Dust Off those Notebooks — Treasure Abounds

September 29 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Energy   Year: 2008   Rating: 10 Hot

It is amazing when one considers how the very technology needed to save our world from utter destruction might indeed be fifty or more years in the past.

For instance there’s the Stirling Engine patented in 1816 by Robert Stirling who pretty much had no idea how the thing worked, only that it worked. Amazingly, it ran off of heat alone. “it can be driven by any convenient source of heat.” It’s only recently that intense investigation and testing of this technology has occurred.

Most recently, we have a “new” type of refrigerator developed by Albert Einstein and his student Leo Szilard in 1930 which requires no electricity or moving parts.

“Malcolm McCulloch, an electrical engineer at Oxford, is trying to bring Einstein’s refrigerator back. McCulloch explains that the design is environmentally friendly and could prove especially useful in developing countries, where demand for cooling appliances is quickly increasing.”

The usefulness of such a device in our current landscape would be incredible, not to mention the endless benefits for countries in sub-Saharan Africa where electricity can be hard to come by. The ability to refrigerate food would not only help in the storage of food items, but also in the health of the people who often eat unsafe food. Refrigeration is just the thing needed to curb Cholera, Typhoid, Giardia and Amoebic or Bacterial dysentery in these developing countries.

If Einstein was able to throw that together using 1930’s technology, imagine what could be done today.

via Physorg and The Guardian

Comment Thread (3 Responses)

  1. I have thought for a long time that our dependence on oil and electricity have made us overlook some of the nifty older inventions that didn’t require either which were invented before the oil age. Viva la renaissance!

    Posted by: Mielle Sullivan   September 29, 2008
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  2. Oil and energy were convenient. It made many things convenient, which in turn, made us lazy. It’s getting us in the arse now.

    Posted by: Procreator   October 01, 2008
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  3. It would be cool to know how this and some other overlooked inventions function. I bet the list would be long. I also would bet that this will be a new source profit for companies since energy is getting so expensive that people will consider alternatives much more seriously then ever before.

    Posted by: Memetastic   October 09, 2008
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