Tom Walma


Refrigerator Environmental Heat Tunnel

Invention, EnvironmentalismTom WalmaComment

I live in Michigan, where it's cold in the winter.  I always found it ridiculous to have a refrigerator in the middle of a house in the winter.  You have to pay to heat the area within your house, then you have to pay again to cool a smaller area inside the house, i.e. the refrigerator.  If you just set the refrigerator outside or in the garage, it could pretty much sit idle at the outside temperature, not costing much of anything to keep cool.  But I'm too lazy to haul my refrigerator in and out every year, risking personal injury and possibly scuffing up the floor.  Plus the neighbors might find it a little suspicious if they were looking in my window.

My idea is to have a "tunnel" leading from the kitchen to the outside of a house (or into a non-heated garage) that is of the same depth as a refrigerator and an inch or two wider and taller than a refrigerator.  The fridge will be placed in the tunnel.  On the outside of the tunnel, behind the fridge, there would be a wall that could be opened and closed electronically.  On the very inside of the tunnel, just behind the refrigerator door, there would be airtight seals on the sides and top of the fridge that can open or close electronically.

When its something like 10 degrees colder outside the house than inside the house (i.e. winter), the wall behind the fridge would open and the seals around the front of the fridge would close, so the fridge is surrounded by the cold outdoor air.  When its something like 10 degrees warmer outside the house than inside the house (i.e. summer), the wall behind the fridge would close and the seals around the front of the fridge would open, so the fridge is surrounded by the cooler indoor air.

Since the fridge is always surrounded by the cooler air (either outside air or inside air, depending on the season), it will cost less to run.

Note that the door behind the fridge and the seals around the front of the fridge could be manually opened and closed if desired instead of being electronic.

The tunnel would probably contain some sort of physical barriers to prevent criminals from just pushing the fridge out of the way and using the tunnel as a way to break into a house.

Come to think of it, if you are sick of Jehovah Witnesses coming to your front door, you could just convert your front door into a refrigerator tunnel, especially if you have an attached garage and rarely use the front door anyway.

Greenland Nuclear Snow Machine

Invention, EnvironmentalismTom WalmaComment

Because of global warming, the oceans are expected to rise.  A large part of this is due to ice which is sitting on land in Greenland and Antarctica falling into the ocean. 

My idea is to put a row of nuclear power plants on the coast of Greenland which will double as giant "snow machines" which, when the weather is cold enough, will shoot water from the ocean into the air so it will fall as snow over Greenland.  This will not keep the world from warming, but it will keep the sea from rising.

A nuclear power plant basically just uses steam to turn a giant turbine connected to a generator.  To double as a "snow machine", it would have to be adjustable to sometimes (i.e the right season and weather conditions) connect to a giant water pump instead.  I'm picturing that it would pump the water up a giant tube about the height of a large skyscraper, where the skyscraper is maybe a mile offshore, so the salt in the water falls back into the ocean.  Alternately, some of them could pump water from fresh water inland rivers where salt wouldn't be an issue.

The power from the nuclear power plants would be sent to both the US and Europe via giant underwater cables (is this possible?).  The upside to this is that the nuclear power plants will be located far away from people, so the normal political opposition to building them would not be an issue.