An Energy Challenge 2016


Open to all educational, research and industry teams.

Get the maximum energy possible out of a single ‘tea light’ candle.

No limits as to the equipment used except that the whole machine must only be powered by the ‘tea light’.

Entries will be judged on the energy recovered and the cost of the capital required.

The prize(s) will be a single ‘tea light’ suitably inscribed.



P.S. A ‘tea light’ candle produces about 20 watts for however long the candle lasts. Let’s try and make the best of it. And not have to think of a future where the deliberately simple cartoon and slogan becomes a terrifying actual reality. A novel re-purposing of an xMass theme of angels dancing over a flame with a possible solution or fear for the future.





5 thoughts on “An Energy Challenge 2016

  1. Hi Richard, Since I do not know the order of my comments you will receive, I initially responded about the image of the vortex tube and stated I would comment again after completing the scan. So this is the second comment.

    Averaging anything destroys information, so I am not much interested in the data of many of your graphs. A few year ago I did review a few decades of monthly (Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb) precipitations as measured at the local weather service relative to the average precipitation for those months over those decades. By considering that ‘average’ monthly precipitation within 2 inches of the average value was a average precipitation for the month, I found that about 1/3 of the monthly precipitations were average, about 1/3 were greater than average, and about 1/3 were less than average. From which I concluded that atypical rates were twice as likely as the average rate and therefore it was the average rate which was actually atypical.

    Before I go further, I assume you know what I commented about on Spencer’s blogsite the past two days. I had given up participating on blogsites but Lidzens question seemed to open the door wide and I walked in hoping for a good scientific discussion. But you saw the result.

    I consider I totally understand your mention of atmospheric temperatures measured at 2 meters because they seldom represent the actual temperature of the condensed matter’s radiating surfaces. And I am referring to temperature differences of tenths of a degree, but more likely of several degrees.

    I am quite backwards in ways. I only discovered that I could access the sounding data a few years ago. And I only discovered the NOAA Surfrad project which actually began in 1996 a couple months ago. My meteorology expert is R. C. Sutcliffe and his book Weather and Climate which was first published in 1966. He wrote: “Clouds which do not give rain, which never even threaten to give rain but which dissolve again into vapour before the precipitation stage is ever reached, have a profound effect on our climate.” So clouds are my thing and the data being generated by the Surfrad project supplies all the information (data) needed to understand the earth’s energy balance system.

    But I consider to understand the radiation balance system is only one piece of the puzzle necessary to understand weather. The distribution of energy (heat) by the atmosphere circulation which in turn creates the currents of the oceans is just as important. In the chapter, The Winds of the World, Sutcliffe wrote: “All this may seem a far cry from the general circulation of the world’s atmosphere but the detail serves to point the moral, that one cannot explain the broad features of the world climate if one does not know the actual mechanisms involved.” Richard Feynman taught his students at Caltech a light scattering theory of light by cloud droplets to which I have not found any other physicist referring. During the past year or two I have repeatedly tried to bring this theory to the attention of those who read Spencer’s site; without any success.

    Because I cannot remember reading any comments by RichardLH, I assume you are generally unaware of my comments. Which is okay because I cannot, at this point, claim that I know much about you and your ideas. I know I would like to establish a dialogue with you to learn about your ideas more. However, I would prefer to do this by email than on this site, or my site which I haven’t used in a couple of years because no one commented (except my daughter who prompted me to set up the site) about what I posted. Since I see you already have my email address, if you chose to reply, please email.

    Have a good day, Jerry

    • I want to see if we can get people the world over concentrating on just this sort of thing. What is being done here is great and certainly is a possible entry into the challenge. The question is, can anyone do any better 🙂

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