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Questions about alternative fuels, and

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posted on Apr, 24 2006 @ 07:20 PM
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I've been reading a lot over years about different possible energy breakthroughs to relieve the world of the impending oil crisis. As one of my favorite economists Albert Bartlett said... "This is a classic case of exponential growth against a finite resource". An alternative has to be found, Otherwise we're going to be thrown back into the stone age.

I've researched several different technologies. I have questions about these technologies which I hope some of you may be able to answer for me.



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Solar Concentrators & PV Systems.
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PV Solar panels.. I expect will gain higher efficiencies over time. As other specific technologies gain momentum over time (such as nano technology). Undoubtly, these technologies will be able to be used to increase efficiencies over time by doing such things as manipulating the silicon crystaline structures of silicon PV panels.

My question here is, How long do you think it will take before we can convert 50-60% of the sun's 1000w/m (equatorial maximum power) into useful electric energy?

I've heard some people speak of supressed technologies. From FBI agents picking up all of teslas work after his death to Joesph Newman saying his N-machine is being supressed (laugh). There is one technology which i've found that seems to be supressed. Maybe some of you can shine light (no pun intended) on this subject.

It all has to do with Stirling Engines. I found so far that the best method of converting solar potential into usable electric current was by use of solar concentrators focusing sunlight on a Stirling Engine. Saudia Arabia has acres of solar concentrator dishes aprox 15-20' in diameter. Each solar dish is equipped with a 50KW stirling engine which runs a small alternator at the end of the engine. The whole stirling engine contraption in SA is a cylinder aprox 2-3' long and 1' in diameter (my calculations of size may be flawed. I have only be able to gauge size via pictures.) The stirling engine varies depending on manufacturer from 20-40% efficiencies in converting heat into electric current.

I think it's rather amazing that you can put a 15' dish in your yard that can produce 50kw of usable eletricity (enough to power 5 average homes). But that isn't what i find amazing. What i find amazing is that the only people with the technologies are oil companies and the empire of saudi arabia.

Anyway, This all leads me to my question. Why are the only producers of sterling engines oil companies? Why has this technology not been released for average use?

I have been able to find no reasons for NOT producing these engines on a mass scale to replace everything from your car engine to engines used to drive alternators at coal/gas/etc power plants. Perhaps it's cost? I'd be more than happy to pay a few hundred k for one of these engines to put in my backyard....



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Nuclear Technologies
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In my research i've completely skipped over fission nuclear plants and nuclear technologies. There are small amounts of toxic chemicals and radioactive material (0.001-0.01 micron in size) that escape the power plants. Radition has been found wide spread (from my research) around nuclear power plants. If anyone has any evidence contradictory, by all means.

One of the most intresting nuclear technologies i've found was a deuterium (sp?) & tritium fusion reactor that a high school student built with his father for a school science fair. The problem I found with his reactor (it was just a simple reactor) was that it didn't seem like there was any way to design a deterium fusion reactor that would be able to self sustain itself In the way a normal piston engine would sustain itself. I saw no methods of injection in which you could fuel a fusion reaction.

Assuming however that an injection method could be found to produce a sustainable deuturium deuturium reaction or deturium tritium reaction... What is the economic feasability of this sort of reactor in regards to deturium extraction from sea water? As with most technologies i've found.. you end up using more energy to extract the fuel than you get from the fuel itself.



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Ethanol & biodiesel & Bio gas
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As i had just mentioned above. You usually end up using more energy to produce the fuel than you get from the fuel itself.

I really only have 1 main question about both ethanol and biodiesel. They both seem great at a glance, but when you ponder on the situation the feisability seems to fall apart.

Example Scenario

If you have 1 acre of land that you use to produce biofuel (ethanol or oils). How much fuel would you need to expend in order spray pesticides, harvest, process, etc? What is the energy return gain per acre of land less fuel usage of processing?

I believe biodiesel and ethanol may be a partial solution.. Depending on what the answer to the question above is. (i don't believe we'll ever get 100% of our energy from 1 source. That would just be crazy. Diversify your bonds.) However, we could use a technology such as biodiesel or ethanol to ween ourselves off of our oil addiction.

On to biogas.

I believe Biogas is another very good gateway solution. I call it a gateway solution because i don't see any large production capabilites in this regard. There is a successful 4000 head cattle ranch in arizona that uses excraments from the herd to produce biogas. The bio gas produced off 4000 head of cattle is a little over what is needed to run their 375KW generator.

This is a good recycling technology. A large portion of the excraments have to be moved anyway (to clean out barns, milking facilities, etc). This would be a good method i believe to supplement 1-2% of our national energy needs. Also, the sludge wastes left over from this process make for excellent fertilizers which can be sold to ethanol production companies.

Whatever the solution may be, I believe there needs to be harmony between the environment and process. Destroying the earth for our own species to survive is not an acceptable loss in my opinion.



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"Free energy"
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I think we're all familiar with quacks such as Joesph Newman and their "free energy devices". I'm going to try to tip toe through the tulips. I'm not trying to offend anyone. However, there are people such as newman who try to capitalize off of the oil crisis. All claims of people like this I feel should be investigated throughly. I have done much research in regards to various "free energy" devices. One thing they all have in common (at least the ones ive seen) is that they don't work.

However, As i said above in regards to PV modules. As new technology is developed, our capacity for understanding the universe is expanded. In specific I think one of the most revolutionary theories today is "M-Theory".

I have a BBC documentary I would be willing to let you download if you shoot me a private message.

This theory which is the conversion of superstring and supergravity theories into an all encompassing theory of everything. The completion of einsteins special theory if it holds up. M-Theory stipulates that there are 11 dimensions in our universe within the 11 dimension there is a kind of a hyperspace connection to other alternate universes.

One of the biggest breakthroughs, At least, What i feel is a breakthrough. Is in regards to how they explain the singularity at the event of the big bang. Everything M-Theory, Super String Theory, and Super Gravity Theory talked about was in regards to sine waves in a crude sense.

(I have a tough time trying to understand this theory, its not for the light hearted, Please correct any mistakes I have made in my sumation.)

Breaking this theory down into a very simple form Matter, Energy, and anything else contained in the universe is made up very simply of electric fields. If you zoom down to electron you will find no matter, but rather an electric field. If you then zoom down to the nucleus of the atom you will find no matter. But rather more electric fields.

I started thinking back to an old 1970s documentary named "From Atom to Cosmos" by Itzhak Bentov (any comments on this guy?).

In this documentary, which i would remind you is from the 1970s. One of the theories he expressed is how all the frequencies in the universe derived from one main frequency. Which wasnt really a frequency but rather the mother to all other frequencies. They expressed it as such..

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ == normal sine wave.

What happens when the energy is moving so fast, that the UP peaks and the DOWN peaks touch? Like so.

|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

You would get something that would look like a solid line. Maybe physics can already explain this? The way it was explained in the video it almost sounds like a precursor to Super String Theory.

I would like to note, the only differences between super string theor, super gravity theory, and m-theory are the number of dimensions in the universe. M-Theory is the all encompassing theory which swallowed up both supergravity and superstring theory.

Anyway, On to my questions regarding this technology. Maybe there are some physics buffs on here that could help me sort some of this out. It's all still a glob of information in my brain and my brain has no idea what to do with it.

1) Can physics currently explain a sine wave in which the sine is moving so fast that the up and down points touch or overlap?

2) If such a frequency can be found, created, or whatever. Would you say that it would be the highest possible frequency in regards to our known frequency charts?

3) I would imagine, that if such a frequency did exist it would permiate everything in existance. Just as radioactive alpha particles shoot off of radio active minerals due to decay through concrete walls. I would assume that a particle with this amount of energy would shoot and zing around the universe.



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My last questions regarding energy and energy production.

What the hell is the deal with boiling water?
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Steam driven engines were devloped in the late 1800s. Originally they werent used to produce electricity, but rather run machines through gears pullies and leavers.

This is 2006. All of our coal, nuclear, and natural gas electricity production uses the method of boiling water by burning that specific resource. Then using the steam to turn a turbine to produce electrical current.

IMHO this has to go. Recouping the energy losses from boiling water to turn a turbine would probably quadruple our national energy production.

The stirling engine (which in reality is just a smaller version of the same heat exchange principle.) is the only substitute ive found for steam engines.

1) Why are we still using steam turbines? Are there any technologies that would replace these turbines?

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Thanks ahead of time for your responses! I would like to try to keep this thread clean of "free energy is impossible" posts. I believe everyone knows at this point you can't get something from nothing. However, If a resource is so vast that it permiates every cubic centimeter of the known universe. It could be quickly construed as being free or unlimited.

I'm just trying to be as constructive as possible. If there are any technologies that you feel I have left out, by all means please mention them. I believe the only one i did not mention was hydrogen. However, hydrogen falls under the same lines as ethanol and biodiesel in my opinion. How much electricity is used in the production of hydrogen? Are there any places where you can mine hydrogen? What is the feasability? From what i've seen hydrogen just makes a decent storage medium.


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posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 10:19 AM
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I hate to break it to you, but nobody built a deuterium-tritium reactor for a science project. Tritium is (1) astronomically expensive, (2) ridiculously dangerous to extract/refine/contain, (3) in insanely small abundance, and (4) most likely illegal to possess, let alone bring to school - it's like showing up to school with a uranium-filled suitcase.

An idea I had: I have been doing a Quantum Physics lab (Physical Chemstry). We did an experiment where we shined a green laser through an iodine gas sample. The concept of the lab was that the laser light was at a certain wavelength, I think around 630 nm. It excited the electrons in the iodine atoms and raised them to higher energy levels. They then fell back down to lower energy levels. However not all of them returned to the original relaxed state - there were many other energy levels between the relaxed state and the excited state.

As of now, there are many types of electromagnetic radiation that are unusable by us today, but they are very high in energy. Things like gamma-rays and cosmic rays and such. Do you think there is some sort of substance that we can shine these through, let it excite, and then relax to different lower energy levels that can be converted into usable forms of energy?

That sure would be fancy, I tell ya' what.



posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 03:48 PM
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Originally posted by Ralph_The_Wonder_Llama
I hate to break it to you, but nobody built a deuterium-tritium reactor for a science project. Tritium is (1) astronomically expensive, (2) ridiculously dangerous to extract/refine/contain, (3) in insanely small abundance, and (4) most likely illegal to possess, let alone bring to school - it's like showing up to school with a uranium-filled suitcase.


What about "Tasers" ? Liquid tritium inside of a vile with a chemical coating on the outside which reacts with the tritium producing phosflourescents.

You are however correct, I had made a typo. It was a deuterium-deuterium fusion reactor.

deseretnews.com...

I don't have time to respond to your idea atm. I'll try to get back later and edit my post.


Edit:



As of now, there are many types of electromagnetic radiation that are unusable by us today, but they are very high in energy. Things like gamma-rays and cosmic rays and such. Do you think there is some sort of substance that we can shine these through, let it excite, and then relax to different lower energy levels that can be converted into usable forms of energy?


There was a man. I can't recall who it was, but it was during the early 1900s. He purportedly created a machine which was able to diffuse gamma ray radiation into usable electricity using a modified salt crystal(s) aswell as a tuned circuit.

www.hps.org...

"Given the initiative, time, and money we can convert most forms of nonelectrical energy into electricity. This includes gamma rays. A direct conversion, though inefficient, is possible through interaction of the gamma rays with an appropriate material that will suffer a loss of electrons through the gamma interactions with it; the electrons can be collected in an electric field and represent a current flow. In fact, most radiation detectors operate on this principle. Gases and solids have been used in this regard. Various semiconductors undergo electron ejection in response to ionizing radiation and have had many applications in radiation detection and measurement. Photovoltaic cells, commonly used in the visible and ultraviolet portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, can also convert gamma ray energy to electron current, but the process is very inefficient in terms of the fraction of gamma energy that ends up as collectible electrical charge. "

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I'm sure it would be possible to build such solar panels which would be able extract electricity from the "electon ejection" process as described above. The problem i see with this is, most particles of those energies are blocked or deflected by our atmosphere. The only particles that do make it through (without being at one of the poles?) are extremely high energy particles. These particles are not in a high enough quanity (i have not done the math) to provide useful amounts of power I would think. If a material could be found that could use this process to create electricity from a large range of frequencies. Lets say, visible light to the gamma ray spectrum, it would be a very good technology for powering space based technologies via solar-type panels. However, because of our atmosphere and magnetic field. I don't see such a technology as ecnomoicly fiesible for land based generation of power.

I think finding a better way to convert energy potentials into usable electricity is one of the most important factors. Nuclear/Gas/Coal plants all have 3 things which are un or under utilized in the plants. 1) Noise, 2) Light (uv,visible,etc) and 3) Heat.

These 3 things are our major energy loses. Escaping heat which does not directly go into heating the water into steam.. Light which is created from combustion is not harnessed and just bounces off the walls until it loses its energy. Noise from running machinery is also energy loss. It might be possible to recycle this somehow.


[edit on 25-4-2006 by tsensel]



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