This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
You gauys have seen this, right? http://ultimateglobalwarmingchallenge.com/
I thought I'd update this old thread since a winner for the competition has now been announced, though only people who read the forum in 'board style' will be able to see this post. The winner is a solar powered cooker called the 'Kyoto Box' made from cardboard according to this Daily Telegraph article:
It's intended to be used in Africa and it looks to me to be a gadget designed mainly to appeal to Western aid agencies. These agencies are usually Green-leaning and would probably buy and distribute thousands of these cookers.
The Telegraph's environmental journalist claims the cooker reduces smoke inhalation but anybody who wants to cook inside a hut wouldn't be able to use a solar cooker, it has to be used outside.
The cooker apparently takes one and a half hours to boil water, considerably longer than it would take using a wood fire. This illustrates one of the many irritating aspects of the Greenies, they assume that peoples' time has no value at all. An example of this is the imposition of domestic recycling, where people are expected to spend some of their time sorting rubbish into categories without getting paid for doing it.
Well, I guess it has been tested though I'd have suspected that the amount of water it will boil is actually quite small especially compared to the daily drinking water needs of an average person, and evaporation will probably account for a fair amount of the original contents.
Oops! just read it again and at the bottom it says:
"Mr Bohmer will use the prize money to run trials of his creation, which takes around one-and-a-half hours to boil water, in 10 countries including South Africa and India." (how long does it take to boil water in other countries? Actually, I am not questioning the grammar, this is an important question... I'll come to it later on.)
er, it hasn't been tested?
They are handing out prizes for untested unproven concepts?
Silly me, that is what the whole global warming scam is all about, untested and unproven concepts.
OK, I nominate 75000 (the prize money) as this months number of the month.
PS if I was Mr Bohmer, I'd forget testing, it appears to be an old-fashioned concept, I'd take the money and buy a gas guzzler.
Of course, no one has all that time to watch a pot boil so they will probably get on with something else which means that they will forget to take it off the boil while there is still some water left. It will occasionally boil itself dry, become full of insects, get knocked over and, of course, with no visible flames to warn children or old people there will be quite a number of people who will be scalded. In the end most people might try it once or twice and then go back to the old ways.
Personally I would have thought a much better candidate would have been the wind up radio and all the offspring of that device including wind up torches and camping lights..
In the end this solar oven idea costs time and saves nothing tangible whereas a wind up radio saves batteries and that saves some very important cash (plus I bet dead batteries aren't recycled as they probably ought to be). Of course, Trevor Baylis might be a well intentioned man but he isn't exactly the right sort of person to receive an award of this type...
The real danger is, of course, that Gordon Brown will want the UK to lead the way in solar cooking so look out for compulsory micro-chipped solar ovens being supplied to us "free" (add it to the council rates and load on some fines for misuse/non-use or loss) and we will get another set of targets to meet.
I think this is brilliant!
Build a larger version and one could have a complete home/shower/fast food outlet all in one.
Of course the downside would be how to get water to heat for the 'facilities'. You could never leave the thing unattended, especially in the sort of places that might see its deployment. Someone would be bound to covet it so much they would be off with it before you could say 'breakfast will be ready next Thursday' ...
Still, looks like the guy has turned 5 Euros into £51,000. Sod letting him experiment with more cardboard and reflectors, make him the new Chancer of the Exchequer!
Good to see you back Grant, you haven't posted for a while.
This solar cooker is even more amusing when you see a photograph of it. There's a photo on this webpage from Porritt's 'Forum for the Future' site:
Basically it seems to be two cardboard boxes with aluminium foil stuck to the flaps of the outer box, and what appears to be a Tupperware container inside. It's 'Blue Peter' technology.
Most Green inventions have a sort of devious quality about them, they look superficially good, sufficient to impress the political classes, but then only sort of half work. Examples of this are the Floodsax sandbags I described earlier in the thread and also things like wind turbines and electric cars. This solar cooker is a lot more honest, it looks like a naff idea from the outset.
On the subject of solar cookers I noticed a news article last week where it seems to have been decided that Third World cooking practices are making a significant contribution to climate change. I don't remember hearing this claim before, but the soot from these Third World stoves is apparently melting glaciers:
Actually, I can see that in my post I was rather unfair but only to Mr Bohmer.
The basic idea is reasonable but of course, rather than show anyone how to improvise such a stove from a hole in the ground and some bacofoil, which would be perfectly in line with self-sufficiency, someone will want to turn these things out "professionally" and set up a company somewhere (probably not in Africa) and will then embark on several years of research into a suitable design.
The prototype is cardboard. Come the first rains that's the end of that.
So we can draw up a specification for this which will obviously call for materials that are rain proof, termite proof, are not plastic (unless recycled) must survive very high temperatures associated with the mid-day sun, must have excellent insulating properties, etc etc.
In the end we will have something that will be made somewhere else, will cost too much and will have absorbed a great deal of Live Aid Money, UN funds etc etc. and might only produce something that will be instantly disassembled and converted in to housing material (I once worked for a company that produced the Waste-Not valve. This is a tap that cannot be wired open to let the water run all the time - it is surprising that in any country with water shortages the convenience of leaving the tap running appears more valued by the users than conserving water. The originals were produced in bronze and brass and were a failure but the successful design was galvanised cast iron. Apparently its value as a tap was greater than its value broken down and converted into ornaments - we should not neglect these concerns).