's New University Library Will be a Swirling Green Roofed Mountain | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

The picture in the article is amazing. I feel as though Thus Spake Zarathustra should be playing as I look at it.
( )

'Accordion' Solar Towers Squeeze 20 Times the Power

'Accordion' Solar Towers Squeeze 20 Times the Power
Jeremy Hsu, InnovationNewsDaily Senior Writer
Date: 28 March 2012 Time: 10:15 AM ET

Harnessing the power of sunlight can mean more than just laying solar panels on rooftops or putting them on motorized swivels to track the sun across the sky. MIT researchers have built solar panel towers and cubes capable of generating as much as 20 times more power compared with fixed, flat panels with the same base area.

The 3D solar panel structures have a higher price tag compared to ordinary flat panel installations, but can create higher energy output for a given size physical footprint. The solar towers also collect much more sunlight during the mornings, evenings and winters all days of the year regardless of clouds or shadows — possibly making solar power a much more reliable source of energy for the power grid.

"I think this concept could become an important part of the future of photovoltaics," said Jeffrey Grossman, a professor of power engineering at MIT.

The MIT team made their tallest tower in an accordion shape that "you could ship flat, and then could unfold at the site," Grossman said. He added that such portable solar towers might end up acting as charging stations for electric cars.

Read more at http://www.livescience.com/19322-solar-power-towers.html

Marshall Brain: We are about to see a seismic shift in the American workforce

  • I got money in the morning from the ATM.
  • I bought gas from an automated pump.
  • I bought groceries at BJ's (a warehouse club) using an extremely well-designed self-service check out line.
  • I bought some stuff for the house at Home Depot using their not-as-well-designed-as-BJ's self-service check out line.
  • I bought my food at McDonald's at the kiosk, as described above.

All of these systems are very easy-to-use from a customer standpoint, they are fast, and they lower the cost of doing business and should therefore lead to lower prices. All of that is good, so these automated systems will proliferate rapidly.

The problem is that these systems will also eliminate jobs in massive numbers. In fact, we are about to see a seismic shift in the American workforce. As a nation, we have no way to understand or handle the level of unemployment that we will see in our economy over the next several decades.

These kiosks and self-service systems are the beginning of the robotic revolution. When most people think about robots, they think about independent, autonomous, talking robots like the ones we see in science fiction films. C-3PO and R2-D2 are powerful robotic images that have been around for decades. Robots like these will come into our lives much more quickly than we imagine -- self-service checkout systems are the first primitive signs of the trend. Here is one view from the future to show you where we are headed:
more at link

Do you work because you want to... or because you have to??

If someone gave you enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life would you still be doing the same job?

Most people say "have to" and "no" when asked those questions. Do you want prosperity and plenty or a fantasy quest to collect money?


Prosperity, not money

That is what Americans (and I believe most people in the world) want.

Each human being should be granted as a birthright:
clean water
fresh, nutritious food in sufficient quantity
a relevant education free of charge (all the way to PHD and beyond)
safe, comfortable living space
access to free communications with anyone else in the world at any time
equality and a just system that does not favor those with more money than you

What will the current monetary system give you?
pollution (because it's cheaper to pollute than to pay to clean up your own messes)
lack of social justice

You decide.

You can drive an electric car with only two 12v car batteries!

This guy is chronicling his electric conversion of a 1986 Dodge. Sometimes funny, but very instructive to see him driving around with only two car batteries powering his electric vehicle.


And it's kind of a cool looking electric car, too. IMO.

Silence the EV critics with the 2.5 kW solar pledge

Silence the EV critics with the 2.5 kW solar pledge
Monday, 26 July 2010 20:48 | Written by Christof Demont-Heinrich, SCD.Com Editor

There’s also a lot of stuff out there that questions whether electric cars are in fact greener than their gasoline powered counterparts. The preponderance of evidence shows that even when the electricity in an electric vehicle’s batteries has been produced by a coal-burning power plant that, on the whole, the EV is greener than its ICE counterpart. Plus, an EV is far more efficient.

Of course, the more of the electricity in your car’s batteries produced by renewable energy, the better. As we’ve noted in our series on what you’re plugging your EV into, if you live in the U.S., there are some great (Idaho, 90 percent renewable energy generated electricity) and not-so-great (West Virginia, 98 percent coal-produced electricity) places to plug in.

It’s simple: Anyone who buys a new EV pledges to put a 2.5 kW solar system on their home, garage, or elsewhere on their property.

In the vast majority of places in the U.S., and in terms of the average miles driven annually by most Americans (10,000 to 15,000 miles), a 2.5 kW solar system is enough to cover all of the miles you drive in your EV per year. More concretely, with a 2.5 kW solar system, we’re talking about a system that can produce between 5,000 solar-charged EV miles in extremely cloudy spots in the U.S. to up to 15,000 miles in ideal solar spots with the out-of-pocket cost for the system somewhere between $4,000 and $10,000 in most places in the U.S.

Is it going to be cheaper for you in the long run to own a solar array to power your vehicle instead of driving a fossil fuel burner vehicle? This article takes a stab at the math:

Re-doing the solar math on the Nissan LEAF

Needless to say, the more expensive your solar installation, the less savings you will get in the long run.

Can 'The Scream' painting motivate us to end fossil fuel use ASAP?

It's depiction of a man screaming in horror, the red sky in the background reminiscent of the haze constantly cloaking Beijing due to the use of coal power plants and gasoline in motor vehicles.

What a nightmare scenario we have in store for us and our grandchildren if we do not end the use of all fossil fuels as soon as possible. We need to remove all subsidies, tax breaks, reduced land leases, etc., to the oil, natural gas and coal industries and crack down on their pollution or we WILL face a horrible future like that depicted in the painting.

End fossil fuels subsidies and give that money to solar, wind and energy storage companies.

Apple to open solar farm in October

Way to go, Apple!
Apple's solar farm will have high-efficiency panels, to open as soon as October
By AppleInsider Staff
Published: 02:15 AM EST (11:15 PM PST) (Wednesday, March 7, 2012)

A regulatory filing shows that Apple's solar farm for powering its server farm in Maiden, N.C., will utilize high-efficiency panels from SunPower and could begin operation as early as October.

The San Jose Mercury News uncovered Apple's filing, which reportedly reveals that San Jose-based SunPower had won the contract, on Tuesday. Apple apparently plans to self-finance the project and is aiming for at least 14 photovoltaic installations on the solar farm.

"Each of the photovoltaic installations will consist of multiple SunPower E20 435-watt photovoltaic modules on ground-mounted single axis tracking systems," the Cupertino, Calif., company's filing with the North Carolina Utilities Commission read.

Both Apple and SunPower declined to comment on the report.
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