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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy      Home login  
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 NeapTide
Joined: 6/18/2008
Msg: 51
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energyPage 3 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Has anyone been paying attention to the earthships (self-sustaining homes) that are popping up all over the place? I really think this is the way to be heading. You can have a home that is constructed from recycled material, that heats/cools itself, collects rainwater and recycles it three times before releasing it into the groundwater, and allows you to grow your own food. You can even take your precious electronics with you. Sounds like heaven to me.
 father3
Joined: 7/11/2006
Msg: 52
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Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/29/2008 1:44:49 PM
I believe the plural of GENIUS is GENII.

 father3
Joined: 7/11/2006
Msg: 53
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Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/29/2008 1:56:15 PM

Why haven't we figured out how to derive the energy from water by separating, containing and controlling the elements, hydrogen and oxygen?


We have. It's called electrolysis. The problem is it takes at least as much energy to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen as you're ever going to get back by combusting the hydrogen with oxygen. I like your idea however of recreating nature and mastering photosynthesis.


When hydrogen is combined with another molecule like water (h2O) it forms a simle sugar, a carbohydrate, (c6H12O6)


Not quite. Water and hydrogen do not contain carbon and therefore cannot create sugars on their own. You need to add something with carbon in there.


I wonder if pure oxygen has ever been considered a viable alternative energy source? Oxygen contains alot of energy,


Oxygen itself is just one of the things you need for combustion, the others being heat and fuel. Combustion (fire) really is just a form of oxidation (rusting), just very rapid. Oxygen isn't a fuel, but it will combust with many other elements that are fuel.
 DebraTheDeepThinker
Joined: 6/3/2006
Msg: 54
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/29/2008 4:08:38 PM
Woops! I meant when carbon is combined with water it forms a carbohydrate. i guess I mixed up the elements there, lol. Too early in the morning for me! I guess I need to brush up on my chemistry
 quietcowboy
Joined: 12/25/2007
Msg: 55
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Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/29/2008 4:23:57 PM
I had an idea the other day that isn't alternate fuel, but I think it could result in fuel savings. My condensing unit on my A/C just went out and I am replacing it with a heat pump. My furnace is a natural gas unit and I will use it to supplement the heat pump when the temperature drops. The thermostat they are installing will "decide" which to use during the heating cycle. I think since the thermostat is a computer, that the best way it should decide on whether to use the heat pump versus the natural gas furnace would be base on the cost of electricity(kw/dollar) versus natural gas. Both are listed on my energy bill. Estimating the electrical cost(of the heat pump) would require measuring the amperes the heat pump draws during operation(induction probe). The measurements would need to be average over say a half hour period.

Has anyone seen a thermostat like that?
 rogerrabbitrr
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 56
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/29/2008 5:11:34 PM
OP
Go back to the cause of energy shortage. People, just too many damn humans on this planet. World War III would eliminate sooooo many people and their demand for energy. Opps, sorry that won't work, people have the tendency not to remain environmentally conscious when you're tryin' to shoot, stab or toast them.

AHHHH !!!!!! Toast that's the answer, people on toast. Solve the energy problem and health issue of obesity in one shot. Eat big people instead of pork or beef. The animal rights people will love it, no more unethical treatment of animals. As the "larger" size people get the hint, get smaller or you'll be a meal yourself, demand for corn feed beef will diminish significantly freeing up more corn to make alcohol fuel.

I apologize in advance if you're offended by my DARK HUMOR. (Yes, AL & Alice the above is a rather insenstive joke) If you are offended, try giving some thought to the socially acceptable, politically correct things that do go on just as abhorrent as cannibalism. We just use euphemisms to hide from the unpleasantness of the truth.
 NeapTide
Joined: 6/18/2008
Msg: 57
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/29/2008 6:03:53 PM
Love your "modest proposal," roger - Johnathan Swift would be very pleased. :)
 DebraTheDeepThinker
Joined: 6/3/2006
Msg: 58
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/30/2008 11:13:58 AM
Although I can see the merits of focusing one's energies into certain endeavors, I believe that this nation has become a nation of specialists. There does not appear to be any generalists anymore. Rennaissance people, if you will. People tend to focus all of their knowledge in one area, and neglect all other areas of knowledge. While I can understand that it does pay to be a specialist, and it is neccessary in many regards, it can also be very limiting as well.

The problem with alot of bright people in particular is that they prefer to funnel their intellect in technology, rather than policy-making. If the smartest and the brightest were to choose careers in politics instead, perhaps this country would be in much better shape than it is now. Imagine policy-makers having a deep knowledge of science. Were can you find that nowadays? How about policy-makers who are very knowledgable on environmental issues?

But I think that the best suited for careers in policy are those people who possess the ability to think globally. People who can see how everything fits together, and how things, including nature is all interconnected. When those in power can see the interconnectiveness of all life, than we truly have a leader!
 father3
Joined: 7/11/2006
Msg: 59
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Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/30/2008 11:55:49 AM

If the smartest and the brightest were to choose careers in politics instead, perhaps this country would be in much better shape than it is now. Imagine policy-makers having a deep knowledge of science. Were can you find that nowadays? How about policy-makers who are very knowledgable on environmental issues?


Unfortunately I am not American - close though - I'm in your northern colony called Kanata.

What about Al Gore? Didn't he invent the internet? Wasn't he the first to notice that the planet is getting warmer?

The problem with mixing politics and long term policy making is that political lives are too short. You ban all cars in the USA and guaranteed you aren't getting re-elected.
 DebraTheDeepThinker
Joined: 6/3/2006
Msg: 60
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/30/2008 12:09:24 PM
Well, banning cars from the USA would be far-reaching and impractical. One does not need to get rid of technology to be environmentally-friendly. The two can co-exist peacefully if done correctly. The problem is that more often than not, the environment takes a secondary position to big business. But environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club are countering that inbalance.

As for Al Gore, yes, he is an environmentaist, and a very out-spoken one too for that matter, proved to be an exception. His stance on global-warming did not win him any admirers from conservative politicians. I find this rather ironic since I would think that conservatives would be interested in preserving the environment, by virtue of their own name-sake CONSERVatism. Is that not the same root word used in CONSERVation? If not the environment, then what is it that they conserve?

As for Al Gore inventing the internet, I thought that the military had invented it since it was used by the military long before becomming available for public use.
 Ahoytheredave
Joined: 8/29/2006
Msg: 61
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Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/30/2008 3:09:29 PM
Al Gore has made millions off the CO2 global warming religion while avoiding high efficiency public transportation in favor of extreme carbon footprint private jets. His hypocrisy is incredibly blatant yet his followers are blind to it. He is setting himself up to make billions off carbon credit trading. Maybe Al Gore should credited with inventing lying on the internet. As a guy on this dating site, I can certainly attest to a lack of truth in many women's profiles and I'm sure the reverse is true as well. Let's blame Al Gore!

As an inventor and engineer, I have been working on energy solutions for over 35 years. Decades ago, my last high school science fair project was fuel system designed and proven to save fuel and improve performance in car engines using ultrasonics when gas was $0.35 a gallon. I don't blame some evil "big corporations" for not being able to find funding for most of my concepts and inventions outside of my corporate employers but on a business climate controlled by government regulations, mandates, and manipulative tax code.

In those days, I could and did collect used motor oil and sell it to refiners for a profit. Now recycling the oil is so regulated, it is a net cost. It's not that I want to discuss that little observation but the statement it makes. Asking that us educated and innovative people come up with solutions is idiotic. DO IT YOURSELF.

"Conservative" is in regards to political ideals of conserving some political structure. Liberals and social conservatives alike claim some constitutional foundation but both fail to truly embrace the beauty of the constitution. Its purpose is to limit government, not enable it. Both have been eroding this ideal for many decades for their own agenda's.
 gottalight
Joined: 12/15/2005
Msg: 62
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/30/2008 8:04:31 PM
I have a patent pending on a device that will publish in about 3 weeks from now. I am in the second year of pending status.

Go to USPTO.GOV, or search some of the other patent crawlers.

That is where you will find the most creative ideas. I won't post mine here.


I believe the plural of GENIUS is GENII.


I thought those came out of bottles, or magic lamps.
 Bluesman2008
Joined: 4/2/2008
Msg: 63
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 7/31/2008 1:19:23 AM

I would love to hear some of your really great ideas for Alternative Energy sources.


One word: TESLA.
 DebraTheDeepThinker
Joined: 6/3/2006
Msg: 64
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/1/2008 10:10:48 AM
Ahoytheredave, I agree that Al Gore is a hyprocite. He does not even live up to his own standards, which is very commoon among those people who hold rigid views on things. I see this especially among religious fundamentalists, but it can happen outside of religion as well. Dogma is dogma.

But as for government regulations is concerned, if corporations do not impede technological innovation, then what killed the electric car? The electric car was invented before the internal-combustion engine car was, yet, it seems as though the oil companies have suppressed the mass production of the electric car. Am I wrong? I do not believe that it was government regulations that killed the electric car. Supply and demand? Probably. But I think big oil-companies played a large role.
 asheel_heel
Joined: 4/7/2006
Msg: 65
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/1/2008 12:10:38 PM

To break it down to the most basic form: according to Einstein's most famous equation, energy and mass are conserved and interchangable. From his equation, 1 gram of mass completely annihilated and converted into energy would equate to ~25,000,000 kilowatt hours. Now if it was somehow possible for us to convert any mass completely into energy, conversations like this would be obsolete!

some one else wrote the above statement , what i found interesting is the lack of knowledge, the ignorance if you will of this statement.

for all you people looking for that "quantam leap" look up a company in Europe named CERN, the same company that invented the internet we are all using right now, is actually one of the largest particle physics lab on the planet and has recently built what they call a particle accelerator that,.....wait for it............... turns mass/matter/particles etc. into energy. its called anti-matter. oooooooo, aaaaaaaaaaaa,wow. anyways, a few grams of anti-matter holds enough energy to put the hiroshima bomb to shame or if we can harness this energy source and find a way to safely use it, we can power entire major cities for years off of the same amount, about 3-4 grams. problem being, when anti-matter touches matter you basically make everything in a certain amount of space disappear, literally, no aftermath like radiation or anything like a nuc. but a complete annihalation of whatever the anti-matter touches.

if you people are really interested in saving the world, do your research and work on a way to safely use anti-matter.








The total antimatter produced in 25 years of operating the anti-proton source at Fermilab is less than half a micro-gram. This is a 24/7/365 operation (at least as close as we can get to it). Other facilities have produced a small fraction of that total.

At more than $ 62 trillion / gram, antimatter, in all its forms, is the most expensive product on earth. Not a good candidate for replacing $4.00 / gallon gasoline.

Also, matter/ antimatter annihilation results in total conversion of the mass to energy ie radiation. It is this radiation that would be harnessed for work.
 Ahoytheredave
Joined: 8/29/2006
Msg: 66
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Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/1/2008 12:15:39 PM
Economics and performance of the energy storage technology DELAYED the electric car. Its still comming. The efficiency and torque characteristics of an electric motor blow away all combustion engines. As a secondary benefit, the electric motor is capable of harvesting energy from braking with minimal modification. Much of the benefits of electric motors could only be fully realized with advances in electronics. In the mean time, electronics have been employed in combustion engines to improve them. The defining issue is the low cost of hydrocarbon fuel and the lack of a decent battery technology. Gas requires air to burn. That means you cannot release all its stored energy until air is added. A battery contains all the ingrediants to release its energy in one package. As the energy density of a battery increases, the proximity of the reactants is brought closer. I studied batteries quite capable of powering a high performance car in the late 1970's. They were so unsafe, you would not catch me near one. They were since classified for energy weapon use as putting them in space where they couldn't accidently wipe out a neighborhood makes sense. I don't think that technology could be made safe. Fuel cells promise to be a solution as the concept is that they will use oxygen from the air as a reactant and thus avoid the detonation threat. Hydrogen is the easiest way to fuel the cells but handling the hydrogen has lots of safety problems. Electrolysis to make hydrogen is only efficient if done at very high temperatures and pressures and thus expensive and dangerous. So far, "organic" fuel cells have not been viable but lots of people are working on it as the promise is there. Batteries using lithium in a couple of forms will make a decent car but getting the manufacturing, safety, and environmental issues with litium resolved are still problems. Now for my own suggestion. Skip the charging at home. Lithium batteries require complex chargers to be safe and there are no other rechargable battery technologies even close. Use metal air batteries. They are more like a solid fuel cell. they are very safe and can be stored easily and safely for a very long time. The trucks the would normally return empty from delivering these and other goods to your local store return the depleted batteries from reprocessing. Put your next car "fillup" in the bottom of your shopping cart when buying groceries. Without carrying the weight of chargers, the car gets more efficient and cheaper to build. So how is that for out-of-the-box innovation? The same batteries would work in virtually all powered equipment and be backup power for your house. Since the batteries will be processed in centralized facilities, these facilities can be located near power sources like say midwest wind farms, and reduce efficiency losses due to power transmission. The processing could adapt to use energy during excess generating times and cut back during peak grid loading. The effect would be increased grid efficiency. So are you still favoring expensive, inefficient, and dangerous hydrogen fuel cell cars that can only be fueled at highely regulated "gas" stations or your local grocer and discount stores? The polticians, led by their "experts", are all for the hydrogen.
 Sylvilagus
Joined: 4/14/2004
Msg: 67
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/3/2008 12:17:54 AM
I've looked into adding solar panels to my home along with a storage battery system. Unfortunately, my neighbors live too close to me and a wind generation system would be impractical, although I have good average daily winds year round. I'm disinclined to use a grid-intertied system, although the power company will pay me for any excess I contribute, due to the regulatory requirements the State puts on such designs. Call me cynical, but selling power back to the utility for absolute lowest delivery charge isn't worth the paperwork.

My "ideal" system in this vicinity would be a combination wind/solar system, as there isn't any hydro capability (no fast-moving water around here), although if you used rainwater collection systems, supplemented with local surface water and a solar powered electrolysis system such as Honda uses to generate hydrogen for their H2 fueled vehicles in California, I think it would generate enough hydrogen per day to run a fuel cell stack of sufficient size to power a normal home. General Electric has been working to bring a home fuel cell to market for several years. My understanding is that they've designed it to use CNG or LP gas for the hydrogen source, which, while readily available in most areas, wouldn't be to my thinking the best direct source.

Last month a plan was widely discussed where West Texas would be the site of more large-scale wind powered generators than anywhere else on the continent. Currently, landowners are leasing space to operators and are seeing a good income from it, maintenance costs on the generators is manageable, and the infrastructure to get the power to market either exists already or is nearby. If you've ever been through West Texas, the one constant you'll be aware of is the wind.

Regards,
Rabbit.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 68
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Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/3/2008 10:00:11 AM
I generate about 2kWh per day using less than 5 square feet of solar panel. Admittedly just within 20 degrees of the Equator, but there seems to be a lot of potential. 20 square feet should provide enough energy for an average house. It doesn't have to be highly efficient - we're using energy that otherwise just heats the planet and goes to waste. The sytem cost me around $2,000 with an expected life of 20 years. Maybe 4 battery replacements over that lifetime. So, under $10,000 to supply a house with electricity for 20 years?
An offshore solar array field could be out of sight and out of danger generating hydrogen by electrolysis which could be piped ashore. Not that much more dangerous than natural gas or propane commonly piped around the country. You could possibly dilute the hydrogen to a safer partial pressures using something like Nitrogen extracted from the atmosphere. Differences in physical properties may even make re-extraction easy.
I've tried wind power too, but it is very fickle because of windspeed variability. Southwest Windpower advertises their 'cubic power curve' for efficient power generation. However, they rate their turbines at maximum windspeed - more than 40 knots if memory serves correctly. Half of that windspeed (20 knots) drops output to only 12% of rated capacity. Another halving to 10 knots drops output below 2% of rated. I think there have only been 2 days when windpower has charged my batteries rather than solar. Obviously that will change with location and I'm sure power companies don't site wind generators in areas that aren't advantageous, but it isn't appropriate for everyone.
Surprisingly, hydro usually isn't too effective unless you have a lot of water. There just isn't the energy available.
 yoodle
Joined: 9/30/2006
Msg: 69
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Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/3/2008 11:25:17 AM

great minds we have in Washington DC

(wee small voice) Isn't WA DC, lobbyists, the two World Trade Towers, the SEC...the war...about profit margins?

You mean WA DC, where the concentration of lobbyists are vying to protect the interests of Ford, Boeing and big box enterprises like Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Lowes -- and the other Enrons of the world? Innovations coming from software companies are about turning a global profit by cornering whatever market wherever in the world. Innovations are coming from Japan, and big businesses, like Boeing, have been copy-catting them for decades.

Didn't Ford invest in a brand new, completely computerized manufacturing plant in S. America...while they have closed many plants in the US, and published a profit/loss statement in (negative) billion dollar range.

Thirty years ago, the midwest was improvising on ways to harvest oil by "steaming" it out of the diffused deposits in Ohio and Illinois.

"Ditching" one mode of transportation for another does not "get rid" of energy consumption. Even a donkey or camel has to eat, right? So is that 3 prong outlet in your home a "free" source of energy?

Solar...wind...wave: these technologies have been around for well goes back to daVinci's era, the Hellenic era, Egyptian/Phoeneican times, Mayan/Incan (Hyerdahl's Kon Tiki). (windmills were used as water pumps in the USA up beyond the Great Depression).

Until corporations embrace the concept of responsible servants to nature (rather than offshoring both manpower and garbage), we have to set examples at the personal level. Wal-Marts of the world find their niche quite comfortable, quite acceptable. How many of us depend on-invest in-take in stride this sort of infrastructure in our consumer society?
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 70
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/3/2008 11:30:36 AM
Anybody have any creative ideas on how to spin some turbines?


I wonder if there's a way to make earthquakes spin turbines.


 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 71
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/3/2008 11:41:37 AM

And again, what about my idea of genetically engineering an organism to biologically process something into a useable gas or scum/waste or how about goats that shit flammable turds.......


Actually this is not a bad idea. In fact, it's already been done. A few weeks ago I read about a lab that has engineered a bacteria that eats vegetation (not necessarily vegetation that humans can eat) and craps out crude oil.
 Irespire
Joined: 7/30/2008
Msg: 72
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/3/2008 11:44:38 AM
Sigh...the reason alt. energy hasn't been done is not because of lack of innovation, but because of public apathy, corporate opposition, inertia, etc.
 DebraTheDeepThinker
Joined: 6/3/2006
Msg: 73
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/3/2008 9:38:38 PM
Ahoytheredave, good response! I hope that the storage technology of the electric car is improved so that one day it will be available for the public. I would like to own one in my lifetime.
 Dr.Odd
Joined: 5/28/2008
Msg: 74
Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/17/2008 11:36:59 AM
It's quite underway... A guy named Jay Keasling is heading up a big lab in Berkeley to engineer microbes to take plant material and turn it into biofuels. Basically, the plants function as solar collectors, fixing the suns energy into sugars that are then deposited in the cell walls. The microbes will be engineered to break down the sugars in big reaction vats and turn them into fuel. It's a multi, multi-million research project.

http://www.jbei.org/

I was offered a job there, because I know a lot about a chemical in the plants that gets in the way of this process. But, the politics there was a bit crazy, and I wanted to return to Canada for a bit anyways! It'll be cool if they can actually get it to work.

Oh, and BTW... there are really only 3 sources of energy on this planet. Solar, geothermal and radioactive. Even wind is, in a round about sort of way, generated from the sun. There's some really cool work going on solar cells based upon either nanotechnology or thin organic films. The idea is to make a "paint" which you can apply to any surface that will turn some of the suns energy into electricity. If that works, we're pretty good for electricity! Just google "nanotech solar cell" if you're interested.

J
 dulse
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 75
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Attention Geniuses: Focus your energy
Posted: 8/27/2008 10:43:11 AM
Not an original idea but enhanced geothermal has the potential to supply an enormous amount of energy and the deep drilling expertise developed by the oil industry makes it practical at a small fraction of the cost of solar.
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