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Alternative way to turn heat in electricity

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posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 02:35 AM
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there are aplicated industrial new alternatives ways to turn chemical energy into electricity without the use of the classical steam turbine????

i think that the MHD generator is a good alternative, but i dont know if in fact there is a operative power plant with such device, supossely the efficiency is arround 60-70% in high temperature plasmas -that compared with the 40% in steam turbines with some thermodynamicals recoveries-, i think that there is a russian power plant, but i dont remember well the proyect

thermo-ionic concepts also were -or are /i dont know/- studied, i dont know how advanced is that technology

fuel cells can be aplicated in high power generators???, i mean , there is a cheaper catalyser than the platinum??? fuel cells also could operate with carbon or coal???, i mean if is pulverized enought???
-or mixed with water, but it sound too dirty-

other very interesting thing is to see the thermodynamic cicle of an MHD generator

there arent other designs of the turbines???

other conceps???

is obvious that there is a tendecy and some goverments -specially the europeans- in promoting the news techs internaly and arround the world with these famous treaties -like the kioto treaty-, but almost always the discussion is about cars and gasoline engines, i dont hear much about powerplants, remember that if we want electric cars -or hidrogen- we must need good powerplants




posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 11:44 AM
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thermovolatics are rather interesting, but they dont scale up to the powerplant size systems you need to power cities.

Same problem with radiothermal generators, good for small projects, but arent going to move mountains.



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 02:58 PM
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I have always wondered if Foucault's pendulum could act as ameans of obtaining electricity by converting the energy of the pendulum, which is powered by the movement of the earth, into electricity. Though if this were at all possible, which it seems unlikely, it still sounds very ineffecient. I don't know, I think I am just talking out my ass.

I know there was scientist in the 70's, name eludes me, who worked with an exhaust system on automobiles in which the CO2 would not escape the car but would be obtained by redirecting the exhaust system to a tank of sorts which would collect most of the CO2 and allow small amounts to escape in order for the engine to not stall.

That's about all I could think of under 'other concepts'.



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 05:57 PM
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Originally posted by Raideur
thermovolatics are rather interesting, but they dont scale up to the powerplant size systems you need to power cities.

Same problem with radiothermal generators, good for small projects, but arent going to move mountains.


Then decentralize it. Make each generator extremely cheap, and sell it to homeowners who have a grid-tied link to the power grid(eg power can flow both ways)



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by Frosty

I have always wondered if Foucault's pendulum could act as ameans of obtaining electricity by converting the energy of the pendulum, which is powered by the movement of the earth, into electricity.



Actually I designed such a device (on paper) when I was laid off after the market crash (and bored). Turns out that you will eventually have to restart the pendulum as it will gradually lose force due to friction.

However, if you had a very good (virtually frictionless) bearing to swing the pendulum from, and then had some magnetic charging devices that would generate current as the pendulum swung over them, then you could indeed generate power. Not alot of power, but some indeed, and gravity is free. You would just have to restart the pendulum periodically.

Perhaps if you built a REALLY big pendulum you could get alot of momentum going.

You can also carry out a similar process with wave motion (tides coming in and out from moon's gravitational pull).



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 08:37 PM
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Originally posted by grunt2

fuel cells can be aplicated in high power generators???, i mean , there is a cheaper catalyser than the platinum??? fuel cells also could operate with carbon or coal???, i mean if is pulverized enought???
-or mixed with water, but it sound too dirty-




We will definately see some miniature fuel cells for portable laptop computers in the near future. Instead of plugging in your battery pack you can plug in a fuel cell pack, and fill it up with isopropyl periodically ...

at the large scale it's not clear if they can generate enough for an entire city, for example.

However, the benefit is the efficiency of power storage. It's possible to store hydrogen gas for example, in a very efficient manner (pressure tank). However, it's extremely flammable and dangerous (Led Zeppelin cover). But once it's created the fuel cell process can generate electricity in a relatively efficient manner. But, as it turns out, it's not quite as cost efficient as a very optimized fuel burning turbine is. This is due to the cost of the platinum metal required in the cell. If we can come up with a cheaper alternative to platinum it may be more viable.

One of the big problems in electricity generation is storing it. Batteries are not all that efficient, and transmission lines are lossy.

Having a decentralized system is indeed the best idea ... we need to get technology affordable to the point where everyone can be generating their own power at home in a clean and efficient manner.



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 09:42 PM
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very interesting comments, thanks for all your replies


well, the alcohol cell fuel is interesting, but for industrial uses i think that have some limitations -apart from the tech limts- like the production of enought alcohol for the energy demands.

its very interesting, its like that there is a sustitute for the platinum

www.newstarget.com...

i dont know how advanced the research, but instead of patinum it use iron sulphur compounds

i really dont think that a decentraliced energy system could be more efficient, i mean, you cant use the advantages of the economy of scale , is probable that in such model the prices of the fuel could be very high -by the diverse demand-, and i doubt that the overall thermodynamic efficiency could be good -so in the end you must consume more fuel-, almost always small machines dont have good efficiency

i always thought in a kind of stirling cycle process for the heat "wasted" in the powerplants, maybe if the dynamic gas could be compresed enough it could reach practical temperatures for a stirling generator, well lets make some entalpy -energy conservation calcules


superconductors could make practical the MHD generator, i think that there are operative powerplants from 90-300 MW using the concept, there is some ideas based in mhd

mhd.mis.coventry.ac.uk/Files/ Presentations/Pierson/Pierson-702.doc

the main problem in power-plants is or increase the temperature to increase the efficiency -limited by the technology- or how to deal with the energy at low temperatures -limited by thermodynamics-, but if fuel cells could be practic and cheap, and there is more research to adapt fosil fuels to them, i think that these problems could be avoided

[edit on 21-8-2005 by grunt2]



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by grad_student

Originally posted by Frosty

I have always wondered if Foucault's pendulum could act as ameans of obtaining electricity by converting the energy of the pendulum, which is powered by the movement of the earth, into electricity.



Actually I designed such a device (on paper) when I was laid off after the market crash (and bored). Turns out that you will eventually have to restart the pendulum as it will gradually lose force due to friction.

However, if you had a very good (virtually frictionless) bearing to swing the pendulum from, and then had some magnetic charging devices that would generate current as the pendulum swung over them, then you could indeed generate power. Not alot of power, but some indeed, and gravity is free. You would just have to restart the pendulum periodically.

Perhaps if you built a REALLY big pendulum you could get alot of momentum going.

You can also carry out a similar process with wave motion (tides coming in and out from moon's gravitational pull).


Interesting.

Go with me here on this one if you like and see if it makes since:

While after thinking of the pendulum I also thought of another approach based on a pendulum like device (as I call it). Newton's cradle.



When the individual out spheres collides with its closest counterpart they produce an amount of force which shattering across the line. This forces the second outer sphere to swing outwards and then return back causing a cylce based on momentum (which looks mystefyingly perpetual in some cases). When the spheres collide they give off heat. Rather than attach a bearing to this device like you did to the pendulum, there must be some sort of way in which to place wiring into the spheres to abosorb the shock and convert it into heat.

To improve upon this, it would be viable to create the spheres out of certain metals which give off amounts of electrical charge when stuck by these various metals. This should contribute to the increased production of electricity, but also reduce the frequency in which this process must be restarted to achieve desirable results.

***

Then I thought of this application in the vacuum of space, but quickly realized that the outer spheres will have almost next to no gravitational force applied on them and they will thus swing out of place and the action will not occur.

But if the attachments of line to the supporting strut were corrected to fit a ring so that the line may follow the path of the ring it might be possble for one sphere to swing all the way around collide with another sphere allowing the other outer sphere to repeat the process. The only problem I can see is that the jump start (and the movement) may cause enough amount of force for the cradle to go flying off into space, and that would be fruitless. The spheres themselves might also separate and and negate this proccess.

***

I am sure these ideas have been theorized upon, as you had previously constructed a diagram of harnessing the power of a pendulum. I am just currious and itching for school to start.



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 10:28 PM
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Hmmm, with the Newton's Cradle approach it might even be possible to construct the sphere into individual sections and allow a miniture turbine to be fitted.

Certain chemicals will react to such amounts of occilation causing the liquid to convert into gas. The gas would then need to escape through a small orrifice attached to a turbine allowing the turbine to spin according to the pressure of the gas flowing through it. That is all if the immense amount of pressure does not cause the sphere to explode and kill or maim all the participants in the experiment. Then again it sounds more like I am talking out of my ass than actually proposing anything remotley scientific.



posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 12:38 PM
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Gravity isnt really "free" as in, you can sap it for energy and have it suddenly reappear, it moves, but you cant remove any energy from it or it will stop. Just like a shuttle appears to have energy flying around the earth, but when you sap power from that movement, it loses speed, and well, stops.

Really hard to get around energy conservation.

Decentralized production may work, but more parts and transmission lines all lose energy to friction and resistance, so could you REALLY get better effeciency from a better process if you have to keep it small?

Im sure Westinghouse has a think-tank buried somewhere pondering all these ideas, but its still fair game.

I dont see why the public is so god aweful scared of nuclear power production. Its INCREDIBLY safe, moreso than virtually any other industry. It doesnt even produce enough radiation to be detected in the area, you get thousands of times more radiation from sitting in the sun.

People just hear nuclear and say "Oh BAD!" Its more effecient than most systems, runs with the Megawatt systems we need for cities, and doesnt pollute, other than heated waste water, which all power plants do, regardless.

To power New York with solar energy, you need about 5 square miles of photovoltaic cells, which is bigger than downtown NY...



posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 09:29 PM
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I see Honda's latest minivans are capable of converting the friction of the brake pads into electricity. Or so their commercials elude to. I had this idea 8 months ago, though I suppose they've been working on the idea for a bit while longer.

Another possiblity would be to drill a hole 20 miles down into the mantle and use this as a means of extracting energy. I am sure it is possible to convert earthquakes into energy or volcanic activity.

You could fly miniture zeppelins into clouds during an electrical storm and hope they hit. I guess there is no possiblity of creating a machine to absorb the heat of an engine by attaching such a device under the hood, seems far fetched.

Shoes, attach device inside the soul of a shoe which takes the abosorbing impact and converts it into electricity, reminds me of the shoes that lit up when you walked, and people do a lot of walking.



posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 10:47 PM
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hey, hey, hey guys, dont go so far


even if you use nuclear reactors you must need the boring steam turbines!!!, so we are in the same 40% efficiency -even lower sice some nuclear reactors only works with relative low temperature-

but i agree Raideur, nuke reactors have been satanised, i think that the main problem in his development have been the strong orientation on military tech, i mean there are other designs, like liquid U core that have not been studied enough, because isnt aplicable to build nukes, about this sistem supossely is high efficient to burn all the U235 -the main toxic waste of fision-, but you must also consider that the cost of the waste storage increase the costs (only for the fision subproducts you need at least 100 years of storage -not counting the U or Pu-)

btw is posible to accelerate the radioactive decay in any way???perhaps with magnetic fields, or maybe with the same neuton emission from the reactor???,i dont know, someone knows the transfomation of Sr-90/94 with neutrons???-fision process, not absorsion-

i think that for a practical reduction of gases the best solution is increase the efficiency of the thermodynamic process, instead to search for other energy sources -that are unsecure and dont offer greate output-, all that until the nuke fusion arrive



[edit on 22-8-2005 by grunt2]



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