Arco Musings + Notes 08.12.08

At Arcosanti it has been three months without me personally owning a car. Lou Dallara shared with me this link. Living Without a Car: My New American Responsibility:

That reminds of the fact that fellow ArcoNaut Jeffrey Michael has been using a old 84 mercedes benz diesel that Prescott Biodiesel Cooperative’s Paul Katan (see his bio at bottom of the page of the hyperlinked doc) converted over to run on straight vegi oil. When Paul came by last week we talked about some of the issues of using SVO for street applications. He says most of those issues seem to have been worked out and that he hasnt had any reliability problems using SVO on the vehicles he has converted over. Jeffrey who is making a transition out of the Arcology and back into the matrix (by way of Manhattan or maybe the Bronx) is planning on going to Burning Man along with a large ArcoNaut Contingent before leaving Arocsanti. So he is planning to sell his SVO powered benz before he leaves. I recently considered buying it as I know that the conversion and the total cost of materials and labor rivals the total value street value of the car.

Arcosanti was once the backdrop of a plan to develop Sterling Powered Dish Solar units which I also wrote about in my blog. The technology originally developed by Boeing and Kockums of Sweden is now licenced by Sterling Energy Systems of Phoenix. Recently they signed a contract with Southern California Edison and was able to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of a CSP (Concentrating Solar Power) installation to the point that it was competitive with traditional load-following / peaking generation. Now several other Southwestern utilities are investing in thermal solar, using parabolic trough collectors.

Parabolic mirrors concentrate solar energy onto thermal receivers containing a heat transfer fluid. A heat transfer fluid is circulated and heated through the receivers, and the heat released to a series of heat exchangers. Parabolic trough solar technology thus converts sunshine into useful thermal energy and, by concentrating the heat, generating super-heated steam. The steam powers a turbine/generator to produce electricity.

There are two, parabolic trough, solar power plants located in Spain, each with 50MW capacity and one 500MW plant in Israel.. in addition to the ones located in the SW USA.

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