Ideas

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michaeljc
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Location: New Zealand

Ideas

Post by michaeljc » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:48 am

Here is a place to relay ideas, however crazy. I have always relished ideas, driving my Dad crazy.

I am a trained geologist and also a diesel mechanic. My eldest son is trade engineer. We have a commercial workshop on the farm.

As some of you know I spent 5 years offshore in developing countries as a water engineer. Most rural communities were reliant on hand pumps. These drove me to distraction due to poor durability. In Ethiopia I had one technician going full time servicing 150 pumps. At any one time 50 would be out of action and after 12 months work there were another 50. He made no inroad. Astonishingly this brand of pump was designed in Switzerland by a major consultancy and is the most common in Africa. Average time between overhaul is less than one year. The human cost of this peace of crap is enormous. My Bosses would just say - "provide a parts chain and train them (the locals) to repair them".

So I got to thinking. Through exhaustive thinking and discussions with my son and another very innovative colleague, a long journey of development and experimentation began in 2008. It has been a fascinating journey and the trash bin is full of failed components and rejected experiments. Why so difficult? In order of importance: durability, performance, light weight, compact, simple, moderate cost. A great aircraft designer Burt Rutan worked by the principle: "Increase simplicity, add lightness" (very Zen don't you think?) Another Zen principle "the journey is more important then the destination" has also kept me going.

Anyway, it is evening here. Outside I hear the third prototype is churning away. It will continue until it breaks or does 6 months 24/7. Like Zen again there is no way of speeding up the testing. 6 months 24/7 is equivalent to the 5 years of normal operation I have defined as a minimum durability. The first 2 prototypes worked but I considered them still too complex.

My son is dyslexic. He has an astonishing ability to see things from many perspectives. I would not have gotten this far without him. With his help we have ended up with something so simple it is ridiculous. I am getting excited now and sense that we are nearly there.

Any other "crazy" ideas out there? :113:

ANY idea!

M

PS: Another principle: "The last 10% of idea development takes up 50% of the cost and time" So many give up at the 90% mark.

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desert_woodworker
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Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Ideas

Post by desert_woodworker » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:52 pm

Michael, and Son,

Our famous USA inventor about 100 years ago is credited with this quote:

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed
in overalls and looks like work."

- Thomas A. Edison

Congrats!, to both you and your son in going so far and producing a pump prototype that shows signs of being highly reliable; I hope it comes to market and does much good around the world; wishing you a good continuing run with the test-unit,

--Joe

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guo gu
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Re: Ideas

Post by guo gu » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:11 am

thanks, michael for sharing. and thank you and your son also for implementing your idea in ethiopia.

here's one idea:

in practice, as is elsewhere...
where you save power is where power is gained.
what seems like regress is progress...

ppl usually try really hard to do this and do that in practice... driven by all sorts of impetus.
one should practice, but when one introduces lightness/gentleness, least amount of effort, everything falls into place.

be well,
guo gu

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Ideas

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:08 pm

GG,
guo gu wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:11 am
one should practice, but when one introduces lightness/gentleness, least amount of effort, everything falls into place.
Agreed, Guo Gu.

Our shih-fu taught us right, I'd say.

I remember that one of the bits in our Ch'an liturgy was a "prayer", which in English, contained a line,

"We pray, ...for freedom and ease of body and mind".

Well, I was one who eventually found that one could exercise freedom and ease in practice in order to discover hugely greater freedom and ease as a result in daily life. ;) Gratitude,

:namaste:

--Joe
Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind. - Ma Tsu

Liberation is awakening to one's original nature. - Ma Tsu

The World is all that is the case. -Ludwig Wittgenstein

Why weigh anything heavy?

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desert_woodworker
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Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Ideas

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:49 pm

Michael, a few years ago at ZFI, I wrote about how global warming is more important near the POLES of the earth, as that's where the greater heating is occurring.

Averaged over the whole earth, the heating may only be about a degree C, but near the poles the heating effect is greater.

And from this heating near the poles, the impact on the whole earth is great, because it eventuates in melting of ice, loss of ice, and loss of the glaciation that had held water in abeyance from raising sea levels for millennia. That ice melts into the ocean(s).

Below is a NASA graphic of the measured loss of ice in Greenland during more than one decade of time, recently.

The annual rate of loss of Greenland ice is lately about 280 GigaTons of water ice per year, which raises sea level about 0.8 mm per year worldwide.

--Joe

GRACE_sat_Greenland_ice_loss.jpg
GRACE_sat_Greenland_ice_loss.jpg (344.81 KiB) Viewed 100 times

GRACE_sat_Greenland_ice_loss_reverse.jpg
GRACE_sat_Greenland_ice_loss_reverse.jpg (355.97 KiB) Viewed 100 times

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