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July 30, 2008

Rollin' solar

Posted: 04:53 PM ET

It's 12:30 p.m. and we just finished lunch at a Bakersfield, California, favorite called Luigi's Deli. The food and service were outstanding ( especially our sweet waitress ).


Co-pilot Brian and his sis' Amy, who graciously allowed us to crash at her place Tuesday.

After being up since 4 a.m. and having nothing but a few crackers and some sanity-supplying coffee, delicious food and blessed air conditioning was a welcome break. We spent the first part of the day shooting video of a fuel factory and interviewing a doctor who makes his own biodiesel fuel. We also posted a new photo gallery.

Now, we're headed to Las Vegas, Nevada, and nearby Hoover Dam. Along the way we hope to attach a pair of solar panels on the roof of our 30-year-old vehicle (with no a/c) to help keep the gadgets charged. Pretty cool.

See ya at 9:40 a.m. ET on Live atop the massive Hoover Dam!


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Filed under: environment • Road trip

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Franko   July 30th, 2008 5:55 pm ET

Grow it, eat it, leave the leftovers for the internal combustor.
Vegeteblearian improves the health of the tastebuds ?
Cannot get more eco-friendly !

Any potato vodka ? As a fuel line cleaner, but vonly a sip for the eco-driver.

lorigami   July 30th, 2008 8:36 pm ET

solar panels? this just keeps getting better and better.
ps... Is Brian wearing a youngblood gallery teeshirt?

JW   July 31st, 2008 12:01 am ET


After watching your interview with the gentleman who makes his own biodiesel, I couldn't help but wonder what it's costing him per gallon to produce it. Is it just a hobby, or is he actually saving money over what he would pay for diesel fuel at the pump?

Franko   July 31st, 2008 1:01 am ET

GE claims "If you covered 7 percent of Arizona with solar panels, it would be sufficient to power the entire U.S." Some panels 32% efficient. Now, if you put solar panels on the propellers of wind turbines, grow algae off the reflected, raise the albedo, slurp it all. Earth disappears in the visible spectrum, just Dyson Sphere Radiation !

Tow a 100 Kw sized billboard trailer behind, with some batteries for steep hills..
Throw on front wheel hub motors, for eco-pirate speeding

EBS   July 31st, 2008 7:47 am ET

Want to find fuel? Try

Jim   July 31st, 2008 8:03 am ET

Good luck gentlemen,
If you make it to NJ come chk out my '73 hot rod Scout. Yu can see it here:

Gene   July 31st, 2008 9:17 am ET

JW, don't know about his production costs, but a gallon of Wesson Veggie oil at the market is $9 as of a couple months ago here. 😉 The small scale costs to a hobbyist are obviously going to be a lot smaller, but hobbyists tend to ignore the upstream supply chain things like the cost needed to grow, harvest and process the original plants, transport it, etc. They figure they get it for free from McD so none of that counts.

Kind of like me when I cut down a tree to make some furniture. I already own the forest, so I don't charge myself for materials that I don't actually buy, even tho there is a harvesting and processing cost that I incur. But you can bet that I roll those costs into everything I sell, so the customer does pay for it.

tb2   July 31st, 2008 9:43 am ET

Interested in the truth of making your own biodiesel?
Visit for factual tutorials.
A lot of individual brewers and some small-scale plants are using waste vegetable oil, recycling an already used product. Like all commodities, there is a price for this feedstock. Very small producers that have good connections with local independent restaurants MAY be able to get used oil for free. Also see

Nic "Scoutman" Hawker   July 31st, 2008 4:16 pm ET

Shame on you Jim... Why would your replace a perfectly good International engine with that...thing.
Great bodywork though, she's a beaut.

DJ N   July 31st, 2008 5:29 pm ET

Very interesting project. Maybe I can get my work to pay for me to travel cross country on a solar-powered unicycle. And greetings to you, Broam Jardu!

Franko   August 1st, 2008 3:03 am ET

Greater internet reporting is warranted !
Analog dollars stealing from internet cents ?
Brian and Cody save yourselves from swimming in the hurricane tidal swell reporting. Do a good job on the internet and get a secretary with an algea bikini.

Get several inexpensive cameras,
Cody and Brian to snaap away. A driver and a navigator laptop uploader.

solarpanel   April 19th, 2011 5:30 am ET

i still want to study this knowledge.

i find this ,very happy.

thanks.i like it.and you


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