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Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 02:42 PM PDT

Pressurized Solar Steam Test!

by ZenManProject

For the last half dozen years or so I've been studying solar power. I've been actively attempting to convert my book knowledge of optics, electrical engineering, physics and computer science into a working prototype for the last couple years. My main goal is to reduce the total system cost of concentrated solar power below fossil fuel. I recently got over a HUGE hurdle. My solar prototype has produced pressurized solar steam! This is a big deal. Boiling water with the sun is easy. Grab a lens and focus it on water and it'll boil. But creating a complete insulated steam system that can handle high pressure steam and can grow to any size necessary is a more difficult challenge. I wanted to share a couple of videos of our first test.

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I'll be honest, I've never taken the time to consider what it's really like to starve. Let's take a minute out of day and think about starving.

I'm not talking about skipping lunch hungry. Starving. See your ribs starving. I've never really experienced that. Have you?

Think about it.
I had one year in my 20s when I was saving every single penny to start a business. My business partner (who is a diarest here) and I were almost dead broke. There were a few days where we were scrambling to buy food to make a few sandwiches. I remember that feeling. It was awful. We were REALLY hungry! But, we weren't starving.
Take a moment, think about this number 1 BILLLLLLION.
Just the other day my kid said "Dad! I'm starving". I stared at him in amazement. "You're not starving! You don't have the faintest idea what starving means!" He wasn't starving. He's never experienced starving and I will be damned sure he never will.
It's 2012 and a BILLLLLION of our neighbors are hungry. A billion.
I tried fasting a few years ago. Health problems. I thought it might help to clean my system out with the lemonade diet. The first few days were tough! Was I starving? HELL NO! I drank water with a bunch of lemons and maple syrup. It was a wierd feeling to not eat for 7 days then to take a single bite of an apple. What a delicious apple! I wasn't starving I've never really experienced it.
We can make more food. Humans are good at making food!
Oh! I came really close to feeling what starving is. My brother and I were hiking the Appalachian Trial. We had one leg that we miscalculated the distance we had to walk and ran out of food. We woke up alone in the middle of the woods without an ounce of food and 20 miles to walk. Hours into our day we walked past some trail workers who asked if we were ok, we told them we were out of food and they dumped a pile of left over granola bars, sandwiches, candy bars on us. It was heavenly. But... we really weren't starving.
I've never experienced starving. I never ever ever ever want to.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization all it takes is $30 Billion dollars a year? WHAT THE FUCK?

We burn $700 Billion a year on the Department of Defense and all it takes is $30 Billion to feed EVERY STARVING HUMAN BEING ON THE PLANET? What are we doing?!

Let's buy a few less bombs this year and buy some food instead.

Please, sign my petition to the White House.


Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 11:07 AM PST

Give to Solar on Giving Tuesday

by ZenManProject

I have been a DK lurker for a looong time, this is my first diary in about 8 years. I joined DK, under a different username ages ago. I normally just read all of the wonderful diaries here, I'll start posting more soon.

It's been a while, forgive me if I do this diary wrong.

Today is "Giving Tuesday", similar to "Black Friday" except it is all about giving to nonprofits. I want to tell you about Zenman Energy, my (pending) 501(c)3. I created this nonprofit about a year ago to design a low cost, open source solar steam engine. Our goal is to reduce the cost of solar power generation. Our approach is to take decades old ideas in the concentrated solar power field and re-engineer them with cheaper materials and a design that ANYONE with the desire could construct. Once we have completed the scientific and engineering research, my organization will work similar to Habitat for Humanity. We will construct these low cost solar power plants with the help of volunteers. The income produced will be spent to further research, make more power plants, and help other non-profits. I know this is kind of a crazy statement, but I'm not trying to make a single solar power plant. I'm trying to make a million solar plants.

We are still a solid year away from having a completed prototype, but I want to share my progress with the Daily Kos community and a few prototype pictures. I wasn't planning on posting this until the IRS said I am an official 501c3, but since today is "Giving Tuesday" I felt I should jump the gun and ask, beg and plead for your help. Follow me past the solar sun flare.

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