Drinking water through Desalination

Nuclear Desalination Plant


The desalination of seawater needs to be re-invented!

Interestingly enough, whilst scientists can put man on the moon, split the atom and build driverless cars we just cannot cope with the water shortage. We can create distilled water from permeable membranes and a vacuum desalinator but it’s never enough or just not cost effective.


Nuclear Desalination Plant
Shevchenko BN350 desalination unit. Wiki/User:Themadchopper

The natural process of distilling fresh water from seawater is found in the form of rain, the cycle of evaporation and collection  of water. After thousands of years we can pipe oil but it still remains a mystery as to how to pipe fresh water. Is there really an Utopia? Maybe if the ancient Romans, Greeks or Egyptians were still around they would have given us the answer.

Maritime desalination plants

Ship or marine fresh water generators methods have almost always been of the vacuum type getting heat from the main engine or prime mover. Often where there is drought we sit with very high climatic temperatures. Often this is right at sea level and indeed often on the coast. Israel is possibly the world leader when it comes down to fresh water recovery and the efficiency thereof. Egypt has also proven to be very resourceful in this area. Small solar desalinators have been manufactured using the cone design, Watercone being one of the most popular. This is by no means new or unique. As a boy scout you may have used plastic sheet to harvest the sun’s energy causing evaporation, running the condensation into a capturing mug or jug. For survival this has long been common practice.


The issues that  arise during drought conditions are not only human based, we can be resourceful. Not so with cattle or most animals for that matter. We need water to survive, lots of it.

When a ship gets scrapped what happens to those old desalination plants? Can we use coal or any fossil fuel as a heat source.  Can nuclear energy be our saviour?  In a report it is noted that to produce 1 million gallons of fresh water (distilled) we use about 15MW of energy.  (Bloomberg).  Our seawater has a salt content of about 40g/l whereas the brine byproduct stands at about 60g/l. (sidem-desalination). Although it is believed that the injection of brine back into seawater will be balanced we also need to be skeptical.  Balancing eco systems are rarely as  simple as reciting our abc.

From Norway to the Dead Sea

Fresh water – Less than 1,000 ppm
Slightly saline water – From 1,000 ppm to 3,000 ppm
Moderately saline water – From 3,000 ppm to 10,000 ppm
Highly saline water – From 10,000 ppm to 35,000 ppm

There are always some obstacles in the way of having a successful water supply and although city dwellers do not experience drought horrors on the same level as agriculture or livestock farming it must never be forgotten that over-population is a big problem. When there is a shortage of water in any city there’s going to be mayhem.  Mayhem created by short-sightedness, lack of planning and complacency by local government and ourselves.

Droughts have been with us for ages but the modern scientist still battles to innovate and compensate. We don’t need electricity but we do need to hydrate. Washing becomes a secondary need. Water is used in abundance in any industry,  steel in motor car manufacture is a big culprit. The eco driven reader should know just how much water (fresh) is circulated to manufacture one ton of steel.  Guestimates put this at about 60 000 gallons (250 000) liters for one ton. These figures vary from source to source.

Why crises management hasn’t found an answer?

Good town planning requires vision but often it comes down to crises management. We do need to consult middle eastern academics, engineers and technical advisers, experts in the field. Often we find an immediate short term solution but never a long term one. Remember the good old days when scientists talked of tug boats bringing in ice from the Arctic region?

Geothermal distillation

On a large scale we need to understand and utilise geothermal activity where and if possible.  Simple Sterling engines can be used to drive pumps to move contaminated water and generate a vacuum. Standard chlorination processes to be followed to prevent algae growth and further purify the water.

Instead of abusing tax payers money have your number one project linked to generating fresh water in the same manner as nuclear powered ships and submarines. This may not be cost effective but will act as a relief in emergencies. A small ship may generate about 30 tons of fresh water per day. (note that ships also do have drinking water tanks – the fresh water generation does not necessarily comply with a safe drinking water specification). What happens to gear in shipbreaking yards?

Inexpensive techniques using electrolysis is also explored as explained by Lisa Zyga. The water here is not seawater but brackish water with moderate salt levels.

The “Slingshot” by Dean Kamen – company DEKA Research

Reverse Osmosis (also used in the maritime industry but an expensive alternative although claimed to be more energy efficient than other means) – Wiki.

Water distillers – thewatersite







Why Demerit Points don’t work without Insurance

Demerit Points

Demerit Points – How to achieve a lot more awareness

So there’s an article here that states the the demerit point system does work and I would like to give my version of what I saw and know having worked in the traffic services for close on twenty years in the UK.

The Joe Citizen and press are quick to argue that there should be more exposure. Traffic services bring in schools for training sessions. Kids go amok with vehicles, gadgets and the constables. What happens ten years later?  As cigarette smoking and the banning thereof becomes prevalent from one country to the next, as we display images of lung disease on the packaging we should be a bit more vulgar in the display of road carnage. A person dying of lung disease and the portrayal of this is shocking but we continue to smoke. Road carnage and the loss of life is hopefully quick and painless. This is rarely so.

Demerit Points
Head on Collision
Wiki / Damnsoft 09

Demerit Points – why insurance companies should start becoming a lot more proactive.

Would traffic services be allowed to show potential drivers what a real head on collision looks like, what it must feel like for a first time constable to be told to assist in the removal of that headless body.  That body crushed beyond recognition. The innocent victim, the son or daughter of loving parents.

No, it’s time for other players to come on to the field. Whilst insurance companies are quick to offer wonderful incentives to great drivers they should start looking hard and fast at deterrents.  A no accident bonus scheme doesn’t help a dead or maimed victim.  Insurance companies have always penalised bad drivers but they should now encourage everyone to start reporting dangerous driving practices through dash-cam footage.  A demerit system can only work if there is insurance on the vehicle and the vehicle is roadworthy. The insurance companies should be ensuring that the vehicle is roadworthy by having annual checks or more. What good is it that a driver wittingly takes his unroadworthy car onto the road and causes an accident and only after the fact does the claim get repudiated. Taking candy from a baby.

Why the demerit points system needs assistance?

Insurance companies should be taking more responsibility, not just palming off this one holy mess-up on to the authorities.  The traffic services get the blame over and over again for our dangerous driving practices but it’s time they started being proactive. (including drivers).

  • All vehicles must carry insurance as in most first world countries.
  • Start doing proper governance – get your local traffic services to start training kids already, bicycle riders and pedestrians play a huge role in every country’s death toll.
  • Potential drivers (pre-learner) and learner drivers get first hand experience of the function of paramedics and other emergency services.
  • Drivers get exposed to what happens on the real road when iced up, when cars are unroadworthy and yes, gory but necessary – real road accidents and their victims.
  • Insurance companies start being proactive instead of shooting the gun from the bullet.

Yes, the demerit system is really a great tool, in the right hands. No the insurance companies do not do enough.  Do you know if you drive under the influence and you get killed in an accident your insurance may not pay out.  Your wife is home with your two kids, they loved you but you didn’t love them enough to stay responsible.

Demerit points does not cut down imbecilic driving.

I get angry when I write this only because traffic services get a bad rap when things go wrong.  We cannot control what a person does once they have had a few drinks or drive like thugs – we can certainly act as a deterrent but you know what, often it is too late. Third world countries do not (always) have the budget or the technology at their disposal. Insurance companies do.




My third blog post title

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Oil – where to use and what to use

Mobil Oil ATF3309

Not all Oil is created the same!

In a previous article and on the many forums there have been many debates as to which lubricant to use in your car and although the engine lubricant needs to be dumped and refreshed every 3 000 to 10 000 miles many owners neglect their transmission fluid. Whereas a motor car engine is fairly resilient when it comes to emergency topping up, your auto transmission is not.  The bottom line is that you as owner are responsible for what you put in your car and in 100% of cases you must adhere to manufacturer advice and the service manual.  The thing is, car manufacturers don’t make lubricants and they will re-badge to push their profits up.

Mobil Oil ATF3309
Mobil Oil ATF3309

There are many companies manufacturing their own typical blend of oils and some technical experts suggest you need to stay away from the no-name brands or rather stick to the ones you know like Mobil and Castrol to name just two of them. Well, unfortunately they may be quite right although we all like to see what is new on the market just to get that bit of extra performance out of an old engine.

Be tough on yourself – buy the best oil you can afford

No use buying a used car for 3 000 U$ and then not changing the gearbox, engine and whatever else lubricant. This is a recommendation by all technical and service personnel: change all fluids. Just as we quickly jump to change the timing belt don’t forget the fluids. There’s a catch though.  When buying yourself a nice high end vehicle with all the trimmings at a very good price remember that there is never something like a free lunch. Ever notice how many luxury vehicles park in the high speed emergency lanes on your way to or from work?  More to go wrong or just lack of maintenance?

Modern engines are very hardworking. Twenty years ago one could purchase a 3L V6 which has less output than a 1600cc of today. Then we chip or remap and the 2.5L engine is pushing out over 300kW.  Sure you’ve rebuilt the engine and used parts designed to handle the extra stress and loads but the lubricating fluid may no longer function at critical mass, so you put in a cooler but now what high performance lubricant to use? Cutting to the chase Enginelabs  gives a pretty good rundown on the differences between the street racer and Captain Slow’s lubricant requirements. Driven Racing Oil gives you a slant on Zinc or Zinc DiakylDithioPhosphates or ZDDP as we know it.

There is always an issue with warranty when adding lubricants to your engine without following the manufacturer guidelines. And yes I do know of someone that had their Mercedes engine lubricant analysed. Don’t rely on the fuel jockey, he knows even less than we do about the products sold under counter.

Do read the article on Car Bibles . com:  The Engine Oil Bible

My second blog post title

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Volvo – the Forums

Volvo Forums

Volvo – Resources

As a small continuation to our previous article, Automatic Transmissions – Customer complaints we have added in some of the top Volvo forums to assist owners find solutions to their out of warranty motor vehicles.



 volvoforums forums.com  -forums -forums.com
 volvoforum forum.com  vcoa  Club of America
 brickboard Brickboard – the owner’s resource edmonds Edmonds
 mvs Matthews  swedespeed Swedespeed
thpvc T5D5  v40 V40
 volvospeed Volvospeed  xc XC Series
usa America – United States
australia Australia
germany Germany
latvia Latvia
netherlands Netherlands
norway Norway
romania Romania
sweden Sweden
south africa South Africa
uk UK

Volvo – Spares, links and more.


There are virtually hundreds and hundred of links to various clubs and forums on the internet. These are the ones which seem to be the most popular.  Please assist us in updating this file with your favourite if it is not listed.

And now for the spares detail:  What it’s like to have any vehicle without access to spares? Yes, some vehicles can be very costly to repair but in many cases the vehicle manufacturer does not make the parts, they get outsourced or rather bought in through the OEM channel and rebadged. No one manufacturer makes everything themselves, sometimes even the chassis comes  from a manufacturer with a proven track record on a certain product. The same applies to the electrics, engines and gearboxes. This applies to Volvo as well.

Please add to the business registry here:  Parts-Ring Business registration (note that you need to register as a Register as a Parts-Ring user first).

Editor’s note:  Many internet users are just plain tired of coming to websites which offer all the bells and whistles without substance. We don’t want to be one of those – please try to get your favourite company register business here along with details regarding their pricing on spares etc.  We understand that competition is rife but always add a disclaimer that pricing is subject to importation costs, labour charge etc. All many car owners want is a ball park figure – e.g. price on a waterpump, cam belt etc.  Many of the USA ecommerce websites offer this and it puts them ahead of the competition. But what about your local dealerships and spares suppliers.  If you would like to advertise on this website for three months without any cost to you or your company please contact us at contact us at parts-ring.com.

My first blog post title

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Automatic Transmissions – customer complaints

Automatic Transmissions - Cutaway

Automatic Transmissions – are they all useless?

I recently purchased a 2006 Volvo 2T automatic. It left the showroom floor and the next day the transmission service light came on. I was really pissed off – the dealer is closed until the 11th January and only then will they look at it. It doesn’t pay to be a pessimist unless one looks at the forums. How many times have you looked through the pages and pages on the internet about your next best buy only to find out when it does fail they have a significantly larger amount of pages warning you off the vehicle. I’m not that cynical – the Volvo S60 from 2004 is reported to be a great vehicle, especially for the amount one pays (lesser than their German equivalents, maybe stupid thinking!). Keep        $5 000 aside for any major hiccups but you still have a good vehicle. (do not under any circumstances purchase this car because you can get it a cheap price and brag to your neighbours – it will bite your hand and your butt, maybe simultaneously).


So when one skips from Volvo to Mercedes to BMW and to Audi they have all had their fair share of issues. All gearbox related. The Europeans seem to be great in building strong engines but not auto trannies. Well this one is an Aisin and it’s Japanese. The Volvos which do give trannie problems are the early models with GM boxes. How ironic. From the land of the auto trannie. Living in South Africa there is a scarcity of automatic transmission experts which makes me wonder. But then again until ten years back everyone drove manual. Looking at this lucrative market I know what I am going to do in my second lifetime.

All Automatic Transmissions

This article is not about your Volvo transmission but about all auto transmissions. My uncle drove a Ford for most of his life, a vehicle which had an automatic gearbox and was used for towing. Over 500 000 miles and two cars later he never had one breakdown. How many countries see the Toyota Camry as the ideal taxi and they are mostly automatic. (note that they may use a completely different model box).  Japanese Aisin Warner gearbox. 200 to 300 000 miles without a sniff or fart.

Automatic Transmissions - Cutaway
Lexus A/T
(“Automatic transmission cut” by Silverxxx (talk) 04:33, 1 March 2009 (UTC) – :File:Lexus IS F 07.JPG. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org)

Automatic Transmissions – what about 2020?

One needs to come into this with an open mind. We do not know how good the double clutch and CVT systems will be in ten years time. What we do know is that if you don’t do the maintenance which includes flushing the ATF every 30 000 miles, whether the ***fluid is good or not is going to cost you. Most of the reading I do is from the North American fraternity, they know their gearboxes. I’m an electronics geek and know very little about any gearbox suffice to say that a silicon chip in the right environment will outlast any gearbox or rather any mechanical thing. They will not if the supply is too high or the load too heavy or as analogue output, without proper heat dissipation. Sound familiar – The automatic transmission is not designed for heavy continuous loads unless the fluid can be cooled down sufficiently, it’s not ideal to pull heavy loads without near 100% coupling efficiency (near impossible) and if you do decide to remap your configuration understand that this comes with transmission issues. I read about remapping all the time but very little about gearbox issues. We are quick to blame the manufacturers when the gearbox fails but one look at the torn seats, the broken engine mounts, the blistering paintwork tells the repair guy another story. But this is not always the full story is it. We have all seen some pretty shoddy servicing in our time, the motor industry is possibly the worst. Thankfully we do have Beamer forums, Volvo forums and Audi, Mercedes, Saab and whatever else. We can vent, rage and throw a beer-can at the wall but sadly, many dealerships don’t give a sh*t.


***ATF – fluid and so called sealed gearbox warrantees may sound synonymous with computer memory. In a gearbox it is the lifetime of the warranty (fill for life) which may be three years. Computer memory changes with architecture so while the memory is manufactured you will get a replacement, in many cases up to five years. This may sound like trivia but catch the marketing hype. That word “lifetime” is a real eye-catcher.

In South Africa, Renault, Citroen and Peugeot get a bad rap. I have always been told to get a car with a full pedigree and watch out for the French vehicles. I purchased an X-Trail and the Nissan dealer damaged the engine. It had a full history – from this dealership. Were they concerned? Even after telling me that the steel cam chain was stretched and was causing surging (absolutely impossible) – the fault checks told them so, the vehicle was still standing with them when I got a call from the Nissan National Archive of IQ Specialists to find out how my service went?  Of course, the car was in and out so many times over a month that nobody knew whether it was in or out. I took it to a third party company whom repaired it. How the f**k after 145 000 km could the engine be so totally worn that it had to be rebuilt. There was a recall on these vehicles wasn’t there? It had a full service history, stamped by the very same dealer that put the engine into a coffin.

No, at parts-ring the best thing one can do is advertise the service company that did their best, went out of their way and applied what we know as “passion” into the subject matter. There are many clowns out there wanting to milk the system and sadly many of them are getting away with it. I am in the service industry and the one thing that pisses me off more than shoddy workmanship is when the technical “guru” is more adamant in putting his point across that the user damaged his system, camera, computer, TV whatever when in actual fact the manufacturer would be prepared to have assisted them (the user) in the first place. Here I am talking about clash of egos. Does Volvo want a bad name? Does Nissan, does Toyota, does Mercedes? I have sat in this space time and time again seeing how the manufacturer would have been prepared to assist if it wasn’t for the mind boggling antics of some monkey who had a fall out with the end-user. Yes, in many cases end-users are to blame but in many instances, let us not forget the best form of defence is attack – the end user is expecting resistance. In the motor industry, dealerships may have a hard time with certain irate and obstinate customers but I am sure a tactful stance can diffuse a lot of probable issues which may arise later on. No, let me rephrase this – stop blaming the freaking end-user.

Very important 🙂  How many times has their been a complaint lodged at the manufacturer when they know nothing about the problem in the first place. The dealer takes it upon themselves to be judge, jury and executioner. I’m not thumb-sucking here – this happens.

The Messiah, the OBDII tester. Please read here – OBD Tester in the hands of incompetence.. So here you arrive to pick up your immaculate vehicle which went in to have a minor service. Suddenly every failure conceivable to the electronics engineer that devised your vehicle electronics is displayed to all and sundry. Instead of having just a plug change the mechanic now must unfortunately change the torque-converter, the cam belt and the driver’s seat.  Sound familiar.  That’s correct, that funny looking device with a LCD screen has now taken over and is in full control of your car and your wallet. Sure, the electronics of your car is getting more sophisticated, sure your check-points and sensors have become more complex and sure these units are accurate but like a Boeing 747, if you don’t know and understand the instrumentation you don’t fly it. Ask that mechanic to show you his credentials. I did that once and after a lot of mayhem the head service “gentleman” popped out of his office (must be a panic alarm somewhere) and stated that he oversees everything that was done in the workshop. Ah-ha, and there you have it. You are the guinea pig, he is the doctor. The mechanics, unqualified, are charging you full rate while they learn. Does this ring a bell?

In every forum one will read that once a vehicle is out of warranty do not take it to the official dealer. In my near 60 years on planet on earth this is the case. Word quickly gets out whom the real gurus are and where the cowboys operate from.

I am fortunate, Cape Town where I reside has two well-rated out of warranty service centers for Volvo. Swedespeed (non-association) in Montague Gardens is highly rated and listed on the Volvo forums locally. I’ve done my due diligence but I haven’t used them. Now you do yours.  Before buying a non-mainstream (meaning Golfs, Polo etc) used vehicle do find out who will be able to assist when things go wrong.

One last thing before I say adieus amigo: Most servicing platforms do not do gearboxes, this is seen as specialistic. Best to get the servicing personnel to do the test and then they make a refer. Be friends.  But pay on time to remain fiends – they run a business! 😉 – The automatic transmissions industry is fast growing worldwide with manumatics, paddle shifting and double clutches.

Life sucks but Uber rules.

Please make a comment – who is your favourite auto repair company and who is the best value for money auto trans expert. Give your country and region please.


Forum Registration – Online Parts

parts forum

Parts-Ring Forum

We have been battling on for ages to get a forum which carries the same login for the word press framework as well as the theme. The bridgedd plugin by Dion Designs seems to do the job and encompasses any problems we had with prior bridges and themes. We have now once again gone back to the popular phpBB board. Hopefully our readers will enjoy and use.

As with any board there is a core function, bringing people together with common purpose. In our case it is to assist readers to find good quality parts at a reasonable value.  Please abide by the rules and be careful of copyright infringement. Parts-ring will not be held accountable for the quality of files transferred through this service. Malware is rife – make sure you use a good quality scanning tool like Malware Bytes or SpyBot along with antivirus software.

Online Parts International also has a commercial ads section called Tradestuff. Feel free to use and advertise.  Along with Tradestuff commercial users can advertise their company under business registration. Take note that one needs to be registered first. Registered business can be found under a general search box as well as one which is criteria specific.

parts forum
Online Parts International Forum

Please register here to comment on the parts-ring website or log in to the board.

Go to the parts-ring board here if you have already registered. Please re- login. Let us know if you need anything added, deleted, grant permissions etc. The entire board is more or less self-moderating so please refrain from breaking rules.

Admin Team



The Driver Demerit System – a proven international standard

Driver demerit system

The Driver Demerit System – does it work?


This article is not necessarily about the now but the then and is strictly opinion based. Feel free to comment.

AARTO and the driver demerit system

In the Republic of South Africa the AARTO (Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences) and driver demerit points system kicks in sometime around April 2016. Although it is recognised that the country’s traffic and vehicle management system is in dire need of a makeover there are some questions one needs to pose to determine first and foremost whether this is what is only needed to keep vehicle drivers in check.

Driver demerit system
“Demerit point warning on King’s Highway 12 in Ontario, Canada” by Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States – King’s Highway 12 – Ontario. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org


While the demerit system is certainly a very big deterrent the bigger problem with most drivers is their attitude. It’s not use waiting until you have driven recklessly and hurt or killed someone because you were aggressive on the road or worse still, drunk but changing your attitude now. Over the festive season visible policing goes up but so does the accident rate. Newsmedia and DriveAlive push for more police and although we are aware that more visible policing curbs bad behaviour it’s not the final cure. Just look at how people drive when there is a traffic officer on a specific stretch of road and when he is not there. We behave like children.

Big brother is watching – the driver demerit system

The biggest deterrent is going to come from the “black box”, a device which will take data from the engine, tyres, steering, suspension, seat-belts, steering, GPS and 4 point dashcams fitted by the manufacturer. With navigation systems knowing where stop streets, intersections and speed limits are it’s very easy to log infringements. This will force driver behaviour to change for the better. And it’s coming.


Black boxes are intimdating but it need not be so. A typical positive would be for your insurance company to work on a pay as you go, the better you drive the less the premium. The downside is that insurers may repudiate your claim. Another downside is the potential for hackers to hijack your vehicle remotely.  In a country where hijackings are common place this is a real risk but as it stands, manufacturers of these data logging mechanisms aren’t remaining idle. Driverless cars are even more of a problem yet Google claims their accident rate was extremely low. A vehicle uses chiefly wired data feeds so blocking off RF should not be a problem unless it’s to jam the GPS.

Third World

With most people changing their vehicles every five years or so a projection would put most cars on the road by 2020 carrying the black box with a full house of data feed.

In conclusion it must be noted that although the driver demerit system has not been fully implemented as of yet it has realised the wake-up of most motorists. There is always fear of the unknown – here it’s been advertised for a few years already.