08 September 2008

Update on "Turbine Farm" Ideas

I wrote about a couple of ideas some time ago, added new angles and have now found new material to provide another update.

Caution: Jenius At Work.

From one of the harshest, most oppressive urban environments in the world comes an idea so magnificent in its simplicity and excecution it makes "elegant" seem like faint praise:

Kibera is a tiny slum shantytown on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Over a million people live here, jammed together amidst piles of garbage and openly running sewage. However, by clearing garbage to uncover the soil, using the worms found there to create compost and creating a simple pipe-based irrigation system, Kibera residents have developed "patch farms" capable of sustaining up to 30 people in only three months. 

The process is easily-replicated and has even been adapted for "barrel farming" (tiny vegetable gardens in large containers) and low-cost variations of vertical farming. A kicker: It's organic farming, a health boon in a toehold of Hell.

As for wind power, urban locations aren't exactly compatible with large slashing blades, and though vertical windmills do the trick, they lack in that all-important "esthetics" category. Say hello to The Energy Ball, a stylish, highly-efficient windmill best described as "an eggbeater to power the future." The shape and design allow it to operate in low and cross-current winds typical of urban settings while creating a pleasing visual effect (if you can imagine dozens of these "swimming" atop a city setting.)

Given that We in Puerto Rico produce an enormous amount of garbage that, given Our limited land area, ends up reducing usable land, the idea of Kibera-type farming makes tons of sense. And flat-topped concrete houses in what can be best-described as a "trade winds corridor" Island make perfect platforms for Energy Balls. Imagine changing a garbage-strewn, energy-deficient Island into an urban farming energy-producing Island in five years. It can be done.

Like I said: Jenius At Work.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

2 comments:

The Insider said...

The eggbeater looks interesting, and could not possibly look any worse than the bars most people have to enclose their homes with here in Puerto Rico.

I'm not so sure about the barrel farming. The difference with those in Kibera, compared with Puerto Rico, is that people in Kibera are desperate. In Puerto Rico, even those on welfare can still flush the toilet without flooding their driveway, have someone pickup their trash, and probably even have cable TV to keep them entertained.

While I think the idea is great, you still haven't sold me on how these individual solutions that require effort or significant investment are going to make a much of an impact (since I anticipate extremely low rates of participation).

Gabriel said...

Look at this headline
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/19/energy-independence-for-puerto-rico/#