The Alternative Energy Thread

Discussion in 'Techforge' started by Tuckerfan, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. mburtonk

    mburtonk mburtonkulous

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  2. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    I believe that the nozzles have been standardized, since the state of California is picking up the tab for building some of the refueling stations.
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  3. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    Iceland could easily be the world's leader in hydrogen cell manufacturing.
  4. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    This isn't new story, but I'd never heard of it being possible to use ammonia as an automotive fuel until today.
    Lots more at the link. @evenflow want to give it a shot and tell us how it works out?
  5. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    FedEx gets turbine powered delivery trucks that can be powered by a variety of fuels.
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  6. evenflow

    evenflow Lofty Administrator

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    I'm actually very familiar with Anhydrous Ammonia, though as a source of Nitrogen, not as a fuel. Seems like I've heard of it for use as a fuel though. It's a cheap fertilizer, sort of the ghetto N source, and it has its issues. Mainly a corrosive odor, and the near sterilization of the soil after it's application.

    Oh, and the biggest reason it has fallen out of favor is that it is one of the traditional ingredients in meth. :ramen:
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  7. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    So you could use it to gas yourself and your car! :techman: ;)
  8. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    how about this? (lockheed fusion?!)

    Wired has the most reasoned article.

    It is rather steampunk though:

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014
  9. Bailey

    Bailey It's always Christmas Eve Super Moderator

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    And apparently being built by Doctor Horrible.

    It's a weird thing, since they seem to be looking for funding but if it was looking plausible Lockheed would throw their own money at it, the potential profit from producing a working and small fusion reactor is incalculable.

    Really there are two real options as I see it:

    1) This is speculative and unlikely to lead anywhere (most likely)

    2) They already have working fusion reactors, incorporated into some military hardware, and this is the start of introducing that technology publicly. (much less likely)
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  10. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    he does have a Dr Horrible vibe going on. I expect he'll break into song any moment.

    I vote #1. But #2 would be way cool. Maybe the X37b was carrying one (microgravity might be the key!).
  11. Aenea

    Aenea .

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    10 years yeah 10 years :calli: :lol:
  12. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    I think that you might have missed a third possibility:

    3.) They know they are lacking in certain skillsets to develop the technology and are looking individuals/organizations/corporations who can fill in that gap.
  13. Zenow

    Zenow Treehugger

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    If someone wants to invest time and money into this, even if it's a long shot, I'd say go for it. Although he/they would probably end up at the bottom of a cliff if they do manage to pull it off. Until the oil really dries up, alternative energy will have some dangerous opponents. Love the goggles though.
  14. mburtonk

    mburtonk mburtonkulous

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    Is it really worth killing over? Society, man...
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  15. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Have you not met agents from Royal Dutch Shell? They are capable of anything. I barely made it out of Den Haag alive. He will die happy.

    As for Skunk Werks, here is a very sexy video they did. Dr Horrible seems pretty level headed but he is still trying to impress his geek girl associate.



    The news originally broke in Aviation Week. Here is an analysis by a nice sciencey group AAAS.

    It seems Lockheed is taking some very good old ideas that were not feasible technically at the time and combining them in a new way. I'm quietly excited.
  16. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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  17. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    um yes. But it's a 70 meters long (may someday reach 100 meters) bike path, cost 3 million euros, and collects only 70% of what an equivalent roof based system would.

    It's nice they're actually doing it but it doesn't seem like a particularly efficient road building technique or solar collection method. They have no connection to the solar roadway guys (heaters and LEDs "A Real Solution!").

    The only advantage I'm seeing is one of aesthetics: not having to sully roof lines or clutter the country side with collectors (but paving it is ok).
  18. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    ^Meh, it's a prototype. Other places will emulate it.
  19. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    That's $16,000 usd per linear foot of bike path. I hope other places don't. They built a damned fine bike trail here in the Cobb that cost $11 million for 7 miles. That's about $300 per linear foot (including bridges and such and the cost of the right of way). An equivalent Dutch solar bike path would have been 600 million dollars.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
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  20. Azure

    Azure I could kick your ass

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    Makes you wonder why they are even bothering to do that considering home solar panels are much cheaper.

    But if you realize that power companies don't want you to be able to generate your own power, it isn't really surprising that people are actually doing stupid things like solar bike paths.
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  21. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    That makes no sense. Why would the power companies like solar bike paths any better? What evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) do you have that they don't want you to generate your own power?

    What solar power isn't, is economical: whether on your roof or under your treads. If you factor in external costs it might be.
  22. Shirogayne

    Shirogayne Sheithforge Formerly Important

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    True, but even today, most are still eye sores. And meawhile, roads and parking lots take up a LOT of real estate in most parts of the developed world. In theory, the idea of solar roadways makes more sense than just sticking panels on a roof, which only gets direct sun for a few hours a day, versus nearly the whole day for a road. :shrug:
  23. Shirogayne

    Shirogayne Sheithforge Formerly Important

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    Perhaps not on a large, national scale, but in hotter areas like the Southwest and most areas in California the prices seem to fall further and further each year.I just recently ws introduced to a company that will place panels on the roofs of low-income homehowners for free, even. :techman:
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  24. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Solar panels on the roof make a lot of sense and can help keep the heat out of your house. Solar panels in the roads are a boondoggle. A seductive one as it grants forgiveness for needing roads in the first place. There are tax credits for installing solar energy panels, but I haven't done the math to know if they're economical. I think passive measures such as increasing attic insulation give much more bang for your buck. I suspect they aren't cost effective even with the tax credit and if you live in the south west, or we'd see them on rooftops all over the place in Tucson and Phoenix.

    hmmmm ok maybe they are cost effective (random Tucson rooftops):
    tucson1.JPG tucson2.JPG tucson3.JPG
  25. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Actually those are pretty selective. Even in the posher areas of Tucson they are rare.

    Here's a more upscale neighborhood that only shows evidence of 2, and I suspect they're for pool heat (get's nippy in the winter sometimes).

    tucson4.JPG

    I dig the cool lawns they have there. I wonder if the owners ass. will let me do that here?
  26. Azure

    Azure I could kick your ass

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    You don't need that much sunlight to generate enough electricity to last a day. That is the beauty of it.

    I would imagine the idea of solar panels on roads is to generate electricity to feed into the grid, and if you really think about, is it more efficient than a solar plant in the middle of the desert that gets maximum amount of sunlight and is more efficient than any other kind of solar power generation? I hardly think so. IMO, solar roadways are 'sexy'....and that is why people are wasting money on it. But it certainly isn't a viable alternative, and will probably never be.

    Not unless you can somehow make them generate electricity that powers the cars driving on that road.
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  27. Azure

    Azure I could kick your ass

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    Also, if you really think about it, homes don't really use that much electricity, which is why the solar panels work so great for them. 100,000 homes however need a lot of electricity, and while 100,000 home owners in a rich part of LA could probably easily afford to all place solar panels on their homes to generate enough power and possibly even sell it back into the grid, the power companies can't afford that. Taking 100,000 people off the grid means they would go bankrupt.

    So you can see why there is a HUGE push for home based solar panels, and instead we are wasting our time with placing these things on a road.
  28. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    If you think about it, power companies will make a profit off your solar panels. You'll sell at wholesale and they will get full price from the millions that don't install them. Probably better profit than when they buy off the grid.
  29. Azure

    Azure I could kick your ass

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    Not if power companies own the coal powered plant on the outskirts of town. Solar on 100,000 homes would remove the need for plants like that, and considering they are paid for already and coal is dirt cheap, chances are the owners of the coal plants make a lot of money.
  30. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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