Good Energy

The guys at Good Energy have been really supportive and excited about the expedition, so much so that they have made a contribution which allows me to keep the blog regularly updated during the expedition, so they and everyone else can follow the journey. Good Energy supplies 100% renewable electricity sourced from wind, water, sun and sustainable biomass. CO2 from coal-fired electricity generation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Switch your electricity supply to Good Energy using this link and not only will you be supporting the pioneering community of independent green generators, but for every sign up they get they’ll make another donation to help get the bus around the world. It helps you cut your personal CO2 emissions, helps them grow a great business, and helps me get round the world.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Euro Zero to Euro Hero.

The departure deadline of August the 15th which I rashly set last week in a bid to chivvy everyone along is now looking flaky again!

I got a lot done before leaving the workshop on Middle Farm, but there are still plenty of jobs that need finishing up, and some might not get done until we are underway.

Most things are fitted to the bus, but hardly anything is actually commissioned and working yet.

In a way this isn't critical to the departure, because we can set a lot of these things up along the journey.

My big concern is the tank. I've had no way to check if it has any leaks, and won't know until we fill it. I have a plastic welding kit ready to plug any leaks but at this stage the tank can't be removed or replaced so it will have to be repaired if it does have a problem.

Likewise for Oilybits plumbing system which as of this weekend is all installed, but for a few hose-clips and drain hoses. We won't know if there are any weeping joints until it's working.

The solar system is all installed but again not wired up and I have just now ordered the mother of all batteries (200Ah, and weighs almost 70kg). I'm fretting about the current demands on the cabling I have salvaged from an office refurb, and am waiting to hear back from John an electrician friend (who is also preparing a bicycle for me made out of salvaged spare parts he has lying around) about current rating on this cable I have.

The hydrogen generator is also installed, but until I have power from the PV cells, I can't hook it up, and until I have the thermostatic cut out switch I ordered from an EBayer in China 3 weeks ago, I'm worried about overloading it and setting fire to the bus.

I spoke to Euro Tunnel this week and hopefully they will take us across the channel, although obviously they are concerned about the fuel tanks and hydrogen. I joked that the composting toilet is more of a bio-hazard, misjudging how seriously they take safety and probably blew our chances using the tunnel. Its a pity because it's powered by French Nuclear electricity so has a low carbon footprint and would be a help in keeping our impact down. We'll find out this week.

Meanwhile, Wayne and Adam have been doing an amazing job of servicing the bus. In their old haulage yard they have steadily worked their way through everything - a list longer than first expected - to prepare it for MOT testing. They've fitted a particulate filter which takes the emissions from Pre-Euro rating (ie Euro 0) to Euro 4, (a brand new bus is currently Euro 5). Not bad for a 20 year old bus. With a few more modifications they could bring it up to Euro 6!

They are also servicing the gearbox oil with a synthetic oil that will increase efficiency and adding a dosing pump for a Platinum based fuel additive (1 part in 3000) that reduces emissions and improves efficiency. Seeing the work these guys do has been the most inspiring part of the project so far because it shows that you can turn old vehicles into really green vehicles.

If the work takes longer to do than planned, then so be it, and we'll leave later than planned. That's all. I have to keep reminding myself that if this happens, it's no big deal, and everyone will understand.

1 comment:



What do you think?