As America’s consumption of energy and other natural resources continually explodes to truly disastrous proportions, green technology becomes ever more important. Below are some of our products aimed at fighting this trend of wastefulness.
Retrofittable Mechanical Regenerative Braking
Much is spoken of regarding regenerative braking; primarily as it applies to hybrid electric vehicles, but also in an effort to create a cost-effective generator/motor based retrofittable regenerative braking system. Completely neglected, however, is the serious consideration of using a mechanical direct contact flywheel to store the braking power. This has its obvious drawbacks: inefficiencies, and in general flywheels have nowhere near the energy density capability of a battery. This also has its obvious advantages, though; there need be no transfer of energy from mechanical, to electrical potential, back to mechanical. The SJMS innovation uses a special concentric, coplanar ring design, with the outer ring being the traction surface, which interacts with the adjacent inner flywheel ring by way of electromagnets that are powered only when their relative position to the corresponding magnets on the inner flywheel ring are such that the attractive force would cause the desired acceleration/deceleration effect. A well designed flywheel of this nature should be capable of storing just enough energy to accelerate a small car back up to 30mph; which would be all that is necessary to vastly improve gas mileage of stop-and-go commuting trips. By this means, not only does the form of energy remain the same throughout the regenerative braking cycle, but so even does the angular momentum itself. This entire device is intended to be contained within a simple small tow-behind single wheel trailer.
Campfire Home Heating
Although it may seem that the simple unmoderated burning of waste garbage is about the least green endeavor one might undertake, in reality newspapers, cardboard, dead wood, discarded paper and paper-based products, broken furniture, clean wood construction waste, and the like, can all be safely burned to no net detriment to the environment; for if they were merely shipped off to a landfill, this process is itself costly and fuel-consuming (in the operating of garbage trucks), and would still release the same amount of greenhouse gasses in their decomposition. This particular SJMS innovation is designed with the recognition that most homeowners with natural gas hookups will find it cost-prohibitive to have an actual woodburning stove (along with the a chimney setup that meets code requirements) installed in their homes. On the other hand, most homeowners are perfectly capable of having a small outdoor fire in their yard. This invention uses a small, inexpensive heat exchanger to bring some of that heat into the home, by way of heated water flowing by natural convection through a tube to another interior heat exchanger with fins and a fan drawing the heat off of it.
Misconceptions abound (and even the most renowned of institutes are not immune) regarding the heat generated as a part of the refrigeration process; most thinking it to be a mere undesirable and unintended side effect to be dealt with. In reality what virtually every household in America has is, in its refrigerator, is its very own heat pump (which is nothing but a more efficient electric heater). Any of the almost 30 million U.S. households now employing non-heat pump based electric heating are missing out on significant energy savings by, whenever they are in need of heat, neglecting to ensure that their refrigerator is running full duty. Our innovation therefore is simple; an optimally dimensioned and positioned fan system as well as a radiative reflector sheet to ensure that the condenser coils are given the best opportunity to heat the room. This, combined with keeping a large tupperware full of water in the freezer as a thermal mass (to be discarded outside once frozen), turns a standard kitchen refrigerator into a more efficient auxiliary home heating system.
Vegetable Oil Multi-Burner
Simple vegetable oil is among the most versatile substances for off-grid living; having a very long shelf life, being extremely inexpensive, and having uses including (besides the obvious use in food) lighting, heating, cooking, and even powering diesel engines. Unfortunately this substance is incapable of maintaining a steady flame in a standard wick-based heating, lighting, or cooking setup. Our vegetable oil burner, instead of using expensive, cumbersome, unreliable, and even themselves energy consuming blower burners, relies upon a much simpler rotation-based surface area increase method. This method also has the advantage of permitting the burning of any combustible substance containing sufficiently small particles (for example flour, sawdust, and blended food waste)
The Outdoor Winter-Fridge/Freezer
With all of the incredible efficiency advances in electronics (especially computers), communications, lighting, and appliances; refrigeration remains one of the greatest obstacles to feasible and cost-efficient off-grid living. But in most areas, up to half of the year allows for the natural air temperature to serve as the refrigeration. This particular innovation keeps the food inside at optimal refrigeration temperature by drawing in only enough cold ambient air to maintain this temperature, and setting off an alarm to alert the user if the temperature is getting too close to freezing, at which point a warm object is placed inside it to maintain the balance. Similarly the outdoor freezer operates by simply ensuring as cold a temperature as possible inside; drawing in outside air whenever it is below the temperature inside.
Where water is readily available, and sub-freezing temperatures are common, a potentially powerful and currently unexploited power source is at your fingertips; burst pipes, cracked roads, and innumerable other societal issues result from its great force. It is the 9% volumetric expansion of water as it freezes to form ice.
SJMS has been working on developing ice power technology since 2008
Ordinary hexagonal ice Ih (which is the type that has a 9% greater volume than water, and exhibits the crystalline structure of all of the ice one naturally observes on Earth), is capable of maintaining its structure even under pressures up to one kilobar; the equivalent of 14,500 pounds per square inch.
Therefore under these circumstances, one gallon of water will undergo approximately 20 cubic inch expansion as it freezes. Such an expansion directed upon the extension of a cylindrical section of tool steel approximately the width of a pencil would yield an extension of over 30 feet under a force of 725 pounds; the equivalent of about 30 kiloJoules of energy; enough to run a standard room LED bulb (40 watt incandescent equivalent) for an hour.
This is not a large amount of energy, and furthermore this is only a theoretical maximum; realistic constraints would significantly lessen the available energy output (e.g. 4,500 psi tanks being perhaps the upper boundary of cost feasibility for the tank, buckling of the steel extension rod – which would be guaranteed for pencil-width tool steel even over one foot of extension); so ice power is not a reasonable solution for off-grid electrical generation.
It is, however, worth considering for application-specific needs that require a large amount of force over a short distance, and other methods are not available.