Saturday, July 25, 2009

the all seeing crystal mouse sees all, of course!

Sci-fi art is wonderful at sparking the imagination, the only problem, you won't soon see a product in a store near you.

How green is your world these days? I am willing to bet green is not even a practical consideration. Today green is not cheap. In fact, anything new that will save you money in the long run is priced so that the up front cost will make up for the money the product company spent to make the product. You must realize that ideas are wireless, products are not. For an idea to materialize into a product takes so much human effort. Then you have to account for inertia, all the forces resisting the product, including you. Saving you money at who's expense, the energy company who is pimping you will resist. And if you can't figure you need this thing, you resist. Companies will fight for and against you having this product, you pay for this in the price.

What got you all stirred up, man! I just saw a few companies who developed organic light emitting diodes or OLEDs into lighting panels that light your TV and computer screens. Now they are talking about lighting your rooms in your homes and offices. This thing is not a tube like florescent, or like that ice-cream sundae swirly thing we call a green light bulb. It is flat and flexible like a sheet of paper. My crystal mouse started glowing and the visions of my head produced a pan-o-rama of possibilities. When reality came back to me, I saw what was being offered. The same old thing we are used to in another package.

These companies need to fire half of their present designers and hire some who do sci-fi art on the side. Maybe they can apply their visionary talents to seriously get out of the box. No, we don't want products that are miniature Los Vegas stage set parts, but practical approaches that elevate homes into the next century. I was thinking of lighting panels of various sizes and shapes to be mounted on walls and ceilings or perched on shelves or hung from wires. And not necessarily square or round.

But the great thing about OLEDs is the low power requirement. How we wrestle with trying to power the whole home with solar and wind. We can't swallow the expense to cover every roof with solar cells and put a lightning attractor/bird whacker wind turbine in every yard. Instead, we should design a low power sub-system to be installed in every home. This low power sub-system would feed all the low power equipment. OLEDs would handle the lighting, laptops the computing, then the other low power communication and entertainment systems. Ac adapters would become antiques. A smaller array of solar cells, some batteries, maybe a vertical wind turbine (small envelope), and /or other power generating/storage technology would take part of our energy burden off the grid. This buys us time to work on the energy hogs, heating and cooling, cooking and food storage, laundry.

We have the technology, we don't have the practical application because we are trying to swallow the whole problem at once.

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