Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Wood Burning Beaver XR7

Chip Beam, the owner and operater of Beaver Energy, LLC, Has modified the car from a Mercury Cougar XR7 and named it the ‘Wood Burning Beaver XR7’ named after the rodent that loves to put his teeth in wood. It runs on wood, or indeed any other organic material, through a process called gasification.

Gasification is the converting of organic elements into gas. This car uses organic material, decomposes it by using a furnace burning at 2400 F. The charcoal-type material produced releases hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane gases that are sent through high temperature chambers. Thereafter the gases are cleaned, cooled and released into the Beaver’s engine.

This car runs on wood and other organic material, including grass and rabbit pellets. You can even use cow dung or, its creator says: soak rubbish in water and press it into the form of bricks that can then be used to run the car. About 10kg of wood would power the car for 36km.

Because the car’s factory engine is still powering the vehicle, all the car’s original accessories still function. The radio, air-conditioning, power windows and safety equipment all work as they were designed. If you are thinking of having your own; The Beaver XR7 costs $2.000 to convert. A stainless steel rustproof version would cost about $6.000.

The downside of this car is that the amount of energy stored in a wood pellet isn’t nearly as much as that stored in gasoline. Also the visibility in the mirror isn’t very good due to the added stratified downdraft gasifier on the back of the car. But I suppose it works wonders for those that no longer see any use for the trees in their back garden.


Low cost phone charger for those that live off-grid

A well known fact is that there is an increase in the amount of mobile phone owners around the world. A lesser known fact is that about 500 million of those owners lack electricty in their households and therefore have no way of charging their phones. A Hong Kong and Denver-based company has come up with two solar-power charging panels that are specially designed to remain affordable and viable “to users who live in off-grid, often impoverished regions of the world.”

Nokero International, the company that designed these solar-powered charging panels, say they remove cost in part by containing no battery. “We’ve heard stories of villagers traveling by foot and by boat, sometimes for days, to reach a place where they can charge their phones,” said Nokero founder Steve Katsaros. “In other places, people pay exorbitant prices to have their phones charged by vendors using diesesl generators and car batteries.”

Villagers in off-grid areas pay local vendors about US $2-$5 per kilowatt hour to charge a phone, according to the Carbon War Room. That’s compared to 10-20 cents per kWh in the average US household. The recharging stations use fossil-fuel generators to create power, polluting the air and creating unnecessary expense for people who only make dollars a day.

The newly developed 1-watt P101 is said to directly charge a typical cell phone in three hours, while the 2-watt P102 powers up a similar phone in 1.5 hours when there is enough sun. The pocket-sized panels are USB compatible and come with phone adapters. The chargers are not suitable for smart phones, that’s not the market Nokero focusses on.

For the press release, see: