June 21, 2006. When the Torrent electrolyser was first mooted and the innovative design-work was begun, the fact that it was the only electrolyser on Planet E that bettered the United States Department of Energy's capital-cost targets was exhilarating. But the rest of the planet was not equally enthused, and now other companies have even cheaper products on the near horizon, notably ITM Power, the British company that has a startlingly innovative PEM electrolyser coming at a projected cost of just $US164 per kilowatt, far lower than even the Torrent can get down to. Then there is General Electric, which plans to make an alkaline electrolyser from its proprietary Noryl plastic and has a smart way of making the electrodes, which will of course enable it to pump them out like so many meat pies.

Which all adds up, at very best, to a small and uncertain window of opportunity for us. It would obviously be unwise to gamble so much for so little, therefore the development of the Torrent is being abandoned. A pity, because there were some very nice things in the design. In particular was its most elegant solution to the old electrolyser problem--how to keep the gases separate at pressure. Usually a membrane of some sort is used. The Torrent achieved it without one. Perfect separation, but no membrane. Just the natural working of the machine kept them separate. Simple physics. It is a wonder no one else does it.

But all is not lost for a Torrent from EStarFuture, because the name is being held for something else. It is much too good to give up. So is 'EStarPower,' the name of the power-supply module for the electrolyser.

The logo and trademark of EStarFuture Corporation Limited, also trading as E*Future (TM). Copyright 2004 Nobilangelo Ceramalus and 2005 EStarFuture Corporation. Click for company details.
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The logo and trademark of EStarFuture Corporation Limited, also trading as E*Future. Copyright 2004 Nobilangelo Ceramalus and 2005 EStarFuture Corporation. Click for company details.
We say we live on the earth, but it is truer to say that we live in the lower sky. What we do to it we do to ourselves. The sky, literally, *is* the limit, because it makes our boundaries. Mess it up and we mess up our lives.
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Clean energy for a clean future--the sunlight and water economy: solar and hydrogen.

January 6, 2006. An authorative study in the journal Nature, reported by the BBC , shows the terrible extent to which we may be changing the world, and how long it would take to get it right again. The temperature rise of 4 to 7 degrees Celsius that caused the damage 55 million years ago is the sort of rise predicted by computer models for this century--although the worst scenario painted by the models predicts a rise of up to 14 degrees.

For the 2005 news, click on the archive link at the top of the page.

January 10, 2006. Perhaps on the principle that a highly configurable, very user-friendly green car should have a fund-raiser to match, EStarFuture has added a range of options to its innovative people-power, people-pennies bid to get its very green EStarCar Project off the ground.

Those who want to make a simple donation can still do so. But there is now also a sub-option for those to whom 'pennies' mean what thousands of dollars mean to most people. Anyone who combines such wealth with planet-friendliness, and who donates $US10,000 or more to the EStarCar Project will be able to buy an EStarCar at cost once the prototype is humming swiftly down the road and production has begun.

Then for those who want to put their names on a slice of history there is a tailor-made option. The EStarCar is to be 4 metres long, which can be seen as 4000 1-millimetre 'slices.' The cost of producing the prototype, i.e, the amount needed for the EStarCar Project, is $US500,000, which makes each slice worth $US125. So donors can 'buy' a slice of this innovative car, they can get a slice of history, and an ornate certificate to prove it and prove their green credentials. Or several slices.

And for those who like to have something tangible around them in return for their contribution there is the option to buy an EStarCar T-shirt for $US125. Pricey for a T-shirt, true, but the money is for the planet not the shirt.

Then there are EStar Foundation memberships for sale at $US500 each. Memberships run till December 2010, and the number is strictly restricted to 555 (the number has a nice ring to it, and seems a reasonable estimate of the balance of donors, slice-sales and memberships). Foundation members will be a select band who will have have exclusive access to a website giving special reports on the project, and details and specifications of the car, which will not be found elsewhere, once the project gets under way (full start is when $US125,000 has been raised).

The number of visitors to the EStarCar site ( is growing as word spreads, and the bar-graph of contributions is rising towards that full-start total.

EStarFuture Corporation is a small, innovative New Zealand company determined to cut through the greedy self-interest of the Big Iron carmakers, who care everything for their bottom lines and nothing at all for the planet's. The company's carefully costed, very detailed design, using off-the-shelf technology, can be brought to tested prototype then go into production in no more than two years from full-start. That would be years ahead of the procrastinating Big Iron merchants, who pretend that decades and billions are needed to put a green car, an FCV, on the road--a blatant lie.

The EStarCar also goes further than any design they have shown. First, it is, strictly speaking, an FCV+, because it has a total of nine primary and secondary power-sources including the fuel-cell. Other FCVs have no more than three, sometimes four.

The EStarCar has also been designed for maximum simplicity of manufacture, again a marked contrast to the Big Iron merchants, who keep their machines complicated so as to keep their monopoly--only they can make them. But the EStarCar has taken advantage of the comparative simplicity of an electric vehicle, and enhanced that quality. It has been designed for dispersed manufacture by small, accredited teams all over the planet, so production can be far more easily ramped up, and thus the 775 million fossil-fuel horrors can be far more rapidly replaced with machines that do not kill the planet and its inhabitants

January 17, 2006. The headline says it all. For nearly fifty years man's insane addiction to fossil fuels has been increasing the amount of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere by 1.5 parts per million per year. That was bad enough, because it was taking us ever further from from the very safe 280ppm that we had had before we started using fossil fuels. But in the last three or four years the annual increase rose to 2ppm. Now, in just the first ten months of 2005, it has totalled 2.2ppm, which means about 2.6ppm for the full year--a massive 173% increase over that already unsafe 1.5ppm. 1.5ppm had taken us to about 380ppm, the certain prelude to major climatic change; the sudden change to 2ppm set alarm bells ringing even louder; now that has shot up even further. The predicted accelerated feedback has begun, proving that we actually passed the point of no-return in planetary damage decades ago, given the long lag between cause and effect.

February 17, 2006. Reports in the UK's Telegraph newspaper and BBC News make alarming, but unsurprising, reading. A NASA-led team has found that Greenland's glaciers are melting 150% faster than they were ten years ago, which led them to say that official estimates of a 100-900mm rise in the level of the earth's oceans by 2100 might be too low. Ditto the optimisitic notion that it will take up to 1000 years to melt the Greenland icecap.

'Sea levels are rising quicker than previously thought because the amount of water Greenland's glaciers are dumping into the Atlantic Ocean has almost doubled in five years, according to research to be published today. Scientists who carried out the first comprehensive analysis of changing speeds of the glaciers on the world's largest island were shocked to discover that many have doubled in speed within the past decade.'

The research on Greenland comes hard on the heels of other research, published on Science Daily, into the famous snows of Kilimanjaro, the mountain in equatorial Africa, which shows that they are, as predicted, vanishing.

As the troposphere warms (the lowest layer of the atmosphere), the stratosphere (the next layer, 15-23km up) cools. January 2006 was the coldest the stratosphere has ever been measured. See the NOAA-NCDC site.

(till moved to the blog)