Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Steampunk as Ecology

Yeah, these look pretty and look like, well, hot air balloons. Which they are supposed to.  If you look more closely, however, you just might notice that they are made from light bulbs. 

It occurred to me that with all the replacement bulbs going in, this would be a wonderful use for the discarded ones.   For me, steampunk is as much about an ecological technology as it is about cool fashions and making stuff up.  I think of the surge of steam into art and craft as being a waking to the possibilities of alternate technologies. 

Solar technology is being applied to Stirling technology.  For those who don't know, Stirling engines were developed in response to the dangers of steam. 

This is a Stirling powered gramophone, powered by alcohol. 

I admit this is not terribly practical these days.  But how about this one? I might consider something like this for my house. (I have an old fashioned heater that might benefit form the heat re-distribution).
 Now this one is completely impractical. It's just fun. It's also how I was introduced to the little gems. I also saw one held in the hand, which might. if a blade was attached, make a nifty little fan.  The engine is based on a heat difference. This is what makes it useful in the context of solar energy.  I don't know how much power this puts out.


Marsha A. Moore said...

Fascinating stuff, and I agree that the imagination behind these devices is inspiring!

EW Gibson said...

Love those light bulbs. Elegant yet whimsical.

Coleen Kwan said...

Alcohol powered gramaphone...must have been some party!

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