My head occasionally says "what about mains-beer?". Instead of buying stuff to take home, you have a beer-tap on the sink. Here is how it might work: You build a distribution centre, which may just be storage, but could also be a brewery, and run pipes around a nearby residential area. Each home has a beer-meter like a water-meter which is data-linked to a consumer-unit on a beer-tap on a sink. The distribution-point provides mains-beer under gravity, consumption of which is measured by the meter and data is fed to the consumer-unit. That box displays beer consumption, and via a radio-link informs the distribution-point. Periodically the lines will need to be flushed, here's how that would work: > The centre switches the supply from beer to water, which is coloured with a harmless-dye, and radios the consumer-units which display the message "free beer" whilst playing Happy Hour. Consumers vigorously empty the lines while it's free. When the water hits the meter-unit an optical-sensor calls the consumer-unit to shut off via a solenoid-valve, the consumer-unit reports back to the distribution-centre that water has reached it. After a set period the distribution-centre radios the units which haven't yet reported water to open (solenoid). Any units failing to give an adequate response within a reasonable period are radioed to display a "fault" message and flagged for a service-visit. The distribution-centre then switches supply to cleaning-fluid, and messages all consumer-units to display "cleaning!" and open up (solenoid). Once sufficient flow has gone through each meter, they shut off (solenoid) and radio-back. Then a water-flush follows in a similar way. Once the lines have been cleaned, the supply is switched back beer, the consumer units run until they no longer read "water", plus a bit more to clear dead-volume between meter and tap. Then the consumer-units display "read to dispense fresh beer". Pros: Beer is chilled by the ground in which piping is laid No packaging-costs (cans / bottles / kegs) Less transport costs Drinkers have an almost unlimited supply enabling them to drink more than they might otherwise. No more beer runs when the game runs long or uninvited guests show up (Re-design) Consumer units can display total quantities dispensed, with cost and "don't you think you've had enough?" Cons: Initial infrastructure cost It'll work best with poor quality-beer Well?
Posted by lemonie 8 years ago