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Solar Power

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posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 01:04 PM
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It might just be better to bypass all the solar ideas, and just go straight to the source. Solar power comes from the Sun, and the Sun is just one giant fusion reaction.

Instead of pouring all types of resources into solar power, why not just put it towards fusion power? If anything, at least it will save Arizona.




posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 01:24 PM
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cubiehole

Fusion is too far out - unless some serious breakthroughs occur. We've not even exceeded the Lawson Limit e.g. breakeven. They've run for 12 minutes but not anywhere near breakeven, let alone net power out.

Solar is at least here today and workable. Costly - yes, but doable and if fossil prices stay up or increase, then solar starts to look very attractive....

If some nutball causes any major hiccup in oil flows then the more we can rely on solar or other stuff, the better. I'm no greenie, but until we find out how oil forms (yup it's a question, heat and pressure on bio gunk or microbial action as some are starting to believe) and can either find new or better sources or come up with some quantitative rate of formation versus extraction then we have to assume it will run out at some point.


Nox

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 01:29 PM
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For laymen out there, UofCinLA just meant to say:

No earthly material can contain the heat of fusion reactors.

We rely on electromagnetism and inertia (lasers) to contain fusion reactions.

So far, the amount of energy we put into containing the reaction is just slightly more than the energy we get out of them. We can barely break even.

That's why "cold fusion" was so hyped. If cold fusion existed, we wouldn't have to waste so much energy containing the heat.



posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 01:51 PM
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I know fusion power is still far off. I remember some estimates at maybe 40-50 years, I think.

Solar is here, but it's not that all that great itself. It's not bad, but powering a house is one thing, and powering a major city is something entirely different. It could be done with solar power, but it would take a lot of resources to bring it about. So, instead of putting the resources into developing solar power, redirect it towards fusion power development, and it may not be such distant future power source.


Nox

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 02:28 PM
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The difference is that solar power is guaranteed technology (we already have it, we're just improving on it).

Fusion is not guaranteed to have positive results. (we don't have it at all.)

Are you telling us that we should risk 40-50 years worth of time and resources on something that might not be completed without even looking at what's readily available?

Also, engineers work in parallel, it's more efficient that way (surely you don't suggest we work in series, and cut solar power until we perfect designs for nuclear fusion?). A problem doesn't get easier if you throw more engineers at it. Marginal benefits and costs you know?

[edit on 9-12-2004 by Nox]



posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 02:59 PM
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I would have to agree with Nox. Solar power I think would be a much more sensible idea to invest in. Fusion is to risky, maybe if we master solar power first and make that our main source of energy then start to invest more in fusion power that might work but I will stick to solar power as being our future energy source.



posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 03:26 PM
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CH
It's not bad, but powering a house is one thing, and powering a major city is something entirely different.

True, but if its space based it takes up no land and its power can be used anywhere. Theres companies that make solar shingles, they look nearly identical to normal shingles except they power your house, but no there not that cheap yet. As for Cities, The New York Freedom Tower will have a turbine which will supply 20% of the buildings power, so thats also another thing to use for power. Within a decade or so they will be able to make normal looking windows but be able to absorb the sun to make power, and with as many windows as a sky scrapper has, it would more then cover it.



posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 03:26 PM
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sorry...repeat.

[edit on 9-12-2004 by Murcielago]



posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 03:44 PM
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How about the Australian outback as a candidate for a solar farm? Miles and miles of parched unusable desert, sounds perfect. They could easily spare 100 square miles (could probably spare 1000 sq. miles in truth). Australia consumes much less power than the US aswell so they could sell off the spare capacity and maybe even make it a self-financing operation.



posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by Chris McGee
How about the Australian outback as a candidate for a solar farm? Miles and miles of parched unusable desert, sounds perfect. They could easily spare 100 square miles (could probably spare 1000 sq. miles in truth). Australia consumes much less power than the US aswell so they could sell off the spare capacity and maybe even make it a self-financing operation.


You cant just sell power...It has to be conected to the grid of somewhere else as well.

Heres a solar Farm in Cali.


As for Australia - They are building a FKREAKEN HUGE Solar Power Tower (I like how that sounds), it will produce 200 megawatts of power, and they plan on building 5 of them totaling 1,000 megawatts! heres a pic of it, and then compared to the Empire State Building.




posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 06:11 PM
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Nox

Fusion is not barely - we've never attained break even - they think they can with that new big one that Japan and the EU are fighting over and even then they are not certain. They've also yet to figure out how to actually extract the energy for something useful like electricity - they can barely make the reaction go, let alone use it for something.

My point is that we will continue to rely on fossil for the foreseeable future but any reduction of that depletion/use through solar (whether small scale distributed or large centralized farms) or other means will at least extend the depletion of the fossil sources. Somebody just needs to pony up the cash to make it happen quicker and it's a sad fact that even in CA they cap the number of state subsidies per year for solar installs - just plain stupid in my opinion....



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 09:09 PM
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For city-scale use you can store huge amounts of power for dark hours in superconducting storage rings, capacitor banks, elevated water reservoirs or pneumatic tanks and so on. Batteries are tough on a large scale, because most are made from toxins. We used lead-acid heavy-equipment batteries to run a remote cabin years ago using photovoltaics. BTW, photovoltaic panels don't cost as much as the oil companies that own most of the panel makers would have you believe. Actual manufactuing cost of thin-film amorphous panels is pennies per rated watt.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 09:39 PM
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I've read of people who want to build tidal turbines, basically underwater windmills, too.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 09:54 PM
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Solar Power is irrelevant without good batteries.

It is possible to get piles of energy easily with solar panels, but if the weather gets too cloudy then energy better be stored in vast amounts.

Best batteries available are probably Nuclear Sub batteries, last 20 years or so. Need to improve on that.

I see a lot of people worrying about how to get energy, using process X or Y.

I rarely see someone actually thinking about where to put it.


Good batteries, batteries holding its charge for 100 years, then even a lowsy process of generating energy is ok, since you can lump it and keep it.

(and when batteries approach their end of life, one could just transfer the energy (at some minor loss), to other long lasting batteries.

Perpetual Storing of Energy. Now this is power


Imagine the potential for Military applications! Laser weapons
and Electromagnetic Arsenals


The future will be beautiful





posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 08:54 AM
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Originally posted by Tartessian
Solar Power is irrelevant without good batteries.

It is possible to get piles of energy easily with solar panels, but if the weather gets too cloudy then energy better be stored in vast amounts.

Best batteries available are probably Nuclear Sub batteries, last 20 years or so. Need to improve on that.

I see a lot of people worrying about how to get energy, using process X or Y.

I rarely see someone actually thinking about where to put it.


Good batteries, batteries holding its charge for 100 years, then even a lowsy process of generating energy is ok, since you can lump it and keep it.

(and when batteries approach their end of life, one could just transfer the energy (at some minor loss), to other long lasting batteries.

Perpetual Storing of Energy. Now this is power


Imagine the potential for Military applications! Laser weapons
and Electromagnetic Arsenals


The future will be beautiful




This is a really good idea but the part where we can use this tech. for military purposes and weapons is what we as a people need to avoid. I agree that the future will be beautiful but it will be beautiful with out more weapons.



posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 09:01 AM
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Here is an article on fusion that is quite interesting. The Christian Science Monitor seems to think that it may not be so hard to achieve a surplus as people think. We have come a long way in manipulating Magnetic Fields and smaller tests have shown that ITER should be able to produce 5 times the amount of power it takes to contain the 100 million degree celcuis plasma.

Fusion: Stepping closer to reality




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