Table of Contents
Energy is available in many forms such as mechanical, chemical, thermal, electric, etc… These energies can be shifted from one form to another at the cost of losing some of their potential, or strength. The exception to this is thermal energy, which represents that loss itself and all forms of energy will transform to this when used.
When accomplishing a task that requires energy, think of the available sources and which forms they take, and if it is necessary to transform them. A river provides mechanical energy, and while you might be able to turn that into electrical, if your task is to lift something then that energy is best left as is. There exist machines which will pump water uphill, at the cost of directly reducing the velocity of water (hydraulic ram pump).
For designing new and efficient systems, an understanding of physics and mathematics is essential. Electric generators rely on electric and magnetic fields, ram pumps rely on fluid dynamics, and solar panels rely on quantum effects. These can be used to predict the behavior of an energy system before designing it, and to produce equations which allow for fine-tuning of a system.
- University physics textbook (1/3). This textbook and the others in the series contain many equations which restrict what a system is capable of doing, but allow engineers to predict what features will be required for a machine.
- $30 vertical-axis wind turbine by Open Source Low Tech.
- Wind Powered Factories: History (and Future) of Industrial Windmills (cloudy weather backup) by Low Tech Magazine.
- Masonry Heating functionality and building plans
- Back to Basics: Direct Hydropower (cloudy weather backup) by Low Tech Magazine.
- An explanation by LTD Stirling. The Stirling engine converts thermal energy into kinetic energy: for example, solar powered pumps or electricity generation.
Composting Power Plant
- A Jean Pain compost based power plant produces heat and gas while reducing forest fires. Just add water!
Electricity generation from plants
- Bike Powered Electricity Generators are Not Sustainable (cloudy weather backup) by Low Tech Magazine.
- The Sky is the Limit: Human-Powered Cranes and Lifting Devices (cloudy weather backup) by Low Tech Magazine.
- The Short History of Early Pedal Powered Machines (cloudy weather backup) by Low Tech Magazine.
Solar Energy for heat up water
- Contribute more links or articles to this topic
Batteries, GPE, reservoir…
- Contribute some manuals or “how-tos” regarding energy storage.