Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Green Machine’s Top Ten

David a brilliant architect and sculptor asked me to list my top ten green inventions other than a human walking.  David wants me to be more positive about human's attempts to be be more eco efficient.  Davis is correct we have developed some devices that are deserving of the Green Machine's Seal of Approval.

These have not been put in order but are the following:

The LED light.   Loved this one back in 2003 and LEDs are going to be universally adopted.  CO2 savings will be ginormous.  China will dominate their production, however, a US company called Cree has done some amazing things with LEDs.

The LCD display.  Loved this one back in 2003 as well and forecast the demise of tube and plasma displays.  CO2 savings also ginormous.  Plasmas will be gone like the tube and we may get OLEDs to replace the glass LCD backlit by LEDs.  But OLED's are still very expensive.

The Prius.  Loved this one as far back as 1997 when I saw the first one in Japan.   This car is optimized based on thermodynamics and is certainly not a fake or hyped.  CO2 savings are ginormous when compared to plain cars using gasoline.

The Nissan Leaf in Seattle.   Mr. Marsh proved he is green with a 100,000 miles charging from a green grid in a moderate climate that will give maximum battery life.  Mr. Marsh did his part to lower his CO2 footprint.  The Leaf has enjoyed moderate success in the USA and is certainly greener than a Tesla and also more affordable.   But the Tsla seems to have gained the spotlight.   Most Tesla owners do not enjoy reduced carbon footprints.  Most Leaf owners do enjoy some lowering of carbon footprint.

The IPad.   Sure uses a lot less energy than a desktop.  Only 5% of the energy of a desktop.  Bye bye desktop hello pads and smart phones.

Shale Natural Gas.  Sure beats coal and has done much to reduce CO2 emissions.  Hundreds of millions of tons a year of CO2 being saved in the US alone.  The folks who hate shale are now fibbing about leaking methane but when wells are installed properly leaking methane is negligible and drinking water is not contaminated.  Of course some inept company may mess up but the underlying technology can be deployed without dire eco consequences.

Grid scale PV power farms in the Atacama Desert.   Our 100 MW project generates 270 gigawatt hours of power a year.   Three times as much as placing the same solar modules in Germany.  This project saves the emissions of 30,000 cars.

Electric assist bicycles.   Best use of lithium ion batteries by far.  Good for me as I am too lazy to cycle.

Diesel engines.   Modern diesel cars are greener than hydrogen fuel cell cars on a well to wheels basis.  Bring on those diesels in the USA.

Tofu and Falafel.  Great tasting nutritious food with lowest carbon footprint for soy beans and chick peas that are legumes that fix their own nitrogen without the aid of fertilizers.


  1. Lindsay -- Please evaluate the thermodynamics of Graham

  2. they seem to be structural engineers who check for sustainability