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Creating new opportunities for the victims of automation, globalisation and other threats

 

 

How should we respond to the apocalyptic forces that are taking away our jobs and dignity?

Simplistic solutions such as “Putting America first” and “Making an independent Britain great again” stir the blood but they create more problems than they solve.

On this page we will outline a LP Turbine based alternative that avoids the jingoism.

Essentially we have three aims:

(i)          To create new jobs and dignity for people.

(ii)         To create a sense of belonging by encouraging people of all ages to gel together as communities.

(iii)        To counter the health threats unintentionally caused by modern living.

Part One

Some draft proposals to demonstrate how LP Turbines can help achieve these lofty aims.

1.1       Generating power in the UK and other countries with cool climates

LP Turbines cool their environment when they generate electricity. Domestic usage in built up areas will reduce the 'heat island effect', so that cities cool to near the temperature of the surrounding countryside. But, once cheap electricity becomes available, people will demand exotic applications such as outdoor space heating and thermal ice melting systems, to make their roads and pavements safer.

The law of conservation of energy tells us that we can't deliver these benefits by taking heat out of the environment we want to warm.

One solution would be to extract geothermal heat from the ground to fuel LP Turbines in winter. Then, during the warmer months, heat can be extracted from the air and the geothermal heat reservoirs left to recover.

In the UK, the ground temperature increases by about 25oC for every km we drill into the earth. This is quite adequate for powering LP Turbines.

Here are two suggestions for doing this.

(i)          Tap into the heat in abandoned deep mining tunnels.

Using the air vents, warm air can be extracted and cold air injected.

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Figure 1.  The old time miners may have gone. But the heat remains in the abandoned pits. Extracting heat from flooded pits will not be a problem because the warm water pumped out will be a usable source of heat. [The accessible heat content exceeds the energy required to pump the water to the surface.]

 

(ii)         Build community power stations that generate electricity AND offer social facilities for the local community. This prospect is only possible because of the clean, quiet way in which LP Turbines generate electricity.

First we will take a look at the main power generating features.

 

Figure 2. The underground heat is only tapped into in cold weather and at night.

This is how we can turn LP Turbine heat collection into a community asset.

 

Figure 3. Adding the community facilities increases the construction costs. But it appeases local people who fear that a power station “in their backyard” will devalue their properties.

Air pollution by incineration gases can be avoided because LP Turbine technology allows the CO2 to be captured and liquefied for sequestration. Our patent literature [patent numbers at the top of this linked page] explains how the heat extracted during the liquefaction process can be harvested for powering the LP Turbines.

Some of the CO2 can be added to vertical farm air, to improve the rate of plant growth.

[Adding CO2 can increase crop yields by up to 30%. https://fifthseasongardening.com/regulating-carbon-dioxide]

The carbon capture process is considerably simplified if part of the power station output is used to produce hydrogen for transport fuel by splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. The municipal waste could then be burned in pure oxygen, producing almost pure CO2 combustion gas.

Community power stations could be funded by local investors with local people having a say in electricity prices. This would do a lot more for creating enterprising communities, compared with the present system where the energy suppliers are remote and faceless.

Innovation opportunity

The commercialisation of LP Turbines will create a demand for a whole range of new types of industrial plants. These will include integrated incineration, carbon capture and liquefying units.

 

1.2       Using the low cost power generated by LP Turbines to rethink how we keep our communities alive.

 

There is no logical reason why humanity cannot enjoy both the benefits of globalisation and a local focused economy.

One way forward is to create 21st century closely knitted communities that enjoy the psychological bonding of producing much of their own food, while freeing the majority of those of working age to earn their living in the global economy.

(i) Cities
Skilled architects and town planners will hopefully come up with a range of innovations on this theme. Here is a first suggestion to get the innovation rolling.

Below we offer an outline concept for combining vertical farms with vertical living.

Our design is inspired by the work of Le Corbusier who created a vertical community for people in Marseille who had lost their homes in the Second World War. Corbusier’s design worked well in balmy warm southern France. We have added some extra indoor features to help build communities in colder climates.

 

 

Figure 4. Adding the farm makes full use of the ground level space while allowing the flats to be built in a series of steps. This creates an artificial hillside in the manner of The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

The diagram below shows how this novel structure allows an interactive community to evolve.

 

Figure 5. Low cost energy delivered by LP Turbines will reduce the capital cost of building this type of settlement and also reduce their running costs. A key feature of indoor farming is that it can provide a steady output of crops throughout the year. This is less financially stressful and more dignified for workers, compared with seasonal work.

Residents may chose to use their indoor 'garden' space to develop their own low risk micro-businesses, for example selling their own artworks or plants or clothes altering. Some would go on to develop larger businesses in external premises. These local businesses would counter the anonymity of national retail chains.

Each 'street level' would develop its own character. To enhance these differences, the farm would grow different crops  at different street levels.

Variety would encourage residents to take strolls around their residential building. This would reinforce the community identity.

The farm repair shop could double-up as a ‘maker space’ for use by hobbyists and micro-businesses. Equipment could include lathes, work benches, potter's wheels, kilns etc.
Personalising homes: The micro-businesses could enhance their community by
¨ converting first floor balconies into small conservatories, ¨ adding pet proof fencing to patios, ¨ constructing compact and safe kids play furniture, ¨ making bespoke plant containers ¨ installing air purifiers for micro food takeaway businesses.

Fire safety standards will be higher than for conventional high rise flats because fire fighting crews and their hoses will be able to gain external access to the highest stories. The installation of multiple escape routes will also be easier. For example residents could escape via the vertical farm unit. The installation of sprinklers will be more cost effective because they will be needed for everyday use at each level, for horticultural irrigation. The north facing vertical farm also provides cladding free insulation for the coldest face of the building.

Promoting good mental and physical health Indoor gardens in wide corridors will provide year round social space and locally produced fruit and vegetables will offer a healthy diet. Private, south facing outdoor spaces will encourage exposure to natural sunlight and buildup of vitamin D. Solid state corridor lighting will mimic natural 24 lighting cycles, helping to synchronise circadian rhythms and fight depression. Two storey marionettes will offer more incidental exercise than single storey flats.

Caring for the elderly & infirm within the tower community
This could create jobs for younger people while allowing elderly residents to remain within the community.
Features such as the indoor corridor gardens will make monitoring of the elderly and infirm easier.
In order to minimise adaption costs, the marionettes should be designed with the transition into old age in mind. For example anchor points for stair rails and chair lifts should be interchangeable and downstairs storerooms positioned for easy conversion into toilets.

The capital cost of these community buildings will be higher than for traditional high rise flats. But over their lifetimes the health and social benefits of creating genuine communities will outweigh this.

 

  

(ii) Agricultural villages

The mechanisation of farming has forced young people to move from towns to the cities to find work. On this linked page we suggest how hydrogen powered robo-tractors could breathe new life into our rural communities.

  

(iii)    Pit villages: The Coaltown Alps

Abandoned slag heaps could be stabilised and converted into ski slopes.

Maintaining the 'ski resort' and providing customer services would create jobs at a range of skill levels.

Figure 6. Snow making machines demand a lot of power and water. We propose operating them in an environmentally friendly way by using LP Turbines to provide clean power and flood water from the mines for making the snow.

A wooded area at the base of the snow slopes would provide a buffer zone where the cold ‘mountain air' could warm up, to avoid chilling the neighbours. These cool woodlands would increase biodiversity by providing a different habitat to adjacent warmer land. They could also be used for roller cross country skiing and similar sports.

Woodland cafes and adventure playgrounds in the woods would provide a welcome retreat for families on hot summer days.

 

2          LP Turbines and their global prospects for new job creation

Artificial intelligence, factory floor robots and driverless vehicles can all replace human operators. This is a threat to jobs, especially low and semi-skilled work.

In contrast LP Turbines will create new jobs because low cost energy will allow us to do new things.

Here are some examples:

(i)          Lower fuel and energy costs will release household income for spending on leisure activities and non-essential products.

(ii)         Innovators will come up with improved technologies for sorting and recycling refuse products if their customers have access to low cost clean electricity.

(iii)        Low cost energy will allow a wide range of crops to be grown in vertical farms. Many more foods could be grown locally instead of importing them.

(iv)        In addition to protecting jobs threatened by climate change, LP Turbines would also allow interventions at a local level. For example adding artificial snow to rebuild glaciers that are economically important to the skiing industry is currently being discussed by Swiss engineers. [New Scientist, 6 May 3017, page 7.] LP Turbines could make this a reality without the scheme generating more global warming gases.

 

3          The Jobs Balance

LP Turbines are not good news for everyone. Some jobs will be lost, but more will be created. The biggest changes will be in the electricity generating and petrochemical industries.

3.1       Jobs lost in the power and petrochemical sectors

(i)          Jobs will disappear in the large companies that supply our electricity and maintain our national electricity grids.

(ii)         Jobs will also be lost in the petrochemical industry. Especially in the major oil producing nations. If they act quickly, the Middle Eastern oil producers should do well because LP Turbines will reduce the costs of greening their deserts. Russia, with its cooler climate, will not fare so well.

3.2       Compensating jobs gained in these sectors

(i)          LP Turbines and localised power networks will all require maintenance. This may lead to an increase in jobs in the the advanced economies because electricity demand will increase.

(ii)         Likewise, the infrastructure for a hydrogen economy will require staffing and maintenance.

(iii)        Approximately 20% of petrochemical stock (or its bio-chemical equivalent) will still be required for manufacturing goods as varied as plastics and fertilisers.

 

4          Other sectors where LP Turbines will create jobs

4.1 Agriculture in cool climates

Vertical farming will allow a greater proportion of vegetables and fruit to be grown for the home market. Heavy crops such as wheat and maize are more suited for growing in ground level glass houses, or on the ground floor of low rise vertical farms.

4.2 Agriculture in warm climates

Glasshouse horticulture will become more attractive because the LP Turbines employed to extract the heat could use the electricity they generate to power seawater desalination systems. LP Turbines could also be used to chill the crops for shipping.

4.3 The aviation industry

The adoption of clean, low cost hydrogen as an aircraft fuel will allow the industry to expand and reduce ticket prices, while simultaneously reducing climate damage. But this will not happen for many years. Due to the low density of liquid hydrogen and the need to keep it very cold, aircraft will need to be completely redesigned. It is likely that the fuel will be carried in the fuselage and the passengers will ride in the wings. 

4.4  Leisure and tourism

Reduced catering, power and transport costs will make leisure and tourism more affordable. Long term threats to the tourist industry caused by climate change and rising sea levels will also be reduced.

4.5 Recycling

Reducing the energy component of recycling processes will allow a greater proportion of our finite materials to be recycled.

4.6 Manufacturing and retail

An increase in consumerism will be ethically acceptable thanks to more efficient recycling and low carbon footprint manufacturing.

4.7 The arts, professional sports and other live audience entertainments

Reduced heating, lighting and transport costs will reduce the costs of staging live performances and touring. 

4.8 ‘The Money-Go-Round’

Creating jobs puts money in people’s pockets, allowing them to spend more on leisure, tourism and other none-essential items. This in turn creates more jobs.

4.9 Giving a little extra help

Lower heating, energy, food and transport costs will reduce the overheads for most businesses, encouraging them to employ more people.

 

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