May 2008

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

« Next on Mount Rushmore | Main | The Wonderful Time »

Comments

dipy911

Phase One: Collect underpants.
Phase Two: ????????
Phase Three: Profit. (OR free fuel)

John

Can't we just cut holes in the bottom of our cars and do it flinstone style? YABA DABBA DOO!!!!

http://awritersblock.com

Jim

Scott

See http://www.pelamiswave.com/

My friend works on this. They are currently installing 3 off-shore in Portugal.

basselope

How about this doozie of World-changing gadget - never ending power from a perpetual magnetic generator;
http://www.crunchgear.com/2007/12/11/creative-inventor-patents-perpetual-magnetic-motion-machine/

[from the article]
Finally someone out there is standing up against big oil and trying to make a difference. Andy Abolafia has create the Static Field Converter, a device “that converts the energy in permanent magnets into useable electrical energy.” Best of all, it can be used to power hydrogen converters to power cars, Segways, space planes, and even cybernetic helper robots a la Johnny 5 or Gyrorobo.
[endquote]

And don't let a little thing like Einsteinian Physics worry you.. this baby has major "Cool Factor" to make it work!

Kaj

I noticed someone here made a comment about citizen/seiko watches generating power from the wearer's wrist. Don't forget, this technology isn't exactly new. This stuff started becoming common around WWII... a mechanical spring wound by an oscillating weight driven by the wearers movements.

I find that an interesting example of how old technology gets "reinvented" in order to solve a new problem.

Efficiency in vehicles these days should really be a larger concern. Back in WWII, it was discovered that supercharged aircraft engines could be tuned to use "Water Injection" I know it sounds like something out of the Hippie era, but basically a relatively small amount of a Water/alcohol (Mostly water) was sprayed down the intake, so it could vaporize in the engine cylinders. Many auto racers still use this method, as it reduces NoX emissions from vehicles (from the cooling of the cylinders) and allows the ignition to be thrown further in advance so more energy can be extracted from low-test fuel. The largest reason why this technology hasn't been used in most production cars: it has the greatest advantages with forced-induction (Supercharged or Turbocharged) engines, and car companies didn't want to have to bother the customer with filling up a water tank once a week. Before anyone starts talking about the alcohol in the tank doing all of the work, the alcohol content is quite low (lower energy density than gas BEFORE the water is added!) and is used mainly to keep the lines from freezing in the winter and alge growing in the summer.

Open English

what about vehicles that run on garbage like in "Back to the Future"? I'm sure we have the technology for it ;)

Mike

There is a revolutionary idea that may very well pan out. The guy who discovered this was considered a crank for years, but is now getting his articles published in NATURE, a peer-reviewed journal. If he's right, eventually we'll fill our cars up once a month with a garden hose. Here's the web site:

www.blacklightpower.com

mal

The problem with all this is that the US government doesn't want the world top give up oil - if it developed these technologies every one else would get on the band wagon. The US economy only survives by being essentially an exporter of dollars. If no one wanted oil no one would want dollars ( to buy their oil ) and the US economy would collapse.... Now I've had a pop at the US I should say that our government ( UK ) just does what ever Bush wants so we are as stupid

:-)

JonH

there are a couple of Google videos on different fusion reactor designs which are very interesting. Much smaller and cheaper than the tokamak design that the international efforts are chasing.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1996321846673788606

Squidpup

Mentioned below but worth mentioning again...

Box stores (Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc) put solar panels on their roofs. Also, parking lots can be converted to solar farms. This is already being done is some places, has the double benefit of preventing sun damage in cars while powering offices, stores, etc.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/07/solar_parking_l.php

Basic market economics say that if enough people want solar, costs will eventually come down.

Brazilianguy

There are so many posts that I didn´t check everyone to see if this information was already posted (yes, I could use a search tool, but I´m lazy).

There´s a joint international organization that aims to construct an operational fusion reactor in the near future. The project is being funded by major governments and, if you check their website, expects to have a prototype by 2017.

Which means that, 10 years from now, we might see the dawn of cheap, limitless energy.

Their website: www.iter.org

jim

Hi Scott, you are thinking big, how about thinking small... not something for 20 years from now but NOW. How about doubling the efficiency of the internal combustion engine? That would do it no?

Scott Dilbert for President 2008 !!!

Folks, Read James Lovelock's 'Revenge of Gaia'. The answer is nuclear energy. That's new-clear, not new-killer.

Iran has got the idea already, and is helpfully getting a head start on switching from oil to nuclear energy. Heck, in a few short years their oil may be so cheap they will give it to you for free in exchange for you letting them have a bit of peace and quiet...

Chris Anderson for President 2008 !!!

How about stopping driving around in gas-guzzling ve-hick-les that do 10 MPG ??

Carl

Scott

As you are educated in the art of Economics, I'm surprised to find you using the term "FOREIGN oil". Surely worldwide demand of oil balance out with worldwide supply.

Not all oil produced in the USA is consumed in the USA. Some is sent to Canada, and Canada is sending some to the USA. Repeat this cycle about 1000 times, and you have a web of oil demand and supply around the world. The origin of each oil molecule becomes pointless.

A case would be if Venezuela refuse to supply USA with oil. USA will import oil from Norway instead. However, Germany, who were importing from Norway, will now have to find another source... and now imports from Venezuela...

Just remember...
The stone age didn't end because we ran out of Rocks...

SnoekerJ

Old idea that I haven’t seen talked about for years, so maybe it was a non-starter.
1. Take a pipe from land into the ocean depths
2. Cover the deep end of the pipe with a desalination membrane
3. The immense seawater pressure at depth forces water through the membrane into the pipe
4. The membrane desalinates the water, so there is now fresh water in the pipe
5. Fresh water being less dense than salt water, the pressure differential causes the fresh water to exit on the land end of the pipe under pressure
6. Use that pressure to drive a turbine
7. Use the resulting fresh water
8. Two problems – energy and fresh water – solved.

Quantum_Flux

I'm with you on that producing fuel using algea. It's so easy to do, all you need is copper-sulfate, a fishtank with algea, a solar reflecter mirror, and a hydrogen gas capture tube. These are all things you can buy at walmart!

Zach

12. Crush all cars and start skateboarding to work =D

Bitter Bob

Solar thermal (hot air) has the greatest kilowatt to cost ratio. Almost 60% of all US energy goes to heating northern homes in winter. Solar heat panels go on the side of a building, instead of the roof, so there is no leaking roof problem, which is a major cost component of solar electic and hotwater (which is roof mounted, because you use hot water in summer too). Our first tool for energy independence is weatherstripping, after that, solar thermal. And solar hot air heaters don't freeze and burst the pipes.
Your less controversial blogs now are not as funny.
Thank you.
Bb

brian

I got one.
its a little like the mirrors in the desert one except the water is not being heated by the sun but by a focused microwave beam being sent from a satellite in orbit which is solar powered if you put it on top of a high mountain and gave it a no fly zone it might be safe enough.

Chris

Similar to number 3 - in Australia, we have a solar powerplant where giant mirrors focus on a granite block which heats up to extremely high temperatures.
Water run over this block produces steam to drive a steam turbine, powering tens of thousands of homes.
The advantage is the block takes several days to cool down, meaning it produces power at night or when there are a few cloudy days.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/cloncurry-so-hot-it-doesnt-need-coal/2007/11/04/1194117879767.html

Benn

Two words: Chuck Norris

car free since '93

Well, at least one or two people considered getting out of their cars. That's progress, I guess...
CFS'93

Radwaste

ONE WORD: LIPODIESEL!

heybub

Forget solar panels and their equivalent from space. The sun delivers about 700 watts per square meter on the surface of the earth. At noon. On the equator. With no clouds. The only way to increase this value is to move the orbit of the earth closer to the sun.

If you go through the math, correcting for latitude, cloud cover, and assuming 70% efficiency for solar panels, you'll find you need a solar collecting farm the size of the Los Angeles basin (1200 square miles) to supply the electric needs of just California. Then there's the expense of building the farm and ongoing maintenance. Plus, everybody in Los Angeles would be in the dark.

Which, come to think of it, is not such a bad idea...

The comments to this entry are closed.