So here, Cen, latest rewrite:
—Mad Hatter—Phrase of the Week:
"California utility launches hybrid power systems" April 18 is meaningless to your Average Boob (me). Apparently it consists of a turbine and a battery; all right, but a turbine, according to our handy dictionary, is a gas engine driving a pump. Of course the battery must be needed at night, but what does the pump do?
An old hat (but mad?) at 86, I write this in spite of a lifetime in the electronics realm but still have to guess at much of the media coverage. At first I could only only suppose the pump must somehow drive a generator. But shortly thereafter I was advised on Chat Room a2k that a gas turbine was a gasoline engine using multi-bladed fans, something like a jet engine; which I then supposed must drive a generator using a shaft protruding, eg, from its rear end; to which I couldn't see any immediate advantage. Okay but still you need gas to drive the engine; so why the fanfare?
So In my vast ignorance I'd charge the batteries during the day from a simple solar array, no gas needed. And with the simplest adaptation motor and generator could be designed as a single unit, occupying less space and cutting maintenance requirements. Or fellas, didn't you know that?
The "experts" of course will put forth all sorts of counter-arguments; but guys, you hafta explain yourself better to the media so we don't suppose you're just a Buncha Clods like us. After rereading the Press story again, however (for the seventh time), I noted the gadgetry described as '…a hybrid battery and gas turbine…' Woah, I suddenly concluded, maybe they mean ' ...a hybrid battery-and-gas turbine…' which ain't the same thing. How critical the use of hyphen in the compound modifier !
By next month maybe I'll have it all worked out; but in the meantime, my good Press Ed.'s, why doncha run it again, but with elaboration to the satisfaction of us old guys.
Steve & Todd: If you really thoroughly understand, more than I do, then maybe my letter is still fulla crap and so I'll understand if you don't use it