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re: too much government "help" hurt solar heat
2 apr 2001
mr. mike  wrote:

> analogy with solar cookers will tell you that your designs will
>never fly in the real world. not many use a cardboard cooker that can
>be made for 2 bucks and in 4 hours. why? lots of reasons. let's call
>this one *anthropology today>* the folks in india, china, burma,
>haven't embraced the ideas because it's too damn foreign to them.

nothing to do with the fact that they tend to fall apart and melt
in the rain and take hours to boil water? :-) even powerful durable
cookers seem like impractical toys to me. they won't work at night
or on cloudy days, and cooking is a small part of most household
energy budgets. (so is electricity--1:5 in vermont, 1:1 in hawaii.)

that said, why don't we see more houses like mine with $500 32' wide
x 12' deep x 16' tall lean-to cloudy plastic film greenhouses over
their south walls (including the windows)? no curb appeal :-) but
how about parabolic lawn sculptures?

>    the same thing applies here, i think. either it's too complicated
>with all the formulas and math...

you mean all the high school physics and algebra? :-)

>or nobody has done working prototypes.

one might say one's need for a working prototype is inversely proportional
to one's understanding of high school physics and algebra.

>somebody should just write a simple manual, explaining the proven
>principles and design ideas, and turn everybody loose.

sounds good to me. got a pencil?

>instead of hypothesizing about 16'cubes, how about some real ideas
>using common materials and with common techniques?

like wood, and welded wire fencing, and sawkerfs? :-)

nick, lately leaning towards steel...

it's a snap to save energy in this country. as soon as more people become
involved in the basic math... solution after solution will appear.

			      tom smith, 1980

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