Thursday, 31 May 2007

Eas- Lancashire-Wind-Farm-Site-Tests

WIND farm planners have announced they hope to build a mast to take detailed measure-ments of the gusts on an East Lancashire moorland site.
German-based EnergieKontor UK Ltd hopes to build 24 giant wind turbines on the moors between Oswaldtwistle and Haslingden.
The company has begun a consultation process with local councils and residents about the proposals.

Soon they hope to start detailed measurements of the wind on the site. To do this they will build a meteorological mast which will collect data.
As well as measuring the velocity of the wind and discovering if the moors are suitable for a wind farm, it is also hoped the data will help with future designs of the site.
Project manager for Energie-Kontor UK Ltd Judith Cornfield said the company thinks there was the potential to build turbines with a height of up to 130 metres. She said a planning application will be submitted shortly to built the test mast.
There has been early opposition to the plans, Hynd-burn MP Greg Pope said: "I know this area very well and I don't fancy seeing it ruined by wind farms.
"The best places for windfarms are offshore, they're the windiest places and don't spoil the countryside."

Residents can write to EnergieKontor UK Ltd, Conyngham Hall, Bond End, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 9AY or email

Tuesday, 29 May 2007


PLANS to build wind turbines in Portland Harbour could be revived after the Government said it wanted to boost renewable energy.

The Energy White Paper says the country needs more offshore wind, wave and tidal power if it is to become a low-carbon economy.
It could mean that a controversial scheme to build 12 wind turbines off Portland, which has been shelved for two years, is re-visited.

E.ON UK, the company which has taken over the project from Powergen, says the new emphasis on renewable forms of energy would make it easier to build new wind farms.
A spokesman for the company has refused to rule out future developments off the Dorset coast.
He said: "The reason we stopped in the first place was because of the Olympic sailing events being awarded to Port-land and because there wasn't the legal framework in place for offshore wind farms in the area. In the future what the paper will do is bring a little bit more stability so a company like E.ON can make long-term investments.
"But the plans for Portland are shelved and the short answer is that there are no plans to re-start the process at the moment."

The scheme for 90-metre high offshore turbines in the harbour breakwater sparked opposition from many Portlanders.
Mayor of Portland, Tim Munro said: "As far as we know this hasn't totally gone away and in theory we could see them coming back with another bid.
"I think many people are in favour of wind energy but turbines need to be out to sea where the visual and noise are not as serious."
Plans by Portland Gas to build storage caverns beneath Portland have also been boosted by the Government announcement.

Andrew Hindle, managing director of Portland Gas, said: "There was nothing particularly new in the proposals but it is good from our point of view to know that the Government and its agencies back what we are doing."
The Government said the country faced two big energy challenges - climate change and maintaining stable and affordable energy supplies.

The plan is to triple the amount of renewable energy used to make electricity by the year 2015.
Other measures include increasing the use of nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions.


A SOUTHAMPTON MP has disputed the Government's claim that a new generation of nuclear power stations may be necessary to meet the UK's energy needs.

Alan Whitehead, Labour MP for Southampton Test, said: "We must challenge the myths that the lights will go out unless we agree to build new nuclear power stations, and that nuclear power is necessary to allow us to meet climate change goals."

The Government has published its Energy White Paper, which said its "preliminary view" was to build new nuclear power plants. A final decision will be taken when a consultation ends in October.

Dr Whitehead said: "We should not be panicked into accepting a technology that poses a continuing risk in terms of weapons proliferation and terrorism, produces a toxic waste for which no management solution is agreed, benefits from hidden subsidies and tends to undermine both the prospects of renewable energy and efforts to increase energy efficiency."

Monday, 28 May 2007


Launched on 1 April 2006, phase one of the DTI’s low carbon buildings programme will run over three years and replaces the previous DTI Clear Skies and Solar PV grant programmes. Open to householders, public, not for profit and commercial organisations across the UK (except the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), the programme will demonstrate how energy efficiency and microgeneration can work hand in hand to create low carbon buildings.

Click here to find out about phase two of the low carbon buildings programme.

Part of the DTI’s microgeneration strategy, phase one of the low carbon buildings programme will fund a range of microgeneration technologies including:

Solar photovoltaics
Wind turbines
Small hydro
Solar thermal hot water
Ground source heat pumps
Renewable CHP
MicroCHP (Combined heat and power)
Fuel cells

Two streams of grants are available under phase one of the programme:

Stream one for householders: the householder grant scheme is being re-shaped to make best use of the extra funding announced during the budget and there will be no allocation of funds this month. The next allocation of funds for householders will be announced on this website shortly

Please check the website regularly for updates. Click here to read the full announcement.
Stream two: for medium and large microgeneration projects by public, not for profit and commercial organisations. Applications are being taken now for stream 2A and 2B, click here to find out more. For more information about the grants available and eligibility criteria visit our

FAQs sections:
Householder FAQs are currently unavailable because the scheme is being re-shaped.
Businesses and SMEs applying for funding
Public and charitable organisations applying for funding
Phase one of the DTI’s low carbon buildings programme is managed by the Energy Saving Trust.

There are 4 mains aims for the programme:
To support a more holistic approach to reducing carbon emissions from buildings by demonstrating combinations of both energy efficiency measures and microgeneration products in a single development.
To see demonstrated on a wider scale emerging microgeneration technologies (with a focus on building integrated technologies).

To measure trends in costs of microgeneration technologies. It is expected that these costs should reduce over the lifetime of the programme against a 2005 baseline.
To raise awareness by linking demonstration projects to a wider programme of activities including developing skills and communicating the potential of microgeneration to change the attitudes and behaviour of consumers. Larger scale projects will seek to engage the construction industry in project replication by demonstrating the business case for developing low carbon buildings.


Rest assured, that when an energy inspector comes to your home, he’ll be thinking of little more than how quickly he can earn his £100 fee. A new army of ‘energy inspectors’ is being recruited to snoop around your home, checking everything from light bulbs to your boiler. Our writer signed up for training and found a hopeless shambles, mired in greed and cynicism.
My new classmate - Dave, the estate agent - has the kind of sharp, wheeler-dealer mind that might make you think twice about betting against him. And right now he scents an opportunity to make serious cash.
Which is how he comes to be in a classroom with me (and 33 other hopefuls) training to become energy inspectors, ready for the Government’s new Home Information Packs. Their crisis-ridden launch may, amid huge controversy and talk that they will not survive, have been put back to August. But even if HIPs are killed off, the one thing that is sure to remain is the Energy Performance Certificate (EPCs).
And when they come in, Dave is confident they’ll be very lucrative. “It’s all about revenue streams, isn’t it?” he says, with a knowing nod of his closely-shaved head. Labour’s council tax snoopers have snapped 1.3 millions pictures of homes I have met Dave on a crash course - supposedly this should take 200 hours of study, but we do it in six days - to become a “domestic energy assessor”, to give the job its full title. It begins on a drizzly, grey morning when I arrive at Birkbeck University in London to join a class of estate agents, builders, gas men, a surveyor, a pair of mortgage brokers and a handful of individuals who are changing careers (a former Army engineer, health club boss, casino employee and BA cabin crew member) ready to begin our City &Guilds course.
The Government says the purpose of the EPC is simply to educate the public on green issues. My own motive for doing the course - undercover - is simple: I want to find out how those close to the process think these energy ratings will really be used and precisely how they work. I also want to know whether the EPC, imposed as a result of a European directive, is a credible green initiative - or, as its critics claim, a flawed, intrusive and expensive piece of EU bureaucracy that will serve only to complicate the already stressful process of moving house. The first thing that becomes clear is that everyone here is hoping to join what, political chaos notwithstanding, is beginning to feel like a 21st century gold-rush. Or should that be gravy train?
“Build a real career with once-in-a-lifetime prospects,” trumpets the Energy Inspectors Direct website. “On the basis of two to three one-hour inspections a day, it’s possible to earn an income of £40,000 per annum. Now that’s a lot of money.” One thing’s certain - they’re making a lot of money out of us trainees. We have each paid £4,641.25 for six days of nine-to-five tuition; and by the end of the course, many of us will feel that we haven’t had value for money -particularly as, earlier this year, the company was offering courses at almost half the price (£2,585).
With so much to learn in such a short time, we’re surprised that one of his first lectures is simply on how to behave professionally - “because you may have to deal with difficult property owners, including Daily Mail readers who will probably accuse you of being a snooping busy body”. In fact, Jeremy himself is the first to admit that the job can seem intrusive. A DEA must take copious “site notes”, including information about what light bulbs you use, the thickness of your walls, the age of your house and any extensions and the type of glass in your windows; they will count how many rooms and how many open fireplaces you have, and even crawl through your loft to examine the insulation.
They must also take photographs - for example, of the inside and outside of your home, of the boiler and the hot water cylinder - to back up this data, which will then be fed into a computer to give your house a grade on a scale of A (the most efficient) to G (the worst). “Last week,” says Jeremy, “a bunch of my students missed a boiler because it was in a bedroom wardrobe and they felt uncomfortable opening the door. Well, I know it might be a bit difficult if the owner comes in just as you’re photographing it and wants to know ‘Why are you taking pictures of my wife’s knickers?’ But the boiler is important.” Apparently, the heating system has the biggest impact on your home’s energy rating. Depending on what type it is, the boiler can affect the numerical score given to the house (on a scale from one to 100 or more, which is then converted into lettered bands) by as much as 40 points.
The most efficient heat-generators are condensing boilers, because they recycle heat from the boiler’s exhaust gases. If you don’t have one, the EPC will recommend ripping out the old system and installing a new one to improve your efficiency rating. “But,” I ask, “does the computer software take into account the energy cost of throwing away your current boiler, which may be quite new and work perfectly well, and manufacturing a new one?” After all, we’re always being told we should try to be more thrifty, mending appliances rather than buying new ones. The answer comes back: no, it doesn’t. “We could have a discussion about that, couldn’t we?” says Jeremy.
Given that building regulations make it compulsory to install a condensing boiler if your gas or oil-fired version has given up the ghost, what is the point of having your heating system checked for an EPC? That’s a question my tutors can’t answer. We are also taught how to date a building. A 1930s semi can be identified by its curved bay window and hipped roof; a 1970s house by its lack of chimneys (a sign to the neighbours that you had central heating).
And we learn how to recognise the various patterns of brickwork that might indicate an old, solid wall or a more recent (and more insulating) cavity wall. This is important because, unless a lot of money has already been spent on insulation, older properties will always be less energy-efficient - and will therefore score low in the EPC. Some are surprised by how few brownie points some of the most heavily-promoted green measures seem to clock up. Even if every single one of your light bulbs is energy-saving, you’ll score only one point; double-glazing may earn you four; while (sorry, David Cameron) a wind turbine plonked on the roof won’t give you any at all.
On the second day of the course, as we’re waiting for classes to begin, Dave tells me how he plans to make money out of it. “We’ll charge probably £100 each for an EPC,” he says. “One person could easily do five a day - so that’ll be £500 they’re bringing in.” “Once people have an energy rating, they’ll want work doing to make it more efficient - insulation, doubleglazing, new boilers - so we can take a commission of 10 per cent from workmen they find through us. It’s going to be big business.” It’s not just those selling their homes who will have to buy an EPC, he points out. When the HIPs scheme comes fully into effect, landlords will also have to arrange one - which will then remain valid for ten years - the first time they have a change of tenant. “There’s big business there,” Dave says, deploying one of his favourite phrases yet again, “if you can get in with the councils. I’m trying to get close to them because there’s a lot of work to be had.”
Work that will, of course, be undertaken at the expense of you, the taxpayer. The idea of so many people needing EPCs raises the prospect of absolute chaos not only for the housing market, but also for the lettings industry and those waiting for council accommodation.Many of the key things an energy inspector is supposed to measure seem almost arbitrary. For example, we are taught to check for the presence of thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves, which could make a heating system waste less energy, but not to verify that they actually work.
So, in theory, you could nail an old thermostat to the wall, let the energy inspector photograph it and tick it off, and then take it down again. “It’s a visual inspection,” agrees the tutor. The same applies when it comes to energy-saving light bulbs, which could - theoretically - be borrowed-from a friend solely for the purposes of inspection. And then there’s the fact that an open flue loses you points if it’s in the living room, but not in a bedroom. As one of our teachers says, when we are taken on a trial inspection of a house: “There are a lot of stupid things, but they’re the rules - so that’s what we have to do.” Many of my fellow students are disgruntled.
We were promised that we could complete the entire course in six days, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it will be impossible to finish the coursework assignments - for which we have to do EPCs on five properties and hand in 85 separate written documents - by the end of the week. The quantity of paperwork inherent in the system is extraordinary. “Talk about bureaucracy! And then how long is it they’re telling us we have to store all this information for? Fifteen years? I’ll have to move house just to keep it all. It’s red-tape madness.”
We are told that homes account for 27 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions in the UK, and that the purpose of the EPC is to encourage and educate householders to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes. To this end, an EPC gives “payback times” - the period over which you might recoup, in savings on your energy bills, any financial outlay in upgrading your home. “This exercise is all about data collection,” says Simon, another estate agent. “And making us pay for the data collection. In five years’ time, they’ll start taxing us on it. Why wouldn’t they? What would be the point otherwise?”
Clive, one of our tutors, raises another spectre that should worry anyone hoping to borrow money to buy an old Victorian conversion with a ropey boiler, solid walls and drafty windows. “I’ve heard some mortgage companies talking about ‘green mortgages’, which means they’d retain money until certain things had been mended - in the same way they might do now if you had, say, subsidence. Now that would be naughty, wouldn’t it? And if it happens, remember I said it.” By Friday, we are all getting nervous about the multiple-choice exam. The coursework may be time-consuming, but it’s been made clear that we will be babied through it - so that even if we have to submit our folders several times, we’ll eventually get through. The exam is another matter: a retake will cost £300.
It will create a mountain of bureaucracy as well as a whole new army of supposed experts who know very little about energy conservation but quite a lot about an invented system of regulations. And their glossy new careers will be subsidised by homeowners and taxpayers. Rest assured, that when an energy inspector comes to your home, he’ll be thinking of little more than how quickly he can earn his £100 fee.


The five star Rufflets Country House in St Andrews will be certified carbon neutral from the 1st of June. It’s apparently the first official carbon neutral hotel in Scotland. What’s fantastic about their carbon offsetting scheme is that the luxury hotel will invest in the reforestation of the Carrifran Valley in the Scottish Borders.

I’m still bemused why offsetting normally entails wind turbines in India when healing the same environment we are damaging seems to make more sense. The reforestation will offset 3000 tonnes a year in carbon emissions, and even though this is a small dent in the hotel’s yearly carbon footprint, they’ve got the right idea.

However, what is more innovative about this hotel is that they will harvest rainwater for use in all their loos, as well as for onsite laundry and irrigation for the surrounding garden.


Brown revamps eco town proposals

Gordon Brown's attempt to steal a march on David Cameron with a pledge to build five new eco-towns has received a mixed reception. In his determination to undermine Cameron's reputation as the greenest leader, and bolster his own reputation, the Chancellor has re-vamped a plan previously publicised by Housing Minister Yvette Cooper.

The proposals for five new 'eco-towns', built on brownfield land, have been in circulation for several months, and ownership of the site for the first green development, Northstowe, in Cambridgeshire, currently the former Oakington Barracks, was transferred to English Partnerships last year.In March 2006, on concluding the transfer of the land to the regeneration agency, Defence Estates Chief Executive, Vice Admiral Peter Dunt, said, “Government is committed to using more brownfield land to create sustainable communities with affordable housing.

The sale of Oakington is yet another example of the strong working relationship between two government agencies in devising strategies to make best use of surplus public sector land". "Since 2003 English Partnerships has acquired more than 2,000 ha of surplus public sector land, which is expected to provide around 20,000 homes nationally over the next 10 years as part of a comprehensive regeneration programme". Nevertheless, despite the blatant spin, the Combined Heat and Power Association welcomed Brown's statement that... "We can combine the building of new houses with low carbon and carbon free homes. Indeed, we can combine the building of homes with building communities with combined heat and power and a whole range of eco measures, including better public transport and cycle lanes which makes it possible for us to have a much higher quality of life in our new buildings and towns"Phillip Piddington, Director of the CHPA stated: "There is huge potential for CHP to be integrated more fully into the UK's Energy mix. Mr Brown's comments are broadly welcome. He has clearly identified that CHP is a technique that can deliver sustainability and affordability to local communities."Environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth were rather less enthusiastic. Director, Tony Juniper said: "The Chancellor must make climate change a priority and set the UK on a path to becoming a low-carbon economy. IF new homes are needed, they must all have a minimal impact on the environment and be built to the highest eco-standards.

ALL new homes should be carbon-zero".Juniper emphasised the lack of attention to cutting emissions from the existing housing stock, and continued - "But the Government must also do much more to make it easier and cheaper for householders to cut emissions from existing homes. Housing accounts for over a quarter of UK carbon dioxide emissions. Unfortunately last week's Government decision to slash the maximum grants available to people for installing micro-generation systems, like solar panels and wind turbines, will do little to cut UK carbon dioxide emissions, which have risen under Labour."And the Green party strongly attacked the new town plans, citing the "devastating" environmental consequences of building so many homes across the UK. Derek Wall, the party's principle speaker, urged the government to concentrate on using empty existing properties instead. "In England alone, there are almost 700,000 empty homes.

We desperately need to see better use of empty privately owned property - through empowering local authorities to use empty property use orders, in appropriate cases and with proper safeguards and rights of appeal," he said.


It’s hard to believe that in a hundred years our homes will still get their electricity through wires strung between crooked, dried-out wooden poles. Sure, some wires are buried underground, but through much of the world, including the much of the supposedly advanced and sophisticated United States, the crooked old pole carries the juice. How crude.
It’s also hard to imagine power companies voluntarily burying their power lines purely for the sake of aesthetics.

Instead it seems possible that in 100 years (or hopefully less so this author can see it happen) we’ll be generating our own power - perhaps with solar on the roof, some kind of generation equipment in the basement or storage room, or in windy areas from a small wind turbine atop a pole nearby.

If solar is to be the norm (in sunny spots, of course) there’s some indication that home builders are beginning to catch on to the notion of solar power options for new homes. (This publication has published a number of stories over the years as examples.)
Now Centex Homes is taking the next logical step in solar self-generation options: include a battery back-up system as part of the solar package.

For 89 homes in The Quarry, a new development north of Naples, Florida, Centex will offer 2.1 kilowatt solar systems supplied by Sharp Solar. Included with the solar system will be a bank of eight, 100-amp/hour batteries housed in the garage to provide emergency power for critical appliances and a few outlets. The solar system will augment power from the grid and keep the batteries charged.

The solar with back-up systems seem a good match for the Sunshine State that has had its share of power outages due to hurricanes and other powerful storms. Predictions of a rise in the number of tropical storms, at least for the next decade or two, will likely be a selling point for the backed-up solar systems.

For areas with insufficient sunlight home combined heat and power generation equipment could be the norm in hundred years, or sooner.
Disenco Energy of the UK has announced it has reached important milestones leading to full commercialization, such as the completion of field trials for its home, micro combined heat and power plant (m-CHP). The company expects to begin a product roll out in the second quarter of 2008.

Operating at over 90 percent efficiency, the m-CHP will be able to provide 15 kilowatts of thermal energy (about 50,000 Btu’s) for heat and hot water and generate 3 kilowatts of electricity. The m-CHP uses a Stirling engine generator and would be a direct replacement for a home’s boiler.

Running on piped-in natural gas the unit would create some independence from the power grid, but still remain connected to the gas supply network.
Whereas heat is supplied only when the generator is running (or conversely electricity is generated only when heat is needed) a back-up battery system and heavily insulated hot water storage tank seem eventual options for more complete energy independence.

Visit Sharp Solar at

Centex Homes at

Disenco at

UK-Solar-PV-Installer-Off Grid

is offering a complete Design & Installation package for Solar PV Off Grid Installations throughout the UK & Europe.

This service will be particularly interesting to people who own or are purchasing a home in Spain, France, Holland, Switzerland & Belgium.

With the huge prices associated in obtaining a grid connection the Off Grid systems are the way to go! Carbon Neutral and Eco Friendly attracts great interest to owners and lodgers.

For more information feel free to contact Homebrewpower on 07504 50 50 89 or click HERE to email us.

Sunday, 27 May 2007


Home-Brew Power offers a complete Design & Installation Package for completely Off Grid Homes, Houses, Barns & Remote Cabins.

Anything from a small Solar PV on the shed roof to a complete system for boats, barges, huts, Eco hideouts, remote buildings. The sky's the limit.

I can travel within the UK and Europe subject to project size!

Free quotations and assistance can be offered

Saturday, 26 May 2007


Grants for people who want to install micro-wind turbines and solar panels on their homes will be available again from 9am on Tuesday 29 May.

The Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP) has already allocated £6.8m in to householders and, following the addition of an extra £6m in the Budget, applications are set to open for the remaining £11.9m.

Since it launched in April 2006 the LCBP has directly funded 2175 installations on homes. This includes 242 mini-turbines, 313 Solar PV projects and 1467 solar thermal heating systems.

Announcing the re-launch of the scheme Mr Darling said:
"The microgeneration industry has tremendous potential in the low carbon economy. Products are already available on the high street and are starting to become recognisable on our skylines. This grant scheme is designed to maximise carbon savings, demonstrate potential and help the sector become more commercially competitive in the long term.

"It is part of a wider government programme worth £86m that will also award grants for larger scale installations on schools and other public buildings."

The grant scheme was put on hold in March while the application process was streamlined to make sure it benefits the sector in the long term.

Key changes to the application criteria include the removal of the monthly cap and a new requirement to have planning permission before applying.

The Government is currently consulting on removing the need for planning permission for the majority of microgeneration installations but it must be in place for LCBP grant applicants in the meantime.

The changes are designed to overcome delays in the take-up of grants. Only half of the £6.8m already allocated by March had been spent because of supply chain issues, planning consents not in place, delays in building schedules and applicants not ready to proceed. The DTI will continue to monitor these areas.

More detail on the new application process is available at

Friday, 25 May 2007


For anyone in the UK or Europe, who has an Off Grid home and would like Solar /Wind installing then Email me I offer complete Design, Installation & Maintenance package.

Right now I am not entertaining Grid Tie systems. I am focussing on Off Grid installations.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007


Please click
Here for full website with pictures

Every once and a while 23 year old biology researcher Olatubosun Adeleke (Obayomi) of Nigeria pops up and provides us with an update on his pioneering work in Nigeria. Most recently he has sent us some pictures of his latest work of which we are most grateful.
Below is a brief report of his household scale biogas production system. He explains how it works in his own words.

Digester pictures 12&3 are the horizontal UASB digester based on Prof George Chan’s design.The digester featured here is approximately a 1m3 digester that is designed for domestic cooking.

Gas Storage: Because of the small size of the digester, the gas produced can be stored here directly without needing a storage balloon , but a bigger size will need one.
What its Made of: The digester is built from two 200 liter drums.

What it Runs on: The digester runs on kitchen wastes and cow dung . I have also experimented with human faces. The wastes are poured into the outlet pipe gently not to allow air in.
Cooker Stove Specs: The cooker I bought was an automatic one for LNPG but wont work forbiogas because of the Orifice, so have gotten a locally built one with an adjustable Orifice.Digester Pic 1 (48kb): Picture 1 shows the front view with inlet pipes, the main tank and the mini manhole.

Digester Pic 2: Picture 2 shows the manhole and outlet pipes clearly. This is the dorsal view.
The top of the digester has 2 gas ports with gas valve, with only one in use.
Digester Pic 3: Below the inlet pipe is covered with a bend and a plastic mesh. This is just for human sight.

Pressure Tank: Picture 4 shows the pressure tank, the need for this is that the kitchen is located at the second floor and the gas pressure will drop as it rises.
The pressure tank serves as both gas storage and pressurized cylinder. It is made of two cylindrical tanks . The bottom one a water reservoir and top one gas storage. Gas enters from its inlet gas valve (Right) which is always open.

The biogas being insoluble in water lifts the upper drum up. This works against gravity and the gas is kept under pressure, no matter the distance away from the main digester.
Once gas is needed for use the outlet valve (Left) is opened and released under pressure, letting
the upper drum move under gravity.

Thursday, 17 May 2007


Typical current in a lightning bolt 30 000 A

Electric kettle 10 A

Computer 1 A

Household light bulb 0.25 A

Typical lethal current 0.1 - 0.2 A

Current from an electric eel 0.07 A

Typical currents in nerve impulses in the body 0.000 000 010 A (10 x 10- 9A)

Current from 1 electron moving for 1 sec 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 16 A (1.6 x 10- 19 A)


The majority of the electrical power used throughout the world is produced by generators containing a rotating magnet usually powered by steam created from burning fossil fules. Renewable sources of energy, however , are becoming more commonly used across the globe. The government has set a target to generate 10% of the UK's electricity needs from renewable sources by the year 2010.

Alternative energy sources include solar panels, wind generators, hydro-electric power and nuclear power. Solar panels convert sunlight directly to electricity but in general have low efficiency. Wind power is used directly to rotate turbines to generate electricity. Hydro-electric power converts the kinetic energy from falling water into electricity and nuclear power uses the energy locked in the nuclei of atoms instead of fossil fuels.


The Relationship Between Voltage & Current

Georg Simon Ohm discovered that the amount of current that flows through a material is proportional to the potential difference or voltage applied across it. His famous law states that V = IR; if a certain voltage (V) is applied across a conductor, the size of the current (I) which flows is inversely proportional to the resistance (R) of the conductor.

The Ampere

The SI base unit for electrical quantities is the ampere. The definition of the ampere adopted in 1948, is: The ampere is that constant current which, if maintained in two straight parallel conductors of infinite length, of negligible circular cross-section, and placed 1 metre apart in vacuum, would produce between these conductors a force equal to 2 x 10- 7 newtons per metre of length.


In metals and certain other materials, negatively charged particles called electrons are free to move around. These materials are called conductors. When a battery is connected across a conductor a potential difference is set up along it and electrons 'flow' down the "potential gradient". However, as electrons are negatively charged, down the potential gradient is from the negative to the positive end of the conductor.

This flow of electronic charge is called a current. It is described as direct current (DC) if it flows continuously in one direction and alternating current (AC) if its direction of flow alternates back and forth.


As early as 600BC it was found that rubbing a piece of amber created a build-up of charge which could attract small pieces of straw. Around 1600 AD the word 'electric' was introduced to describe this effect derived from the Greek word for amber, elektron. Benjamin Franklin demonstrated the electrical origin of lightning in 1745 with his kite-flying experiments during thunderstorms.

He suggested the existence of two different charges: positive and negative. In 1800 Alessandro Volta generated a constant electrical current by placing layers of copper and zinc in a saline (salt) solution. His 'Voltaic pile' was the first battery. The next breakthrough was in 1820 when Andre-Marie Ampere established a relationship between electricity and magnetism.

The final crucial step was the discovery of electromagnetic induction, in 1831, by Michael Faraday who managed to convert magnetism into electricity by moving a magnet through a coil of wire. This led the way for the development of electrical generators and in 1881 the first public electricity supply was introduced in Godalming in Surrey for street lighting.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Protos-Plant-Oil-Stove-Samuel-N-Shiroff-BSH-Bosch & Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH

An Email Homebrewpower received today regarding Protos developments in UK / Europe

Dear Mr. Mahoney,

Thank you for your request below which reached me as the individual responsible for the market introduction of Protos.

Since April last year, when BSH introduced Protos to the Press and subsequently millions of people, we have had numerous requests to purchase our cooker in Germany, Europe and North America.

At this point, we have not been able to fulfill these requests for several reasons. The first is that the resources we have devoted to the dissemination of the cooker have been focused exclusively on developing countries. Protos is currently for sale on the islands of Leyte and Samar in the Philippines and will soon be available in Arusha in Tanzania. In the other countries where we plan to introduce Protos in 20097, we are currently preparing or just at the beginning of the necessary test and adaptation phase which our internal quality standards require for each new region.

Additionally, introducing a new technology in Europe/North America requires navigating some complex legal issues which are also time-intensive and potentially costly. We are carefully considering the potential of introducing Protos – perhaps as a camping cooker – at some point in 2008. However, this has not yet been determined.

In mid-2007, we will be re-launching the Protos website The new website will contain significantly more information that is currently available as well as the opportunity to sign up for a newsletter and place your information in our database. The newsletter will keep you up to date on where Protos is available and other interesting developments.

I appreciate your understanding and patience.


Samuel N. Shiroff
BSH Bosch and Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH
Carl-Wery-Strasse 34
81739 Munich
T: +49 89 4590-3039
F: +49 89 4590-5079
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Protos. The Plant Oil Stove.

Monday, 14 May 2007


How To Generate Free Electricity CD Rom

CD Rom's Are Posted On A Daily Basis!
Fully Interactive CD - All My Own Work
People ask me about my home in inner city Leeds, they ask me what the 'Thing' is on my chimney, what does the control panel in the living room do? Well the answer is I make all my own electricity and for practically nothing!

Yes, I decided when I could not afford to pay for my electricity at the rising rates any more that I would make my own!

Yes it is possible and yes I have done it!

My CD is not a miracle formula nor is it a 5 minute scam. It explains everything you need to know about how to produce your own electricity for use in your home.

Everything comes with drawings, diagrams, explanations, pictures, links to suppliers, further help and most importantly my mobile number because I not only make my own but also offer to come and work on your project for a daily fee to get you Off the Cash hungry grid!

Oil is now big news, it is in the headlines just about every day now, UK's power stations burn oil to produce your electricity so people are going to feel the rises in the next month or so.
5 years ago my ideas where nothing more than a dream but now, thankfully, they are a reality, I have done it and so can you.

I have included all you need to get going with your project regardless if you want to power your outdoor light or if you are serious about getting all the power you need from Eco-Friendly resources.


1. Building a battery bank
2. Storing your power
3. Building your wind machine
4a.Adding Solar power
4b.Adding a generator
5. Suitable generators
6. Fuel for your generator (Old Oil!)
7. Reducing your power needs
8. Power from the sun9. Diagrams & Info10.Explanations
11.My Story
12.Further help

Nothing magic, just all my own hard work!

Your CD Rom will be sent to you as a plain CD Rom in a Jiffy bag, If you would like to print out a label then the label template is in the root directory of the CD Rom.

I prefer not to waste paper & ink as I am trying to become carbon neutral.

I hope you only print out a label if you really need to do so, do your little bit to help our now very fragile environment.

Saturday, 12 May 2007




1929 saw the birth of the Lister CS (cold start) diesel engine. A single cylinder 5hp diesel engine that ran at 600 rpm. Later the speed was increased to 650 rpm resulting in 6hp being developed. An yet later the an 8hp model was released turning at 850 rpm.

The 6hp 650rpm version was discontinued in 1974. and final production for the 8hp model stopped in 1985. The Lister CS engine has become legendary for its record for longevity with many engines running in excess of 100,000 hours without being overhauled. Some engines have been reported running almost continuously for 40 years. The Lister CS was shipped to may developing nations where its simple design and ease of repair added to its popularity.

In the early 1960s India began producing clones of the Lister CS. These clones have been named listeroids. Many companies in India export listeroid engines and parts throughout the world.

The slow speed of the Lister engine lends very well to it's ability to burn lower quality fuels including waste motor oil and waste vegetable oil. One company is now beginning to produce a listeroid based generator system that is all ready for burning waste vegetable oil.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007


I have listed an auction for my monthly magazine Feb edition HERE For £1.00 I hope the people who could not afford the initial price will be able to purchase this copy.

It is in electronic format and can be, If you really must, be printed out. Please print responsibly, if you have to then the publication is in High Definition so it looks as good as a commercial product.

Enjoy, it is only small but covers some nice stories and places I have visited and researched.


Monday, 7 May 2007


I stumbled on this auction tonight HERE a 275A (Amperes) PMA Alternator!

This would be perfect for using coupled to a Lister CS Engine Fuelled on WVO

I will be contacting the seller to see how many of these he can get hold of


Sunday, 6 May 2007


The race is on to create the 'Holy Grail' in WVO burners. With the recent news on the 'Protos Plant Oil Stove' becoming available to select public users, enthusiasts are now looking into using similar burner technologies to create a WVO burner. The potential of a burner that can burn plant oils as cleanly as the Protos Plant Oil Stove does are huge!

Imagine your Domestic Central Heating running off of Vegetable Oil? Or what about a Micro CHP (Combined Heat & Power) unit using Plant Oil as it's fuel.

This, in my opinion, is going to be a huge step forward in the Off-Grid & DIY communities alike.

Saturday, 5 May 2007


An email received in response to the question, 'When will the Protos Stoves be available in Europe?'

Many thanks for your request below.Since April last year, when BSH introduced Protos to the Press andsubsequently millions of people, we have had numerous requests to purchaseour cooker in Germany, Europe and North America
.At this point, we have not been able to fulfill these requests for severalreasons. The first is that the resources we have devoted to thedissemination of the cooker have been focused exclusively on developingcountries. Protos is currently for sale on the islands of Leyte and Samarin the Philippines and will soon be available in Arusha in Tanzania.

Inthe other countries where we plan to introduce Protos in 2007, we arecurrently preparing or just at the beginning of the necessary test andadaptation phase which our internal quality standards require for each newregion. Additionally, introducing a new technology in Europe/North Americarequiresnavigating some complex legal issues which are also time-intensive andpotentially costly.

We are carefully considering the potential ofintroducing Protos - perhaps as a camping cooker - at some point in 2008.However, this has not yet been determined.In mid-2007, we will be re-launching the Protos website The new website will contain significantly moreinformation that is currently available as well as the opportunity to signup for a newsletter and place your information in our database. The newsletter will keep you up to date on where Protos is available and otherinteresting developments.With regard to request to receive plans to construct a cooker, it isnecessary to communicate that the technological development andperformanceof our cooker is the result of 8 years of research and developmentincludingsignficant investment.

Naturally, some of the advances we have made areproprietary and therefore not subject to public dissemination. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

Best regards,BSH Bosch und Siemens
GmbH Project
Plant Oil StoveCarl-Wery-Str. 3481739
MünchenTel.: +49-89-4590-01
Fax: +49-89-4590-2347


High-Tech for Reliable Cooking Energy in Developing Countries A stove working on oil from plants – with automobiles already running on rapeseed oil, that doesn’t seem to be very spectacular. But if the stove is to function with oil from diverse sources including coconuts, rapeseed, and sunflowers while remaining cheap enough for poor families in developing countries, things are starting to become more difficult. The solution is called Protos, the plant oil stove developed by Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances Group (BSH) in cooperation with its partners. The basic principle of the Protos stove resembles to the familiar camping stoves, except that it runs on plant oils instead of kerosene.

The stove consists of a tank, a pump, a frame, a valve, a fuel line, and an innovative burner. The functioning principle of Protos: The plant oil is filled in the tank. Through application of the pump, a pressure is created in the tank. The oil rises into the stainless steel vaporizer, where the heat of the flame converts the liquid into a gaseous mixture. The gas flux emits from a nozzle into a burning area, where it mixes with surrounding air and burns in a blue flame. The power output of the flame can be adjusted with a valve in the fuel line. Seems to be simple but Protos presented a number of tricky technical challenges to the engineers. Before starting the research on Protos, the vaporization and combustion of plant oils in a simple stove had to be investigated. This vaporization alone involves more than 10,000 different chemical reactions which are different for every plant oil, depending on its origin, quality, and means of extraction.

In the new burner a combustion temperature of up to 1,400 °C is reached which ensures continues vaporization and combustion with very low emissions. However, this high temperature requires special materials in the stove construction. A further challenge was presented by the carbon residues which values are more than 100 times higher than the values for kerosene. For protecting the vaporization tube from clogging special burner geometry was required to maintain a specified temperature profile which minimizes soot formation. Because plant oils are natural products, their chemical and physical properties vary widely – not only for different oils but also for oils from the same plant variety when produced in different places and with different production methods. Regarding the set-up of a locally sustainable systems is it crucial that fuel for the stove can be produced locally by simple means even in remote areas. In those areas only limited quality control is possible.

The stove also works with used oils which were used for frying before. However, it also works with refined oils and plant oil esters as well as kerosene if applicable. Since end of 2004, Protos has been tested in the Philippines in 100 households and small restaurants. Moreover, a village level production center for the extraction of coconut oil has been developed. BSH project leader Dr.-Ing. Elmar Stumpf summarizes the very encouraging results: “The plant oil stove is easy to operate and offers a very safe cooking environment since plant oils can neither burn nor explode. Moreover, the Protos design is very stable. Users of the new stove are excited about this new cooking technology.” Preliminary marketing of the plant oil stove Protos is about to start.

The production will take place mostly in the Philippines. Only the technically delicate burner unit, which demands a sophisticated production process with very exact tolerances, will be delivered from Germany.

Friday, 4 May 2007


Details of the Protos 'Plant Oil Stove' Burner & Cowel.

Note the needle valve control 'Bottom right of the picture.'


Thursday, 3 May 2007


Homebrew Protos Plant Oil Stove

After reading with interest all about the Protos plant oil stove and seeing the potential in the burner I took it upon myself to recreate the burner part of the unit.

Some things I changed for simplicity are on the vapourising element I only have one feed from the oil supply, the other end I have capped. My test unit is constructed from Micro bore 8mm copper tube, unsuitable for long term use but easy from a fabrication point of view.

I managed to create a 0.5mm hole by reaming out the tube with a drill bit and then pecking through the final copper tube with a sharp nail.

I placed my Protos burner into my Turk burner unit previously fabricated and connected it to my oil supply via a peristaltic pump at 0.5L per hour delivery.

Igniting was achieved with the help of a propane blow torch, this easily got the unit up to working temperature.

My Protos clone is in (Alpha) testing right now and I will bring some more details on how it performs in due course.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007


Protos plant oil stove for developing countries

Download Picture (300dpi, 1 MB) Video (wmv, 12 MB) FAQ Protos (175 KB)

A stove powered with plant-oil? That does not seem so unusual in an age in which even automobiles run on rapeseed oil. But, a high-tech, high-quality stove that is nevertheless so inexpensive that even poor families in developing countries can afford it, is a special challenge that requires a special idea. The plant-oil stove Protos, developed by BSH, is more than just a cooker; it is also generates positive ecological, economic, health and social benefits beyond basic humans needs of daily food preparation.
More than 2.5 billion around the world prepare food on open fires. Up to 700 kilograms of wood are needed per person per year to fulfill the cooking requirements, leading to severe deforestation, health and safety problems. The World Health Organization WHO estimates that every year 1.6 million people die as result of the indoor air pollution caused by those fires. Furthermore deforestation leads to ecological problems like flash floods and mudslides – as seen recently in the Philippines and elsewhere.
BSH is working to provide a viable alternative to the open fires, charcoal use as well as imported kerosene or gas used for cooking. With a core competence in developing world-class home appliances, BSH is dedicated to sustainable development for all members of society.
But, BSH cannot tackle this challenge alone. Support for the initial research and development in conjunction with the University of Hohenheim was provided by the German Environmental Foundation and other members of the Bellagio Forum for Sustainable Development.
On the ground, BSH is working in cooperation with the Leyte State University in the Philippines as well at the German GTZ and DEG and European Environmental Heritage Fund.
Protos. The Plant Oil Stove.An Initiative of Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances Group.
For further information:
(19 KB)
The Project - Using Plants Oil Stoves for Improved Health and Against Deforestation
(19 KB)
The Product - High-Tech for Reliable Cooking Energy in Developing Countries
(15 KB)
Our Project Partners
Impressions of the test operation of the cooker on the island Leyte