Minto Wonder Wheel

2009-06-24~2009-07-01

The 7 or 8 days (depending on how you look at it) have been almost as productive as the week before, it would have been as or even more productive as the weeks before this last week except that my back and left leg were complaining that I had been bending over and favoring my right side too much and so I didn’t do any more double digging or composting (although I was approached as to whether someone wanted them to help clear the field of weeds [for a fee of k20,000 for the large side, k15,000 for the small side of course] and they did what would have taken me probably a couple of weeks in a couple of days so I have plenty to compost when I return to the village). I did however make another go at banachar which I got many other villagers interested in and I think it was a success. That is of course contingent on the charballs that the villagers made sure were perfectly spherical burn better then the last ones I made but I think they will. Yesterday I successfully got a taxi to Chipata on the first try and they were only around 40 minutes late!

Tuesday was somewhat of a relax veg out day and I stated up too late watching movies (an ok movie about a Egyptian born engineer married to an American who gets kidnapped by the CIA and tortured because of a terrorist act he did not commit and Fight Club from beginning to end without being interrupted by the pesky parental party). Today I found an ingenious idea for a means of generating power using a small temperature variant. Basically the way it works is you have a bunch of tanks containing a fluid that easily converts into a gas arranged in a circle in such a way as to look like a big watermill (the circle turns). The opposing tanks are joined by a pipe and there is a source of heat in the bottom and something cooler on the top. When the liquid in the bottom is heated and turns to a gas, it rises up to the tube on the top. The tank on the top is cooler however and so the gas converts back to a liquid causing the tank on the top to spin downward towards the bottom and the tank on the top to spin upwards. Although the whole thing does not spin that fast, if you have a large enough circular structure, the torque is enough to give off a descent amount of energy. I am definitely going to build one, the only problem is finding a liquid that changes to a gas easily but is not supper flammable or toxic or both and not really rare. Most of the fluids I have found in that people are using are at least one of the above mentioned heal risks. I would use mercury I think if I was in the states and designing it for a large scale production but to put such a toxin in a place that A. there are almost as many iwe’s (children) as there are udzudzu (mosquitoes) this time of year B. most people have an innate need to take things apart and tinker with things C. there is a remarkable lack of mercury in Dovu village and lastly D. that probably most villagers have never seen mercury or have any idea what it is. Therefore I am in search of a fluid that meets the required specifications and is not dangerous or rare in Zambia. This challenge aside, I think the project has great potential to power villages all across Zambia for next to nothing in parts.

All for now, I’m still wondering why this inventive idea is not more widely known and utilized.

Leave a Reply