About This E-Book i
Table of Contents ii
Dedication and Preface iii
About the Author iv
Why Waste is Good v
This Book, Solar Energy, and the Future of Energy vi
Free Solar Panels 1
Free Glass and Mirrors 4
What to Do With All That Glass 7
A Twenty-five cent Window Heater 9
Making a Solar Oven for $9 12
Uses for a Solar Oven 17
Solar Hot Water Heater 19
Excellent Websites 22
The Solar Puddle 23
Free Fresnel Lenses 25
Free Insulation 27
Ice Making and Air Conditioning 28
Heat Exchangers for Hot Water and Cooling 31
Steam Distillation 34
New House Construction 36
Updates to This Book 38
Civil Defense and Solar Ovens 39
Consulting Work 40
Dedication & Preface: To Judy A. Harris.
This book is dedicated to my mother, Judy A. Harris, who has shown me since childhood that one person's waste is another person's treasure. All through my childhood, we would take what others would discard and give it to those in need: 100-pound bags of beans from farmers in Michigan, crates of slightly overripe fruit from the produce store, three-day-old cookies from the bakery, and much more. We would pick up these items and personally deliver them to a single mother who was just barely making ends meet, an 80-year old lady who could not afford fresh fruit on her social security, to people who had less than nothing, and to people who were only missing a little something. Mom would take the cookies and horse-trade them to other people for physical items that were not going to be thrown away. Free cookies were used as barter to get needed items.
There are tens of thousands of donated baby quilts and comforters covering infants and children around the world who are sick, in the hospital, or terminally ill because Mom would get material (cloth) donated, found or contributed. We would drop it off to old ladies and other people who had nothing to do, and in many cases, were house bound. These people relished the oppor tunity to again have a duty and a method of contribution. Mom and the ladies still do this independently, as well get together every Tuesday (without fail) to have a large quilting bee with twenty or thirty people, and many times more. Material that would have been waste is keeping people warm around the world. People who were alone now have community, and minds that would atrophy now have something to occupy thoughts and something to look forward to every day. This is what free material can do; sometimes, it is more valuable than gold. There is a secret to getting free material for your efforts. This book will share some of these methods with you.
This book is NOT about dump-ster diving or trash-picking. Our best practices are much simpler, easier and cleaner. All you have to do is ask. If you are afraid to ask someone to save something for you when they are going to throw it out, then return this book right now for a refund.
You would be amazed what happens when you ask. What's the worse they'll say? It is no.
When you ask, the world opens up.
Companies who install new windows have to haul the old win dows back to the shop, after which the glass is thrown in the dumpster. The glass company has to pay for the dumpster to be emptied. By giving you the old glass, they save on dumpster fees.
It is in our nature as humans to help. Most people would be happy to save items for you if they will be used for something. Most people get a joy from giving, even if what they are giving away is deemed useless to them. They know you see it as a treasure.
There are high school teachers who have read this book who are getting free glass for solar ovens for teaching physics. There are Boy Scout troops making solar ovens for almost nothing, and there are people doing experiments and learning in this exciting field of energy because they can now obtain the necessary items for experimentation and learning.
The world opens up when you ask. Thanks, Mom.
About The Author
Steven Harris is a consultant in the energy field. He serves as Director of Operations and Technology for the American Hydrogen Association in the Midwest. After spending ten years in the Aero-Thermal Dynamics department of the Scientific Labs of Chrysler Corporation, where he was a pioneer member of the group that developed and implemented successful Speed-to-Market development concepts, Mr. Harris left his position to do full time work on the development and implementation of hydrogen, biomass, and solar-related energy systems.
Mr. Harris is currently working with Roy McAlister and others on Project Destiny, a solar hydrogen energy system. He is authoring an upcoming book, "The Positive Promotion of Hydrogen Energy, a Model for Success in an Economically Driven Market."
In addition to energy, Mr. Harris has a life long commitment to civil defense and the preparedness and protection of the American public. He teaches family preparedness and education regarding threats to the population.
Mr. Harris's Experience, Projects and a Consulting Portfolio can be found at: http://www.StevenHarris.Net.
• Solar photons to electrons through hydrogen.
• No photovoltaic panels, no fuel cells.
• Made with aluminum, glass, iron, steel, copper, plastic, and ceramic.
• 100- year-old technology with 21st Century science, methods and manufacturing.
Contact Steven Harris at: [email protected]
Why Waste is Good
There is no advancement without waste. There must be the ability to test something and break it. The ability to make mistakes in development work is where discovery is made and improvements forged. Without the ability of having a surplus of material so multiple versions can be developed, compared, and analyzed side by side, there IS no advancement. For example, if a person has ONE of something, they are not going to do experiments with it and risk it being lost. If sand were as scarce as gold, transistors would have never been invented, let alone developed to the state they are today.
This philosophy is good for modern development work and engineering, such as designing vehicles, computers, and even the silicon in the chips in everything that is around us today. It also applies to the home experimenter in you. Why haven't you done solar experimenting on a large scale, for perhaps your entire house? The answer is probably because of the cost of glass. "What size do I get? Do I need two pieces? When it expands from the heat, will it break? I really want a big oven, but that has $200 in glass alone, etc." We are always finding reasons NOT to do something. This book is going to show you how to get enough glass and other free items to build a solar oven, NOT one that is one foot by one foot, but FOUR FEET by EIGHT FEET.
There will be more than enough glass to waste, break, drop, or to make mistakes with. In doing my research for the writing of this book, I lost about one in every ten pieces of glass for various reasons. The glass was broken either in hauling, moving, experimentation, or by the neighbor kid (Anthony and his slingshot). Once, I accidentally left a double piece of glass lying on a black metal surface in the sunshine. Well, the sun heated the black metal, which heated and expanded the first layer of glass that was in contact with the hot metal. That piece of glass expanded at a different rate than the second layer of glass and...well, when I came back from Home Depot, I had a shattered pieces of glass on my hands. Oh well, I have twelve more pieces just like it, and I just learned something :)
Some of the biggest businesses were started from someone else's waste product. Back in the early 1900's, "gas" for cooking and lighting was made in a steam reformation process of coal. This made carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas (for more on this, get the Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Video at
www.KnowledgePublications.co m). The process was not as high in temperature as run it today. It also formed byproducts, most of which was a sticky, stinky, black mess called COAL TAR. This was something the gas companies had to pay to have hauled away. This coal tar was a treasure trove of chemicals, one of those being just what was needed for the manufacture of red dyes. At that time in history, a red dye was hard to make and very expensive. Well, a small company started using the coal tar to make dyes, other pigments, and then a whole family of chemicals, resulting in the company's growth. Maybe you've heard of the company, The BASF Corporation.
I could fill this book with examples of businesses that were started from another companies' waste, but this book is about using waste to gain knowledge through experimentation as well as to make solar energy related items, many of which can be sold, and all of which are fun.
Remember, waste is good. Next time you see waste, look at it as an opportunity to make something else, an opportunity to make money, and an opportunity to learn (and have fun).
This Book, Solar Energy and the Future of Energy
What is the future of energy, and what is it going to look like? Where should a person study and learn to be a part of the energy future rather than a participant.
People ask me these questions all of the time. I have been deep into the energy business for many years doing experiments, development work, and very focused on the subject of energy. I understand the role of energy in human life. I know the history of energy and invention and the human spirit, and the instinct to drive forward and improve. I understand energy from 8000 years ago to 500 years into the future. I've worked on many confidential research projects regarding energy, and what could have been done 100 years ago, 40 years ago and what we can do today. And not only what we can do today with our engineering and manufacturing, but what we can do tomorrow and a few years from now. If you knew what I know right now, you'd be staying awake all night like an excited child who just saw Star Wars for the first time. The possibilities are endless. I'll be sharing a little secret with you in this book.
This book is very low tech. It is a hands on, how-to-do-it-in-your-backyard, book. For those who want to be a part of the excitement of the future energy business, then this book is a better primer and instructional tool than all of the current, fancy $100 books. They discuss long formu las and have discussion about fuel cells and new generation photovoltaic and other items on the front page of Popular Mechanics.
The real future of energy is not Proton Exchange Membranes (PEM) powering vehicles and homes, or Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC), and it sure as heck is not solar cells on roof shingles (what a failure). The strength we have in year 2003 is not the new technology. It is our ability to do mass manufacturing with world-class economics. In our wonderful disposable society (which is good), we make things faster and cheaper and in greater varieties with newer versions quicker and easier than we ever have before. It is only through mass manufacturing and 21st century material science that we will make solar energy so affordable that it is actually disposable. Imagine a disposable solar energy device.
The future of energy is not in hard-to-make membranes for expensive fuel cells and one billion dollar solar cell manufacturing facilities. Here's the little se-cret...the future of energy is made of iron, steel, aluminum, copper, plastic and glass. We know how to mass manufacture these items cheaper and faster than at anytime in history.
This certainly does not sound as sexy as the stuff that Popular Mechanics uses to put on their front page. All they care about is selling magazines, and most of their writers are English and Journalism majors. The articles are dumbed down to the lost, common reader.
What is the future of energy? It looks like many of the items in this book using wood, metal, glass and plastic, and using the sunshine that is falling on your head all day long. This book contains the fundamentals that you must understand to be a future player in the energy field.
The items in this book are mass manufactured in such quantities that most of the items get thrown away. The smart person can get glass, wire, wood, metal, and more, for free. A 20-year old glass door will work as good as a new piece of glass for a solar heater. All you have to do is hose it off and maybe clean the inside.
These are the fundamentals and YOU can LEARN them YOURSELF in your yard. This does NOT require going to college or buying expensive books or expensive equipment. If a person wants to be in the energy field, it is incumbent upon that person to teach himself or herself.
This is 100 to 200-year old technology that we can use to make energy today with 20th and 21st century materials.
My objective with this book is a hope that the reader can start learning and experimenting with energy TODAY instead of reading Popular Science magazine and dreaming about working with energy.
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