Project Pinwheel Design Diary: Entry XII

I think it's okay to say that I wanted Project Pinwheel to be able to charge all-electric vehicles; I don't question whether it can be done at all. My greatest concern is theft.

It's still an option but I wonder if that would limit what it can do - not that it's the only thing it would have done. I've thought of several scenarios where it would be helpful; most notably, those who simply can't plug an all-electric vehicle in a nearby outlet to charge which excludes...well...a tremendous amount of people from being able to buy an all-electric car.

Last night, I thought of a great deal of things I'd like it to be. From a technical perspective, it's safe to assume it will be at least several hundred watts. Honestly, when there is debate over efficiency vs. inefficiency, I'll have to introduce an inefficient element on purpose so that a fully functioning solar system simply works. It has to work first while inefficiencies are closely observed.

If you're wondering how a solar system of several hundred watts can charge an electric car, a kilowatt system, there's more to it than what I'm saying but since I don't know exactly how much I want it to be, I'd rather not set unrealistic expectations. If you're wondering if it can be done for ordinary consumers who aren't millionaires, it absolutely can. I just don't have the resources (including financially) or physical tools to build them let alone anyone else to assist me.

But I remind myself that solar has been dragging its feet for decades and I'm impatient with its progress. The reason it's still too expensive is because no one has properly embraced it on a large, commercial scale. If something is going to demonstrate what solar can do, I'm inclined to believe Project Pinwheel will be that system.

It's just that, while thinking about approaching an investor for assistance last night, several very different ideas came to mind and I was too excited to write anything about it at the time. Since October of 2010, I had a few ideas of what it should be able to do if it functioned as a kilowatt system. There are a lot of things to explore, however, no matter what it does, it has to be affordable first. What it will be able to do, if I have the financial backing, I hope to be nothing short of spectacular. The type of stuff I prooooobbably need to draw with stick figures or something since there's no physical representation of it.

Well, there is, actually. Project Pinwheel can be seen in the window of our house in its "baby" form. The data gathered since it began testing in October of 2010 was critical because time, among anything else, was the most important thing in gauging its feasibility for consumer use.

Looking forward, since Pinwheel may be the only Mid-Power system to be built by OTGP, it has to do many things and do them all extremely well. I believe it will take the idea of solar as people know it today, an unfamiliar technology which relies on the Sun and completely change perceptions about it...but not because of what it will be able to do. It will be because of what you can do with it.

I'm reminded of a science project from grade school; I think I really did try to build an alternator from two toy car motors. All I did was connect both shafts together and I knew the other engine would output electricity. How could I have known that? Ah, but energy into something is always greater than its energy output, right?

Hmm...I wonder.