The 1970s were the homebrew era in computing.
A wealth of interesting chips, combined with an industry attitude that computers were only for offices, combined into an intense period of creation, which eventually resulted in the PC revolution of the late 1970s and beyond.
Other industries (like WiFi) have gone through similar periods, and now it’s the turn for hydrogen, our best offense in The War Against Oil.
Most of the hydrolyzers, devices which product hydrogen, now on the market are like the DES Hogen RE. They’re designed for serious research purposes. This particular model can be hooked up to a host of renewable energy sources, so output can be measured.
On the other hand we have this, instructions on building your own hydrolyzer out of PVC pipe, in your own backyard. The producer of this device, Jeremiah Mondello, is apparently a high school student in Oregon, but weren’t Jobs and Wozniak high school students when they started at the Homebrew Computer Club, back in the day? (The answer is yes.)
I want to make two important points with this post:
- These are early days. The work of hobbyists is important. It can gain a great payback, on every level. Want to get your kid started on the right path in science? Here’s a great way to do it.
- The solutions to our power problems won’t all be based on the present mass market basis. That is, power produced by big companies and delivered to you.
The wind and Sun we need are all around all of us, and harnessing it there provides us an entirely new paradigm of energy production, one we need to explore scientifically, and allow for in terms of policy.