Archives for October 2009

Kite Power

Kitegen 1

Italian company Kite Gen is building a full-scale 3 megawatt version (video) of its promising wind turbine concept, we learn from MetaEfficient. A large kite is drawn upward to altitudes around 800 metres, where average wind speeds are four times as strong as they are near ground-based wind turbines. The kites power turbines by rising and flying back to gound level continuously. The retrieval phase is said to require a small fraction of the power that is generated during the flight. A first prototype was built in 2006. One of the recent improvements is an automatic launching system, powered by fans. The technology generated an interesting discussion at the Oil Drum last summer. Previously: Floating windmills – energy from the clouds. Related: Kiteboating & Kite Aerial Photography.

Low-tech Indoor Truck

low-tech indoor truck

The Monark Transport kick-scooter is a fast and healthy way for staff to easily move supplies and tools around large indoor spaces. Its load capacity is 150 kg (330 lbs) and it can be equipped with a second platform level and a platform edge rim.

Streetcar Scooter

streetcar scooter

Found at the Italian Motoblog. Probably a service vehicle for trams/streetcars.

Construction in Reverse

“Deconstructing, as opposed to demolishing, abandoned buildings will revitalize our cities by reducing waste, creating green jobs, and providing high-quality recycled materials for new construction”. Read. More.

The Panorama of Professions and Trades (1837)

Panorama of professions and trades What do you want to be when you grow up? In the 19th century, this question was easier to answer than it is today. There were 87 possibilities, according to Edward Hazen, author of “The Panorama of Professions and Trades” (1837). The book was also published as “Popular Technology; Professions and Trades” in 1870, Part 1 and Part 2 – these are better scans. Every profession is explained and illustrated. Find the table of contents below. Via Doug Berch, musician and dulcimer maker.

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How To Make Everything Yourself – Online Low-Tech Resources

how to make everything yourself

Energy Bulletin pointed us to the website of Practical Action (previously known as the Schumacher Centre for Technology & Development), an online resource devoted to low-technology solutions for developing countries. The site hosts many manuals that can also be of interest for low-tech DIYers in the developed world. They cover energy, agriculture, food processing, construction and manufacturing, just to name some important categories.

WoodworkingWe would like to add to this the impressive online library put together by software engineer Alex Weir. The 900 documents listed here (13 gigabytes in total) are not as well organised and presented as those of Practical Action, but there is a wealth of information that is not found anywhere else. The library is also hosted here (without search engine).

Energy saving cooker Other interesting online resources that offer manuals and instructions are Appropedia, Howtopedia and Open Source Ecology. These are all wiki’s, so you can cooperate. The Centre for Alternative technologies has many interesting manuals, too, but the majority of those are not for free. Previously: The museum of old techniques / A do-it-ourselves guide.