Archive for September, 2008

Photos

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

This semester I am taking a photography class.¬† It’s the first time that I have used film in years.¬† We are using black and white film and processing and printing our images in the darkroom.¬† It is a whole new area of photography for me and I am enjoying it.¬† I hope to scan my prints and put them in their own gallery on the photo page.¬† I will also continue to take photos with my digital camera and post them as I always have.

~ Zach

Thoughts…

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

We obviously need to find a new source of energy besides fossil fuels.  We know of ways to produce electricity, either through solar, wind, nuclear, etc.  But, these do not solve our problem with vehicles.  None of the solutions to power our vehicles, so far, are without drawbacks.  It seems to me like electric vehicles are the easiest solution to the problem.  We already have ways of storing electricity (batteries), but it currently takes too long to charge batteries and they wear out.  As I see it we either need a way to charge batteries much faster or a different way of thinking about the implementation of batteries.

I would guess the average person spends 5-10 minutes, when there are no lines, filling up their vehicle with gas.  If we could find a way to recharge a battery in that amount of time then our problem is solved.  But, to be able to do this would require extensive research.  Afterall we have been improving batteries greatly over the years, but it still takes hours to charge.  This would be fine for driving around town, but would not work when traveling farther than one charge could take you.

So, my thought is why not make the batteries removable.¬† The current “gas station” could then be a place where you could swap your battery.¬† Naturally there would be a charge to do this swap, much like there is a charge to fill your tank with gas.¬† But, this would then allow people to travel the distances that they need/want to.¬† It would also solve the problem of what to do when the batteries wear out.¬† Since the batteries are being constantly swapped in and out of the charging stations when a battery does not hold it’s charge any more it can be replaced.¬† The price of the replacement could be built into the cost of swapping a battery.¬† This would also allow for a much easier recycling program because the consumer wouldn’t have to be responsible for the recycling of the old battery, instead the charging station would be responsible for that.

Of course we would eventually figure out how to make a battery that could be charged in a matter of minutes, in which case you would stop at the charging station plug in and pay for the electricity much like we fill up a the gas station today.

Just a thought, there are probably problems that I haven’t realized with this, and there may be other people who have thought of it before, but I thought I would just put the idea out there.

~ Zach