DIY internet science

Going Green Or Not V: Wind Power?

You thought this series was dead didn’t you?  After all, it’s been over 6 years since I last posted to it, well, fret not my young readers, I have resurrected it for the new world that has come in that time.

Earlier this year, Wired ran a story about The Future of Wind Turbines.  They profiled a Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless.  The idea is nothing revolutionary in terms of science, but it is an unconventional way to harness the wind’s power.

Bladeless Turbines

Instead of blades, these tall narrow towers transform vortex energy into kinetic energy which then is turned into electrical energy.  Vortexes happen all the time, they are often the most dangerous parts of architecture design.  Vortexes were responsible for the drastic effects on the infamous Tacoma Narrows Bridge:

This design has many benefits according to it’s designers.  There are no moving parts, so that means there is very little to maintain.  It also means it is much easier to manufacture.  Since there are no blades to turn, the density of them can be much higher then traditional blade turbines.  Both of these contribute to the estimated 50% less cost.  No blades means there’s no threat to the birds that are constantly flying into them and causing people to complain about the bird’s lives instead of their own.

All of this sounds good doesn’t it.  Too good to be true right? Well it probably is.  And this part comes via the fact that the company is all Crowd-funded.  They have a great looking modern website, but no product.  There’s lots of promise, and lots of claims.  But no working model.  They’ve raised about $1 million through private, and government funding, but there is still no field of them powering a small village.

I like the idea behind it, but I don’t think the execution is there yet.  Wind is one of the better, more efficient of the renewable, but it’s not anywhere near nuclear.  And we should all know by now that Nuclear Power is the only way to go for truly 100% renewable power.  I want to like these Vortex Bladless designs, but I just can’t trust them.  They are going to go the way of 95% of the crowdfunded services and products are now, nowhere.

Anyway, that’s the end of this episode of Going Green.  It wasn’t as long, or drawn out, or negative as the others, but hey, it’s the first episode in years, allow me to get back in the swing of things.

awesome DIY internet

How Crayons are Made

There are some brand names that you just use.  They are better in just about every way shape and form.  Crayola Crayons are one of those brands.  If you ever used them, you know the feeling, there’s nothing quite like them.  Well, did you know how they are made?  Wired has done a nice write up on the process, and summed it up in the video below.  It’s a pretty cool process.  The video is not as indepth as a How It’s Made, but it’s less than a minute long, you can spare that and watch it.