Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Type Flow Battery


Wind & Wave Energy could 
Benefit Greatly
if this new battery 
can be developed.

It works and lights a LED bulb - New Concept Flow Battery

A research team from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have devised what just might prove to be a relatively low-cost, long-life flow battery based on Lithium.

Flow batteries are currently the only viable type of battery to house the very large amount of energy needed for storing the power from wind turbines.

Current designs are expensive and difficult to maintain because of the chemistry involved.

This new design might just prove to be the best design to date.

The need for grid level electrical storage is growing at a very fast rate because of the rapid growth of wind farms, wave energy etc. These forms of energy are not on demand and therefore a high percentage of the energy goes to waste. For instance, the wind may blow best at night when there is the least need for power. All that excess power goes completely to waste. If it could be stored, it would make the use of clean energy far more efficient.

This new flow battery offers a much simpler and less expensive design, and additionally have the advantage of a long working life – unlike some current flow batteries.

Current types of flow batteries utilise pumps to circulate two different liquids through an interaction tank where the business takes place. The workings involve the use of a membrane that separates the liquids but allows the reaction to take place. The disadvantages are (1) the price of liquids with costly rare materials such as vanadium, and the delicate membrane which is both costly and requires lots of maintenance.

The new design uses only a single stream of liquid, and therefore does not require a membrane. The chemicals involved are relatively inexpensive lithium and sulfur.

The interaction is with a piece of lithium metal coated with a barrier that permits electrons to pass without corroding the metal. On the discharge cycle lithium polysulfides, absorb lithium ions; on charging cycle, they are released back into the liquid. The chemicals are dissolved in an organic solvent, which is much less corrosive than current systems.

The research team leader is quoted as saying that; "In initial lab tests, the new battery also retained excellent energy-storage performance through more than 2,000 charges and discharges, equivalent to more than 5.5 years of daily cycles"

Currently the system is only at the “suck it and see” stage” in a simple glass bottle but it does work.

Next step – the step that sinks 90+% of research projects – is to build a full size version and prove it - in the real world.

Good luck guys.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

President Higgins Address to the EU Parliament


President Higgins' 
Address to the EU Parliament

I have just finished watching a recording of President Michael D. Higgins' address to the European Parliament. The address was both powerfully impassioned and solidly reasoned. President Higgins, in no uncertain terms, called on that intuition to change it's emphasis and re-establish the principles of democracy, ethics, and solidarity with it's citizens, especially those who were suffering and felt dis-enfranchised.

He strongly criticised the austerity programmes which ignored the sufferings of the citizens and were driven by faulty economic thinking, and by unaccountable institutions such as rating agencies.

This was a very inspired and heartfelt address. My hope is that some few of the Members will have heard and understood the essence of the address, and will have the focus to action some of the suggestions.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Solid Fuel Prices, Coal, Smokeless Coal


Solid Fuel 

I have promised to bring to attention the best fuel prices in Ireland as I become aware of them. I recently came across a dealer in Newcastlewest County Limerick that offers reasonable prices, and delivers free of charge.

The business is named, appropriately enough for the times we live in, “Recession Fuels”. The man to talk to is Stephen Carey. Recession fuels carry a wide range of solid fuels and also can supply Kerosene in 20 litre lots - this can be a great help to get people by when they cannot afford a large delivery. 

Recession Fuels will deliver free of charge in a wide circle around Newcastlewest. For larger deliveries like a ton or maybe a half ton, they will deliver to most of county Limerick and into County Kerry. You can ring and arrange delivery beforehand.

Some Prices:

Smokeless Coal Lignite €13.50 per 40Kg bag or €335 per ton.
Cozylite smokeless nuggets €15.00 per 40Kg bag, ring for ton price.
Polish coal in quantity starts from €12.80 per 40Kg bag.
English Coal from €11.90 per 40Kg bag

Recession Fuels Newcastlewest Co. Limerick can be contacted at 069-78561Stephen Carey will make you a deal.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

BitCoin Market Forces Speculators, and Scammers


Already Corrupted
by Value Fluctuation and

Place you bets

If an alternative sustainable system of money, banking and trading is to be arrived at, IMHO it will need to have a fixed value, be free from speculation and manipulation, and gain trust by proven track record.

Otherwise speculation and market forces will quickly destroy value and people's trust in the system. The historical time when the value of coinage was intrinsic in the metals offered a great stability, people trusted the intrinsic value. The pole opposite is now the case with countries printing intrinsically worthless paper money at will. Post war Germany was a clear and painful demonstration of where that behaviour can lead.

Cheaper to burn the money than to buy the wood

Non speculators, Joe Soaps like myself, will not buy into a fluctuating currency driven by greed, speculation, and manipulated by sovereign and market forces. Would you give me $10 now for a 2 year old $5?

I am stretching my old brain around the idea of how money works, so forgive my ignorance on economic fundamentals. My thinking is based more on human psychology and social behaviour.

Collaborative and co-operative efforts using the Internet will IMHO in time produce some innovations in the way the world does business. These progressions will hopefully find a way of taking the process out of the hands of the speculators, the manipulators, the power mongers, and the greedy.


Sunday, April 07, 2013

States Stealing from Savers


Stealing from Savers

With some Governments now contemplating, if not justifying, in the case of Cyprus, the theft of private savings, is it time to consider some other form of doing banking and business?

One such method, which has been around since 2009 is Albeit the WEB based BitCoin is unproven, it is nevertheless a very interesting first draft alternative to a current world banking system which has historically proved itself to be unreliable, unstable, dishonest, badly managed, and interfered with by many governments world-wide.

I would appreciate hearing from readers if they have some knowledge of this system.


Ruth B.... sent me the following link which has some interesting insights into how BitCoin is being used and abused. Thanks Ruth :


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Social Imbalance, Poverty, and Instability in Ireland


Where is Ireland Heading?

I was shaken when I looked at some recently published figures from the Irish Central Statistics Office which simply are both frightening and sickening:

CONSISTENT POVERTY rate for Ireland up by 60.87% in 3 years 2008 - 2011
DEPRIVATION in Ireland is up by 56.35% in the 3 years 2008 to 2011

Actual figures from the CSO:

Deprivation rate for 2008 was 13.8%   - - for 2011 it had risen to to a shocking 24.50%
Consistent Poverty rate in 2008 was 4.20% - - it rose to 6.90% in 2011

This is happening at the same time as the well off are increasing their wealth by an average 4%.

Shame on Ireland, and shame on those who have caused it to happen by their greed and recklessness, and shame on those who are not doing enough to re-balance the situation.

In nature, large imbalances ALWAYS cause a flash-over, an earthquake, a flood, a volcanic eruption, or a social revolution.

Meanwhile some judges on the average salary for the profession of €147,900 p.a. or €2,844 per week, are moaning about a reduction in their generous laptop and phone allowances.


Consistent poverty rate for children rose from 6.3% in 2008 to 9.3% in 2011.
That is a 49% increase in just 3 years.