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Avalence II

January 2, 2012

Avalence II
After I met with Tom, the Chief Technical Officer, I went to see Debbie Moss and Steve Nagy, the principals in Avalence. Actually, Debbie came to find me, because Tom and I had been talking for an hour and forty-five minutes and folks were wondering what exactly happened to us for so long. We were back in the lunch room sitting down, both of us with pads of paper madly scribbling down figures to calculate the energy benefits for us, BIOs Building Tech. Actually, the benefits are rather limited. But, after talking with Steve and Debbie about the nature of technological development, we at BIOs are still going to get one installed in our lobby.The questions is: why?The answer is not, believe it or not, to show what innovative thinkers BIOS leaders are. Instead, it is the planting of a seed. One of the most significant acts we can accomplish as a company is to show the public what is possible. If we somehow can influence one or two folks to use a Hydrofiller for their own use, more funds will flow toward Avalence, either in the form of outright sales or development funds from private investors or governmental programs. Eventually, Avalence will develop something not in the Beta stage. Eventually, they will make a machine that turns water into fuel and fits in your basement and runs your house’s entire energy needs from a fuel cell.One might wonder why this machine then must sit in our show room. Good question. But I think we suffer from a syndrome called “the Jetsons syndrome.” I just made that up, but it helps illustrate what I mean. The Jetsons syndrome is the popular belief that if we can imagine a new technology and someone can make a new technology, (household robots, for instance) then, poof, it will appear on our doorstep in ten years. Unfortunately, life and technology do not work like that. The missing ingredient in that equation is MONEY! Unless, Avalence gets sufficiently funded, they will no longer develop Hydrofillers. If they don’t develop more Hydrofillers, and ones that are more efficient than the ones they have already developed, gas stations won’t install Hydrofillers, because they will be too expensive. With no place to refuel, no one in their right mind would buy a hydrogen car, would they? (As an aside, in CA there are a nested bunch of hydrogen filling stations, and, guess what, more hydrogen cars are bought and sold in CA than anywhere else in the US.)The point is public opinion about a technology makes or breaks a technology. Do you remember thirty five years ago, when computers were these huge boxes that spit out reams upon reams of paper will holes punched out? No one in their right mind would want one of those things in their house. It would be stupid, expensive, messy, and pointless. Today, almost everybody reading this has a home computer. Computers are now reasonably priced and an integral part of our culture. But back then, computer companies, such as IBM and Mac received funds and support from vague and mysterious sources, and it wasn’t until many years down the line that they started to make money and Bill Gates became a household name.However, between the time that those paper dots were all over the computer lab floor and now, someone had to say to someone else, “Check this out! We have this amazing machine that can take this data I’m punching in here,” click, click, click, “and then it computes it all by itself and puts it out the answer over there. Just think, eventually every household will have one of these things!” I admit, I was one of those guys that looked at the computer geeky enthusiast and longed for the less intrusive slide rule version of geekdom. Time has shown me the error of my thinking.So, the answer to the question above, “Why?,” seems a lot clearer to me now. Someone has to be the geek enthusiast. Someone has to jump up and down with excitement over something others cannot yet see. This time around that may as well be me.  -Miles Shapiro

via Building A Zero Energy Home.

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