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Old 2011-04-27, 23:38   Link #21
kaizerknight01
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well the holy grail of nuclear energy is cold fusion from what read it a lot safer than the fission type nuclear energy
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Old 2011-04-27, 23:39   Link #22
Asuras
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Wouldn't that be great. The prospect of an inter-atmospheric cable also brings the idea of an orbital elevator to more light.

But I'm thinking a bit too far.

So I read a magazine recently (Time, maybe?) that essentially whailed on every favorable resource out there for all its worth. Even solar panels (cost, low energy, regional needs) and wind turbines (kills birds, whales). Is there ANYTHING decent out there?


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Originally Posted by kaizerknight01 View Post
well the holy grail of nuclear energy is cold fusion from what read it a lot safer than the fission type nuclear energy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_fusion

Mostly theoretical, and not necessarily possible.
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Old 2011-04-27, 23:49   Link #23
GundamFan0083
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Yeah, the thing being, if the engineering and materials science hurdles of orbital-based solar panel arrays could be solved, energy would no longer be a finite resource.

Well, it's still technically finite, but the sun's got a few billion more years before it runs out of hydrogen to fuse.
One of the biggest of those hurdles is the fact that Big Oil companies own most of the major patents for photovoltic power production.

http://democratunity.com/index.php?o...nomy&Itemid=98

In the mean time, companies like Chevron have seen the proverbial "writing on the wall" and are actively developing alternative fuels.

http://www.alternative-energy-news.i...native-energy/
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Old 2011-04-27, 23:58   Link #24
synaesthetic
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Orbital solar arrays would probably not be based on photovoltaics. There are many other ways to get electricity out of sunlight.

And it's not that the oil companies see the "writing" so much as they see how popular alternative is growing and how unpopular oil is growing. They're just taking steps to make sure they get in at the ground floor when things switch over.

When we're off oil, they want to be the ones controlling whatever replaces it, of course.

Edit: "Cold fusion" is a solidly disproven hoax. This is well-known. Not to say that there aren't other types of fusion that could possibly generate electricity--but what's commonly known as "cold fusion" is pretty much science fiction.

For terrestrial energy generation nothing beats solar. The sun is the source of nearly all energy on Earth--it's a lot more effective to get it at the source than through one of its many secondary or tertiary (and so on) stages.
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Old 2011-04-28, 00:05   Link #25
GundamFan0083
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Orbital solar arrays would probably not be based on photovoltaics. There are many other ways to get electricity out of sunlight.

And it's not that the oil companies see the "writing" so much as they see how popular alternative is growing and how unpopular oil is growing. They're just taking steps to make sure they get in at the ground floor when things switch over.

When we're off oil, they want to be the ones controlling whatever replaces it, of course.

Edit: "Cold fusion" is a solidly disproven hoax. This is well-known. Not to say that there aren't other types of fusion that could possibly generate electricity--but what's commonly known as "cold fusion" is pretty much science fiction.

For terrestrial energy generation nothing beats solar. The sun is the source of nearly all energy on Earth--it's a lot more effective to get it at the source than through one of its many secondary or tertiary (and so on) stages.
I know, the oil companies will try to maintain their dominance over energy.
I can't say I blame them, though that doesn't mean I have to like the fact they control the world's energy production and are seeking to control the clean-fuels as well.

Orbital Solar (a la Gundam 00 ) would be ideal I would think.
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Old 2011-04-28, 00:10   Link #26
Asuras
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I'm thinking a ring that catches solar flares and uses their magnetic field to spin a turbine would be awesome.
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Old 2011-04-28, 00:14   Link #27
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NASA has been working on Solar Power transmission ideas for years now.

Here's an image of a proposed Solar power satellite system from the 1980s.



Here's the link to the article that talks about it and other Solar power space projects of NASA.

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-432/ch9.htm
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Old 2011-04-28, 00:16   Link #28
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Actually, in California, most are natural gas powered plants.

If NASA....or anyone else, is going to build something like that, they are going to need to start some large scale zero-g construction, and get a transportation system to get materials into orbit agian effectively, since the US Shuttle program is ending this year...so no more pickup truck in space.

However if they do try something space related, it could drive a new major economy. Suppling materials for these things...maintenance for them...supplies and recreation for those that maintain these things. Could be an entire industry just to get these things up and powering the planet.
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Old 2011-04-28, 00:36   Link #29
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Hey, that's a bunch of jobs; why would you complain about that?
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Old 2011-04-28, 00:39   Link #30
Ithekro
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WHo's complaining? I just don't think they will do it because they can't see that it as new market to exploit
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Old 2011-04-28, 00:48   Link #31
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Myopia in a business/practical sense should disqualify someone from becoming a politician.
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Old 2011-04-28, 00:56   Link #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flinch View Post
Myopia in a business/practical sense should disqualify someone from becoming a politician.
Good luck with that plan it should also disqualify someone from being a CEO but we see how well THAT gets done :P
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Old 2011-04-28, 00:58   Link #33
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Myopia in a business/practical sense should disqualify someone from becoming a politician.
It is hard to disqualify someone who talks well you know. Talking with foresight doesn't mean doing with foresight - in fact, those who do with foresight have no time to talk.
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Old 2011-04-28, 01:17   Link #34
Ithekro
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Most consider it too expensive to get things into orbit on a large scale verse what you might get out of it, since it does take a lot of energy to get into orbit...and a lot of money to construct something that will survive, not only in space, but also the trip into space. Unless it can either pay for itself eventually, or there is no other way to do whatever it is effectively.

One wonders how much it will cost, both in monitary terms and it energy expended, to get a major mining operation going in the solar system. Large enough to provide materials for colonization, or just new resources for Earth out of the asteroids mainly. The Moon if there are viable mineral deposits...or fuel for interplanetary vessels.

Can we make it before oil and other materials are either too expensive, or run out?
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Old 2011-04-28, 01:27   Link #35
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Most consider it too expensive to get things into orbit on a large scale verse what you might get out of it, since it does take a lot of energy to get into orbit...and a lot of money to construct something that will survive, not only in space, but also the trip into space. Unless it can either pay for itself eventually, or there is no other way to do whatever it is effectively.

One wonders how much it will cost, both in monitary terms and it energy expended, to get a major mining operation going in the solar system. Large enough to provide materials for colonization, or just new resources for Earth out of the asteroids mainly. The Moon if there are viable mineral deposits...or fuel for interplanetary vessels.

Can we make it before oil and other materials are either too expensive, or run out?
Of course not. With all that cockblocking, that looks pretty impossible.
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Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-04-28, 01:37   Link #36
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The value of effectively unlimited energy is incalculable.

Of course they don't want to work for it, to spend money on it, to research it--if energy loses all scarcity, becomes virtually unlimited, cheap and clean...

... you do the math.

If energy is demonetized, a lot of very powerful and very rich people will cease to be both powerful and rich.
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Old 2011-04-28, 02:12   Link #37
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There was a science fiction story I liked as a kid: it involved sucking hydrocarbons from Jupiter's upper atmosphere to use on Earth.

BTW, the whole idea of oil companies somehow stifling solar power or whatever reminds me of the old "100 mpg carburetor that runs on water but squashed by big oil" stories. When I interned at some oil companies back in the mid-90s they were already big on researching alternatives to petroleum. I don't think they have some amazing replacement for oil locked away just so that they can profit from high gas prices. If they made breakthroughs in alternatives to oil they'd be the first to try to market them.

I also get tired of the demonization of oil companies whenever gas prices spike. Yes, they make huge revenues and profits, but everyone always concentrates on the absolute number rather than the profit as percentage of revenue. Energy drives everything in the economy so of course the absolute numbers are going to be huge. But it annoys me whenever the news media or politicians jump on the oil industry when gas prices shoot up. I guess it is easier to score points with the public that way rather than focusing on things like how quantitative easing is destroying the dollar and driving speculation and inflation, which in turn is one of the causes of instability around the world (along with rising food prices driven by that other boondoggle ethanol). I consider Bernanke, Geitner, and the rest of the banker cabal criminals with very real blood on their hands for what they're doing.
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Old 2011-04-28, 02:26   Link #38
Jinto
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4 US$ per gallon, is by comparison a moderate price for fuel... I mean, I have to pay 6,32€ per US gallon for premium fuel (94 AON(AKI)/98 RON) at the moment (thats 9,35 US$ per US gallon).

Last edited by Jinto; 2011-04-28 at 02:52.
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Old 2011-04-28, 02:30   Link #39
synaesthetic
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Not saying the oil companies are sitting on the technology to make energy freely available to everyone--that'd be a strawman and I don't deal in straw men!

I'm saying they're not terribly interested in researching something that could cause them to lose money, and I was actually talking more about government leaders than necessarily oil companies. Scarcity of resources, whether it's real or imaginary, is how governments control their people, after all.
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Old 2011-04-28, 05:01   Link #40
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4 US$ per gallon, is by comparison a moderate price for fuel... I mean, I have to pay 6,32€ per US gallon for premium fuel (94 AON(AKI)/98 RON) at the moment (thats 9,35 US$ per US gallon).
Zomg, you are even worse than we are! Sometimes I just want to go back to public transport, for the green aspect as well.
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