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Alternative/Renewable Energy discussion

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Old
11-21-2012, 10:44 AM
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsholygrail View Post
I think the true energy revolution would involve finding a new way of harnessing power without having to spin a turbine.
Harnessing "power" or harnessing electricity? There's plenty of power than doesn't require a dynamo. You don't use a turbine to heat your gas oven or fireplace. You don't use a turbine to ride your skateboard or bicycle.

In terms of converting other forms of energy into electrical energy, dynamos are indeed the most common solution. But it is not the only solution. Solar cells use the photoelectric effect to convert radiation into electric energy. Thermoelectric generators are used to convert some "waste heat" into electric energy via the Seebeck effect. Batteries are obviously the conversion of chemical energy into electric energy. And there's plenty more technologies on the horizon, such as harnessing waste biomass to produce bioelectricity.

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Originally Posted by puckguy11 View Post
I'm far from an energy expert, but I feel like that despite our dependence on oil, alternative and renewable energies, at this point at least, are not a long-term solution. There's still a lot of work needed to determine what energies will and will not work or be viable and that I don't see it as government's role to force these energies on us.
It's absolutely a government's responsibility to build the infrastructure and encourage the growth of applicable technologies.

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Considering Einstein won a Nobel Prize for his research on the Photoelectric Effect, it definitely is "over 20 years old." It's been observed for more than 120 years.

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11-21-2012, 11:24 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by RandV View Post

And the Japanese did this:



They wrapped an aerodynamic loop around the structure creating a sort of wind tunnel, creating a significant jump in power production. Their claims in the article says it triples the efficiency, all that from simply adding an extra ring to the structure.
Id like to mention that these types of posts are very much encouraged ln this thread.

New development and ideas are welcomed so they can be discussed.

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Old
11-21-2012, 04:05 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by TasteofFlames View Post
The government hasn't forced anything on me (well there's the 10% ethanol requirement, but that's not a big deal to me), they are investing in all potential alternatives, because that's what they [B]must[B] do for the research to happen. Plus, the construction of wind/solar farms put a lot of people to work. Historically speaking, private industry does not spend much time on the cutting edge. That's typically done through publicly funded research. Truly cutting edge research/exploration is not an economically sound investment, as no one knows the end result. Publicly funded research finds the core aspects of the sciences, then private industry comes in and finds applications for a concept and ways to improve efficiency on a system/product to make it profitable. Right now, we are still at the "figuring it out" stage when it comes to alternative energy sources.
In my opinion, part of the problem is that in the current political climate getting things done has become narrowed down to two possibilities, private or public, which is then directly linked to corporate or government respectively. Private is seen as quick and efficient, while public is slow and wasteful. In many cases this is true but the problem is the definition is too narrow and cuts out a 3rd key player, the academic/science. This party performs research and makes new discoveries that have been vital to the advancement of the human race. They are not a wasteful government bureaucracy, and making them answer to a corporate board room (which is what private) about return on investments is not going to improve anything.

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11-21-2012, 11:33 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by mystlyfe View Post
considering einstein won a nobel prize for his research on the photoelectric effect, it definitely is "over 20 years old." it's been observed for more than 120 years.
120*

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11-21-2012, 11:52 PM
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Did a short research presentation on this start-up a little while ago:
www.generalfusion.com

It's an experimental magnetized target fusion reactor based in Burnaby, BC. A classmate of mine worked there a few summers ago.

This info is on the site, but he basic idea (iirc) is that the tritium plasma is injected into the centre of a heavy water lithium vortex, which is compressed from the exterior of the chamber.



Obviously this is pretty speculative, but fusion is almost definitely the endgame, so it's worth watching development.
So what I posted from my phone back then wasn't 100% correct. Lead-lithium.





What's awesome about using Lithium (not unique to this reactor design by any means) is that the neutrons combine with it like this to create more tritium:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium#Lithium

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11-22-2012, 02:11 AM
  #31
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Wow those are some bad ass mad scientist sketches!

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11-22-2012, 09:24 PM
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http://news.rice.edu/2012/11/19/rice...gy-technology/

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Rice University scientists have unveiled a revolutionary new technology that uses nanoparticles to convert solar energy directly into steam. The new “solar steam” method from Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) is so effective it can even produce steam from icy cold water.

Details of the solar steam method were published online today in ACS Nano. The technology has an overall energy efficiency of 24 percent. Photovoltaic solar panels, by comparison, typically have an overall energy efficiency around 15 percent. However, the inventors of solar steam said they expect the first uses of the new technology will not be for electricity generation but rather for sanitation and water purification in developing countries.

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11-23-2012, 04:47 PM
  #33
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Welcome to the world of tomorrow:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...ntral-20463857

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11-23-2012, 07:45 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by jimmythescot View Post
where's the rest of the article? a dude got arrested for possessing a car battery and some gas is all I got from that

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11-25-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandV View Post
In my opinion, part of the problem is that in the current political climate getting things done has become narrowed down to two possibilities, private or public, which is then directly linked to corporate or government respectively. Private is seen as quick and efficient, while public is slow and wasteful. In many cases this is true but the problem is the definition is too narrow and cuts out a 3rd key player, the academic/science. This party performs research and makes new discoveries that have been vital to the advancement of the human race. They are not a wasteful government bureaucracy, and making them answer to a corporate board room (which is what private) about return on investments is not going to improve anything.
I think you are right in that the general public thinks like this. But once you get into the government, they know this isn't true.

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11-25-2012, 11:19 AM
  #36
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Here's a link to the journal article (it's free on acsnano's website) http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/nn304948h

The cool thing is that it works, despite what the classical model says. The generated steam would not be able to escape the liquid since the change in ambient temperature wouldn't be great enough to for bubbles (i.e. it wouldn't actually make steam). Just another example of how things get really strange when the scale goes nano.

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11-27-2012, 06:42 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Mystlyfe View Post
Harnessing "power" or harnessing electricity? There's plenty of power than doesn't require a dynamo. You don't use a turbine to heat your gas oven or fireplace. You don't use a turbine to ride your skateboard or bicycle.

In terms of converting other forms of energy into electrical energy, dynamos are indeed the most common solution. But it is not the only solution. Solar cells use the photoelectric effect to convert radiation into electric energy. Thermoelectric generators are used to convert some "waste heat" into electric energy via the Seebeck effect. Batteries are obviously the conversion of chemical energy into electric energy. And there's plenty more technologies on the horizon, such as harnessing waste biomass to produce bioelectricity.


It's absolutely a government's responsibility to build the infrastructure and encourage the growth of applicable technologies.


Considering Einstein won a Nobel Prize for his research on the Photoelectric Effect, it definitely is "over 20 years old." It's been observed for more than 120 years.
But do these methods produce enough electricity to be efficient? Fossil Fuel and nuclear tech are used as much as they are because they are quite effective and efficient. If spinning a windmill was more efficient and produced more electricity, no one would burn coal for electricity.

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Old
11-27-2012, 12:17 PM
  #38
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Not exactly renewable energy news direct, but somewhat relevant:

Quote:
A team of NASA and Department of Energy researchers has shown that a reliable nuclear reactor based on technology that's been around for decades could be used in spaceships, according to a news release from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where some of the researchers are based.

The news release says the team used "heat pipe technology," which was invented at Los Alamos in 1963, and uses a heat pipe to cool a small nuclear reactor and power a Stirling engine, producing 24 watts of electricity.

The experiment known as the Demonstration Using Flattop Fissions, or DUFF, is the first demonstration of a space nuclear reactor system to produce electricity in the United States since 1965, and the experiment confirms basic nuclear reactor physics and heat transfer for a simple, reliable space power system.
http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/science...#ixzz2DRq12HZg

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11-27-2012, 01:00 PM
  #39
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http://phys.org/news/2012-11-harness...capturing.html

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In this case, the "funnel" is a metaphor: Electrons and their counterparts, holes—which are split off from atoms by the energy of photons—are driven to the center of the structure by electronic forces, not by gravity as in a household funnel. And yet, as it happens, the material actually does assume the shape of a funnel: It is a stretched sheet of vanishingly thin material, poked down at its center by a microscopic needle that indents the surface and produces a curved, funnel-like shape. The pressure exerted by the needle imparts elastic strain, which increases toward the sheet's center. The varying strain changes the atomic structure just enough to "tune" different sections to different wavelengths of light—including not just visible light, but also some of the invisible spectrum, which accounts for much of sunlight's energy.

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Old
12-28-2012, 04:46 PM
  #40
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One bad ass idea for the Canadian's: Nukes and Tornado's


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Old
01-09-2013, 12:55 AM
  #41
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http://phys.org/news/2013-01-bacteri...-sunlight.html

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Chemists at the University of California, Davis, have engineered blue-green algae to grow chemical precursors for fuels and plastics—the first step in replacing fossil fuels as raw materials for the chemical industry.

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