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The Alternative Energy Thread!

Discussion in 'General' started by modgodtanvir, 27 Aug 2008.

  1. Jenner

    Jenner New Member

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    @ DXR_13KE and Ramble

    Thanks! I saw alternative energy and knew I had to join up. I'll post a project log as soon as I get some more money .So far a have the bike, and the meters. I still need a good motor and charge controller, also still debating lead acid vs Lithium batteries. I got the inspiration from here http://www.make-digital.com/make/vol14/?pg=157.


    This is actually false. The power grid works of supply and demand, and a very fast control loop. If houses are using less power, the plants produce lower output. This is one of the advantages of coal fire plants. They can change their output faster than say, a wind mill farm. As long as the people with solar panels that wire their panels into the grid condition the power to the same standards (120V @ 60Hz and at same phase) then we're all golden.
    I mean, Power In = Power Out.

    Putting all our confidence in a single source of power has led to the problem we have now. We cannot stray away from fossil fuels even though we see the problems with them. Having a diversified energy solution is better for the technology to grow as well as being better for the people that use it.

    The Dyson Sphere is kinda cool.
    The total output of the sun 386 billion billion megawatts(386 exawatts) (http://www.nineplanets.org/sol.html). If you trust wikipedia, the total energy (as a planet) we used in 2005 was 15 terawatts. High altitude solar cells could do this without as much NASA math.

    Sorry if I'm being overly contradictory to anyone. I like big ideas, but I don't think we'll ever get enough backing for a project as big as a dyson sphere in our lifetimes. Once we can manage solar storms and wireless power transmission then it'll look more possible.
     
  2. Cinnander

    Cinnander New Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised if oil had something to do with it. Personally if I was an oil sheik I'd be building solar or some other eco-friendly plants on top of my oil fields but that's just me :p

    Also I'd prefer the title energy sheik thankyouverymuch, oil sheik sounds so .. greedy.
     
  3. Rum&Coke

    Rum&Coke New Member

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    Part of the reason for the super dependence on fossil fuels is the fact that it's real sort of height i.e. post industrial age, no one really considered that we could "run out" of fossil fuel. We've learned that lesson though and honestly I think most of our power generation should be via nuclear, spending the time to invest in and run more alternative projects since we know things run out. Alternative is making serious headway even now though, Hydro is becoming a major player in the Scottish energy market just because our landscape naturally allows for it (mountainous, large water reserves). I always through Geo-Thermal was somewhat underutilised though.

    but yeah Dyson sphere stuff is literally just impossible for now and even debatable to whether its implementable at any point. We'll run out of fossil, nuclear and probably the sun within the time scale of making a structure that size, and even then we'd have to ore most of the earth and probably a large part of Mars too for the martial mass amount.
     
  4. BeyondGreen

    BeyondGreen New Member

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    As the Democratic Convention wraps up and the hoopla of the Republican Convention heats up Americans are still left with a sense of a lot of hot air of any concrete plans to end the energy crisis in America. Northerners dread the upcoming onset of fall and colder weather wondering how they will be able to afford how to keep their homes and families warm. Southerners have been sweating the high cost of energy raising the thermostat to save on their electric bills. Families everywhere are wondering where else they can cut back to cover the cost of fueling up the family vehicle to get back and forth to work and take care of the necessities of life. There is no money left for relaxation and family fun. The stress level continues to rise. The average electric bill has risen 16% to cover the power companies additional production costs. A gallon of milk is almost as precious as a gallon of gas. The cost of every consumer product has risen sharply. American's are stretched to the limit. Jobs are being lost, foreclosures are increasing at an alarming rate. Seems even the family pets are suffering the high cost of fuel as almost daily a new story is on TV about shelters being forced to euthanize record number of surrendered pets from those forced out of their homes or no longer able to care for them. The energy crisis in our country is far reaching and needs immediate attention. I am hoping whoever gets elected will get their act together and make this their #1 priority.

    An interesting site to share...

    www.themanhattanprojectof2009.com
     
  5. Cinnander

    Cinnander New Member

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  6. Cupboard

    Cupboard I'm not a modder.

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    I know that in the long term we need fusion and renewables but in the medium term I think we should be having a lot more power from fission. It isn't the best source of power ever but it is far from the worst. It is cleaner than coal and very safe - talking to people who know about it, you would have to override safety features for 2-3 weeks in order to get anything like as bad as Chernobyl. The worst things about it are where you get the fuel from, as mining it produces a lot of nuclear land, and disposing of it. The logical conclusion is to bury all the waste back where it came from.

    Once we have got the immediate problem out of the way, we can start thinking about better solutions. One of my favourites is solar-thermal, essentially using a load of mirrors to focus light onto a boiler. It is easy to built, relatively cheap, uses existing technology (you are basically removing the fires from a coal station and replacing them with mirrors) and I think they look awesome

    [​IMG]

    Talking to my cousin who is in the renewables business, the problem with biofuels is that
    • They compete with food, which is bad -or-
    • They aren't efficient enough, so aren't worth doing

    which is a bit of a problem. Algae is all well and good, and will grow anywhere, but it is too difficult to get anything useful from it.

    sorry for such a long post, but this is something I have slightly more than a passing interest in :)
     
  7. Gooey_GUI

    Gooey_GUI Wanted: Red Shirts

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    http://www.solarcookers.org/basics/basics.html

    This site is pretty interesting. I would think these would be very helpful where limited natural resources are being over used and deforestation is occurring. Also, it's a nice way to cook on a hot day without heating up the house.
     

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