Green Power and an End to Batteries as We Know Them

Discussion in 'Techforge' started by The Night Funky, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    I was skeptical about this story when I saw the headlines on some clickbaity "science" websites, then it showed up on the respectable Phys.org site, so I knew I had to take a look.
    TL;DR version: wires made by bacteria enable scientists to generate power from the humidity in the air, even in deserts. This opens up a whole lotta interesting possibilities for green energy.
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  2. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    color me cautiously optimistic. My prediction is we'll find out the research has been fudged and it's a failure. Then the conspiracy theory derps will say that it did actually work but the energy companies bought the inventors out along with their patent. Change my mind!
  3. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    Interesting.

    I'm a bit skeptical of it's scalability--these things aren't going to make a lot of power in any reasonably compact form--but it does have the virtue of running all the time.
  4. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    It was published in the journal Nature and it's getting lots of press.

    But no, there ain't no such thing as free lunch, especially where energy is concerned. It may be producing electrical current after hydrophilic fibers have attracted H2O, but once saturated, unless there is a cycle that reverses the process, it will stop.

    File this under room temperature fusion and solar roads.
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  5. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    I'd like to disagree, but it does sound an awful lot the "cold fusion" hoax, doesn't it?
  6. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    Doubt it's a hoax, but everyone has a tendency to oversell their invention. There's usually a lot of disclaimers in the fine print.

    Occasionally you hear someone say dipshit stuff like "the automakers have known for years how to make cars that get 100 miles per gallon."

    Yes, they have. That isn't the problem. The problem is making a 100 MPG car that isn't either (a) riddled with compromises or (b) absurdly expensive. A car, like any product, has to be...wait for it...economically viable. (To say nothing of the fact that carmakers are not oil companies, and could only benefit in the market by offering higher mileage over similar cars from competitors...)

    So, yes, someone can make electricity from water vapor in the air. But unless they can make a lot of it and cheaply, this isn't a product... it's a curiosity.
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  7. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    If you'll remember, the cold fusion folks skipped submitting their papers to scientific journals and went straight to the mainstream media. This paper went to one of the most respected science journals first, which leads me to believe that there's legit science behind it. How well it'll pan out is another matter. Lots of things work in the lab, but don't work when it comes to mass-production.
  8. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    yep. It's possible to turn lead into gold but it takes an insane amount of money to engineer the process.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-lead-can-be-turned-into-gold/
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  9. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    I don’t have knowledge or smarts to know if this is real but even if it is real I agree that the real question is scalability. By the way I googled cold fusion. It seems there’s general agreement that something happened, but not enough to answer the big question: “so what?”:shrug:
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  10. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    Yes, it seems like there might be some strange effect there, but it's hard to reproduce.

    I remember when Pons and Fleischman went public with it in 1989. We all thought our energy worries were over and that Mr. Fusion was going to be real. :lol:
  11. NAHTMMM

    NAHTMMM GLORIAAA!!

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    I thought the general agreement was that nothing happened because they didn't quite seal their experiment tightly and so it wasn't a closed system.
  12. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    I’m on my phone and finding/linking articles is a pain. If you google cold fusion I’m sure it’ll come up. Somewhat interesting but nothing earth shattering.
  13. Minsc&Boo

    Minsc&Boo Fresh Meat

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