Yes, the “Long Now” dude has decided to produce a customisable gasification biochar kit for people to tinker with, measure the results, and innovate. It’s more about experimentation than industrialisation, more about co-operation and shared knowledge than private innovation for profit making.
So this unremarkable tank on the left represents more than just a few private energy geeks tinkering in their backyards. If the model catches on, it will do for energy what Open Source software and the internet have done for knowledge. More here… but before I go I just had to share the last paragraph. They are running a green car competition and honestly, the mind boggles.
The first event they are hosting to bring together alternative energy hackers is a road race: Escape from Berkeley (by any non-petroleum means necessary). It will be a road rally from Berkeley to Las Vegas, that any vehicle can enter as long as it scavenges all its fuel along the way. That could mean solar panels harvesting sunlight, bio-buses pulling used veggie oil from restaurants, gasifiers gathering sticks and grass off the side of the highway, anything that isn’t petroleum. It will be a fun ride, bringing together junkyard motorheads and NASA eco-geeks, hippies and hot-rodders, one from as far from Berkeley as Alabama. Entries are still open; you’re welcome to build a vehicle and race. Why not become a power hacker yourself?