After years trying to imagine and looking for new technologies with more “future capacity” than what they have now, many of which show widely their limits, finally in 2014 “we saw the light”, as the famous Blues Brothers movie, and we created Nova Somor inspiring us to the concept of Nicholas Georgescu Roegen’s bio-economy. We had in fact identified an italian technology from the ’30s, forgotten now-a-days, that can directly use the light for the production of useful mechanical work, without the usual “passage” through electricity. After a year and a half since the beginning of our start-up, now we realize that at the time the light was only “glimpsed”, the scope of our project was not fully understood. Working every day on thermodynamic systems at low temperatures and developing the international market for our products, we are becoming aware of what is potentially revolutionary during our path. This is not only about developing and updating a forgotten technology but very promising. The important thing is that with our systems we are going beyond the traditional concept of storaging energy and towards the real balance in the use of energetic resources of the planet. The way of accumulation was important to get where we are, but in many of the areas in which it is practiced it also becomes the reason of many of the problems of our civilization.
In the last two centuries a part of humanity has developed its technology, since the steam engine , based on the large accumulations of “black light”, the concentrated sunlight and “fossilized” in the oil, gas and coal . Thanks to technologies based on the black light, were made great improvements in the lives of people. But in recent decades, we realized two things: that fossil fuels will sooner or later end up and burning them in large quantities is changing the climate of the planet in a bad way. We also poison ourselves and the ecosystem that keeps us alive. So the ones of the industrialized world have, a few years ago, started to think and build technologies for the use of renewable energy. But it has not changed the way we think and we still think in terms of accumulation. Certainly these technologies are a huge step forward compared to fossil fuels, but they are still not “balanced” and do not exceed the concept of accumulation, because there is always electricity. The hydroelectric dams are made to store water and also the photovoltaic and wind energy, for their efficiency, are related to the accumulators of electric energy. It’s not that you think and you design in a new way, you just want to replace the accumulation of black light with the accumulation of white light that the sun sends us every day.
This is because it’s not easy to get out of the “single thought” of accumulation, in which we are living for too long. After more than two centuries of technological innovation developed along a linear way, it’s not easy to change the way you see things, especially for designers. Moreover, even in earlier centuries accumulation was the basis of our way of living and thinking, and still is. We accumulate stocks of all kinds for the difficult times and today we can save money, personal savings and retirement. Our economic system is based on the accumulation of capital, and even in almost every religion, for those who believe, we accumulate merits and demerits in this life that will be “weighted” to be rewarded or punished in the afterlife or in the next life. The accumulation is related to people’s lives and certainly involves many positive aspects. But at the level of development of new technologies and use of energy, solutions based on the accumulation in the long run do not have capacity for the future. Moreover the human being does not realize the limit of exploitation of resources, impoverishing and consuming even what should be left for future generations. Accumulation, for its characteristics, helps the human being to lose the sense of limit which regulates virtually all the Universe. Perhaps now is the time to review the old story of ants and cicadas to reassess cicadas, at least within the sphere that competes us.
The Nova Somor thermodynamic systems are radically different from other machines powered with renewable energy because it does not provide accumulation, if not in terms of a few ten minutes of thermal inertia. We manufacture and produce systems that do useful work when you need it and where you need it passing directly from sunlight to mechanical work, refrigeration, desalination of water, etc . in real time. No electric brokerage, without movement and without accumulation. Furthermore we always install in our systems manual activations so that, in case of failure, the resource remains available for people. In other mechanized pumping systems with solar energy water is available to the machine . In our case, while waiting for the assistance, the water can be pumped by hand and remains available.
This becoming conscious of the diversity of our systems, changes and evolves our vision and therefore our mission, to a wider level. We realize that, in addition to orient more specifically our internal technology choices, we can also affect other sectors. Our approach can provide ideas and inspiration for identifying new solutions in order to find the right balance between the various “comforts” of life and the cost of environmental energy that they have. In fact, we are creating a new line of thinking for the development of technologies for energy use. All this not in a perspective of reduction or regression of wealth, but in a perspective of a real modernization of the concept of comfort and technological utility by abandoning the old lines of thought based on the accumulation. Our daily commitment is to try to get the most out of water pumped, fresh product, desalination, etc., thanks to the light available at the moment. And also to design systems well “calibrated” and proportionate to the use, without following the usual mania of grandeur or the rules of consumerism.
In the field of energy use, not lifestyle, we should be guided by the nomadic aboriginal populations of Australia. When a group of these “primitive” goes for a “walkaround” in the outback of the hot Australian desert doesn’t bring anything. They wander naked without water bottles and backpacks, finding every day exactly what they need to live. Not surviving, but living well, in health and in joy. We “civilized” should arrive a day, keeping our comfort, to do the same with energy: use it day by day, without exploiting it, storing it, and above all without wasting it. When we get there we will be the perfect balance between wealth, energy use and environmental friendliness. A balance that will last without problems for an unlimited time, until the sun shines in the sky.
Giordano Mancini – Roberto Belardinelli
Rimini, 27th January 2016