Friday, 1 November 2013

Not fit for purpose

Under British law, a product must be fit for purpose, if not the contract is void and a refund must be given. But that has never stopped projects going ahead where either the creator was too optimistic about a partially or totally inadequate system, and had to find out the hard way, with many customers who did try it innocently getting little or nothing in return before the company packed up altogether.

The first time I became aware of this was when mobile phones had just been created before they were ready for the market, ie they didn't yet have the ability to perform as a telephone. But people going off prematurely has always been part of human nature, so a company who ought to have known better, Hutchison Telecom from Hong Kong, brought out a system called Rabbit where owners had a mobile phone they could make outgoing calls on within a few hundred feet or so of their aerials, indicated by a Rabbit sign outside shops and areas supplied. Now if you have a phone it is more important people can call you, as prior to their existence if you wanted to simply make a call you used a public phone box. The fact calling from a Rabbit cost substantially more than the equally distributed public phone boxes meant they served absolutely no useful purpose at all. They didn't do more than you could already, in fact less, as it cost far more to buy and use one than simply find a phone box, which was usually more easy to find than a Rabbit aerial point.

This was also the first time my mind clicked into place to recognise the formula, one similar to being able to detect a crime in a jury setting or a fault in someone else's science, there was no way this would work. Of course I was right and it folded within a short time, clearly losing millions and wasting a heck of a lot of time and resources. The second major discovery, the precedent it set, was so called experts can screw up just as big time as anyone else, and there were no expert advisors they clearly used telling them what I as someone in their early twenties could have told them in five minutes given the plan.

We have three current Hutchison Rabbits on the market at the moment. They are all incapable of delivering what they claim at a reliable or constant manner, ie they are not fit for purpose as they are all required to do so, yet they all exist. I have already covered the electric car, which in its current form cannot reliably perform the whole time and is guaranteed to let you down sooner or later. They may find ways round it but till they are found the electric car should never be sold to the public as they are the ones who will end up walking miles in the snow and ice to get to public transport when their car runs out of charge as they dared to use the lights and heater at the same time. Using a single source of power for propulsion and peripheral functions stops you being able to calculate the range, and not being able to either carry fuel to them when they run out, or recharge them in under a few hours minimum means eventually you will be stranded, either away from a charger or next to one. People still buy them but once they get caught in the trap most will not keep them, and unless all these issues are addressed the concept will die like the Rabbit.

The other two can never deliver by their nature, wind and solar power. Wind is easily the worst known example, as the turbines can never convert more than what goes in, and it goes in randomly and always will. There is currently no method of storage (unlike solar), so when power is actually generated much is wasted as can't be used at the time as there isn't any demand. The costs involved include the materials, new wiring grid, and fitting, and then the ongoing costs of electricity (of which they require many watts to slow them down, speed them up, turn them to the wind and melt the ice) and maintenance (imagine sending a man offshore to fix one in a boat or helicopter when required) cancel out a large portion of the little power they produce anyone uses. None of these elements are solvable, as they are innate in their design, and without subsidies and laws to enforce their use under the guise of saving the planet you'd only have stand alone versions for powering small industrial plants etc where they still can't perform but don't waste as much money doing it.

Solar panels are nearing their maximum conversion rate now, the sunlight is reduced 25 by the atmosphere, so unlike satellites which have a constant source of strong sunlight, we only have weak light delivered during the daylight hours. People can use batteries for the rest of the time, but only if the amount used during the day is not used so a surplus is collected, and that can never be enough to fill the gaps as they are not capable of doing so. The costs to buy are known, and whatever the reduction over time won't matter as long as the sun goes down at night and is low in the winter when you most need them.

Overall all three are not worthy of existence, electric cars not in their current form and wind and solar by their very natures. And no, experts do not always get things right, and in the case of wind and solar they do not need to as they are paid for not by customers but by taxpayers who have no choice in the matter, so get nothing for something while the owners and landowners who host them get everything for nothing. That can't be fair can it?

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