Alternative Energy Research Project

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posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 04:10 PM

The first industrial revolution created a new requirement for man, in addition to food, water, and shelter – energy. The need for energy, whether it be fuel for our cars and trucks, or electricity for our lights and appliances, forced man to scour the earth for consumable resources. Oil and coal were quickly identified as excellent sources, as they exist in widespread abundance, and can be obtained with relatively little effort. However, these fuels have a darker side – their combustion produces by-products that are harmful to the environment, and they have a large economic and political impact on the world. Energy from the splitting of atoms was soon discovered in the mid twentieth century, but that lead to further environmental and political problems. The digital revolution of the late twentieth century only increased the demand for energy.

Some promising new technologies emerged, including solar and wind power, but these have proved to be expensive and slow to be implemented. More recently several fantastic claims have been made for technologies that could solve the “energy crisis” we find ourselves in, from the possibility of fusing atoms at room temperature, to drawing energy directly from the basic structure of the universe.


Examine the feasibility and state of several new “alternative energy” technologies as well as old, including but not limited to;

- Current-generation technologies, including wind, solar, wave, biomass, geothermal, and "hot" fusion.
- Room-temperature nuclear fusion ("cold" fusion)
- Micro-scale nuclear fusion / sonofusion
- Energy from vacuum
- Bioenergy
- Chronologic compilation and solutions

Determine if there exists a conspiracy set on suppressing the development of said technologies

Develop a plan for transitioning from fossil fuels to new energy sources


As described in the introduction, current energy sources are fast becoming obsolete. The intent of this research project is to inform the members and guests of ATS as to the current state of alternative energy, including next-generation technologies. It is hoped that this project will help increase public awareness of these technologies, and promote their research and development.

ServoHahn -

[edit on 29-3-2005 by ADVISOR]

posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 05:52 PM
As I sent to spacedoubt;
Biomass is readily used in third world countries, especially on farms. I've watched a Geography Video about how farmers in India use biomass produced from their animals, which are then left to ferment in a very simple underground piping system, that produce methane, which can readily be burnt as normal gas for a stove..
Hope this helps provide some basis!
I suppose the next step is to work out roughly how much biomass is produced from farm animals a day (which will be tricky!) and to work out how much energy we'd produce by burning it, and seeing if it's sufficient.. Of course, there are still the normal pollution problems involved in combustion of CH4, (and the other compounds you find in biomass)..

In the science/technology forum, there was a point raised of a fusion/fission generator, and from what I assumed from the statement (e.g. fuse 2H -> He, then fission He -> 2H), it is an impossibility. I'll try my best to find the graph to illustrate this, (it plots an energy of the system against element/atomic number). But basically, fusion only 'produces' energy when we fuse between Hydrogen to Iron (or is it Lead? I'm pretty confident it's iron). Fission, on the other hand, works from, as far as we know, any element above (aka a greater atomic number than) iron, down to Iron. This is one of the explanations for why iron is so abundant. Our sun can only produce up to iron (from fusion), and this is also one of the explanations for why we must have been affected by a supernova at some point, it's the only reason for all the elements, as far as we know, above Iron.. The good example is the production of new elements in particle accelerators, this is why we require so much energy to do it!

Anyway, I'll find what I can on cold fusion and sonofusion later and post it roughly, but I'll leave the hard-work for their team to do! I'm here to go across the board, with more focus on biomass than any other area.

posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 05:58 PM
Article can be found here.
The current 'main' fusion plant is in the UK, but is not nearly large enough to achieve self-sustaining fusion over a time period, without continuous input of energy. This plant is hopefully large enough to sustain fusion at a rate of 500 MW for 500 seconds or more, during each experiment. Scientists believe fusion will be commerically available in 20 or so years time, with Iter (this plant) being one of the most important steps possible.

Many experiments based on sonofusion have been claimed to achieve it, but the results have never been self-sustaining.
For the main part, a large number of scientists now dismiss it as an impossibility (to my understanding), but work is still being done on it.
However, there might be light at the end of the tunnel Here

Cold fusion
Here's a source from the BBC, discussing it's failure, written 5 years ago.

That's that for now.. Might edit to it later.

posted on Jun, 26 2004 @ 06:42 AM
Hi everyone, welcome to the project,
Here I have compiled all relevant ATS threads regarding energy, and more specifically in most cases, the 'peak' oil crisis.

Thought it would be good to have a reference of information from ATS on the thread.
Will update as I find more.

dbates, The Worlds Energy Supply. Past, Present, and Future
Round 1. JediMaster V Gryffen: Alternative Energy
Alternate Energy Destroying the Enviroment.

bioenergy... is it possible?

NEWS: Cold Fusion on the Cold Slab, Dr. Eugene F. Mallove Murdered.
Cold Fusion
SCI/TECH: U.S. Will Give Cold Fusion Second Look, After 15 Years" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">NEWS: California Announces First Energy Crisis of the Year
EXCLUSIVE: The Oil Supply and Demand Situation. An ATSNN Outlook

Energy wars: Iraq and oil
Is it about US Oil, or French Oil?
POLITICS: The French War For Oil, Along With Others.
IRAN & SYRIA Next: Terror for Oil & Israel
Possible truth about 9/11 and the war in Iraq?
It's the Oil Stupid!
Nuclear jet crash 'could kill millions'

Gas Prices...What they don't say... But I will. (my speculation)
Best Gas Mileage
OP/ED: Outrageous Gas Prices Going to Get Worse...
We might be experiencing more gas shortages this summer.
Kerry Announces Plan to Control Gas Costs
Is the beginning of the end of gas as we know it?
Higher prices? Thank China

Peak Oil is it real? is it happening?
The World is about to collapse and fall!
The Big Picture
SCI/TECH: Is The World's Oil Running Out?
If you haven't heard......!
End of Oil - Is the gov't preparing?
Peak Oil (a myth?)
Do we actually need to beg for oil ??

Presidential Candidates' Energy Policies
Democrats call for use of emergency oil
Administration serving Big Oil over US interests

BUSINESS: OPEC Struggles To Keep Up With World Demand
Is it time to boycott OPEC yet?

Oil is from Asteroids, not Organics!
Olduvai Theory
Energy Suppression.

THE Question on Matter, Dark Matter, etc.
World Natural Gas Situation
Let's clear up the roads
Getting "off the Grid"
Moon of jupiter contains natual gas no need for war.

posted on Jun, 26 2004 @ 07:48 AM
Found a couple interesting sites about cold fusion..
a magazine about energy, the current issue deals directly with cold fusion.. I'm gonna try process it later. another interesting insight into cold fusion, however, 6 years old. It goes through the basics required for fusion, and discussed scientist's criticsisms, etc.

posted on Jun, 26 2004 @ 10:34 AM
This is a research group dedicated to looking into biomass specifically as an energy source. A few points of interest;
They claim that the efficiency of biomass is only about 1% when used in the field.
They say that for each mole of carbon fixed (an equation is provided on their page) only 470 kJ is absorbed. This means we are looking at about 5kJ output from one mole of biomass... This is enough to heat up one gram of water by roughly 1 degree celsius! This is not nearly good enough.. It seems we need to make more energy efficient sources

posted on Jun, 26 2004 @ 07:16 PM
I'd like to thank all the team members once again for for volunteering. I am very excited to see what results we can turn up!

Just a few "ground rules":

  • Please try to keep this forum neat and tidy - posts should add something to the projects, intrateam communication should be done via u2u or email.
  • Each of you is assigned a task, which should be your main focus. You are free to work on other topics, but please coordinate all such efforts with the topic leader. If you'd like to change topics, please contact me.
  • Topic leaders, please try to stay on top of the progress being made in your topic. If at any point you feel you don't have the time to be topic leader, let me know, and we'll find a replacement.
  • Feel free to contact me at any time, I'm always willing to help.

Reminder: This project will culminate with us compiling a paper of our research and conclusions. Please keep that in mind, and keep good notes!

Good luck!

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 03:06 PM
First I would like to thank PurdueNuc for giving me a chance to join this wonderful project.

Ok lets get down to business. First I would like to start of with the history of cold fusion and a little scratch the surface info.

In 1989 Stanley Pons and Martain Fleischmann announced to the press that they had discovered cold fusion. This announcement sent the scientific community in an uproar and the public news media went crazy.
For cold fusion to be accepted by press Stanley Pons and Martain Fleischmann should have done the acceptable way. They should have let other scientist try if cold fusion really works and show their experiment to public. But they did neither.
A general way physicists determine if a reaction is nuclear or chemical is via tritium (an isotope of hydrogen) production. Chemical reactions do not produce tritium while most nuclear reactions do. It is important to note that some forms of fusion (nuclear reaction) can occur where tritium is not produced.
Pons and Fleishmann claimed to produce a few tritium atoms, but their claimed results were never replicated because they did not publish their experiment. The exact method they used was not replicated until it was too late and cold fusion already had a bad name and been renounced.
Even once the method Pons and Fleishmann used had been reproduced the results were not consistent enough to convince the community. This resulted in the scientific community believing the entire idea and concept of cold fusion to be a hoax.
Nonetheless, those that were devoted to the phenomenon of cold fusion have stayed persistent and often found private companies where they can do their research.

Can cold fusion really be?
One of the most argued issue in cold fusion is the ability to reproduce results. Hot fusionists have experimented with cold fusion with some of the most very accurate sensing equipment and found no signs of cold fusion taking place.
For most scientists it is not the fact that cold fusion goes against the current theories of energy. It is the fact that in the past cold fusion experiments have been proven false and the results are never consistent.
Cold fusionist have admitted that results are never consistent but they say that they have not released any finding that are repeatable because they dont have an adequate way to produce fuel. The problem is the fact that the fuel is unpredictable.
Different metals accept the deuterium more readily than others do. Currently there has not been sufficient research done into which types of metals work best as the fuel.
There are thousands of possible ways to load different metals with deuterium that will allow for cold fusion to work. Funding for such an experiment to try and find which loading procedure has never been provided.

Is cold fusion Theoretical possible?
"The 'cold fusion' phenomenon, in which the law of conservation of energy is apparently violated when electricity and heat are applied to special systems involving hydrogen isotopes (in water or gaseous form) and particular metals (notably palladium and nickel), defies conventional scientific explanation. All new theories explaining 'cold fusion' effects require large revisions in existing physical theories (one might call them 'miracles'). Scientific skepticism requires that unless the experimental evidence justifies belief in these miracles, we must conclude that experimental errors are being misinterpreted as positive results.(Heeter)

Cold fusionists claim that they are able to make fusion happen at room temperature. Fusion occurs when two nuclei of atoms are rammed together and combined to make larger nuclei.
Hot fusion is readily observed in the sun. The gravitational forces in the sun push the nuclei close enough together that they fuse. On earth we can not replicate that gravitational force.
The most wildly accepted way to get nuclei close enough to each other to combine is to basically get them all moving at great speeds via a high temperature and then ram them with other nuclei. The theory being that this kinetic energy will overcome the electrostatic repulsion and allow the nuclei to fuse.
With cold fusion the energy seems to just magically appears, and the scientists dont know where the energy comes from. While they claim that it is the results of a nuclear reaction, substantial proof of this has not been found.
Since cold fusionists have not been able to constantly reproduce their effects the scientific community will not accept their findings or their theories.
Cold fusionists do not deny that their ideas go against current theory; they say there is a need for a new theory.
If cold fusion was working off the principle of a never before recognized phenomenon, it would explain why no one is able to repeatedly produce reliable results.
Given enough time of observing a new phenomenon, scientists will learn how it is working and then be able to manipulate the experiment to prove that the concept exists if indeed it does.
So right now theoretical cold fusion cant happen unless the theory right now is revised.


posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 08:30 PM
Back from vacation and working on the " Transition " section of this project .

What to do with all the jobs that would be displaced if and when new energy technology breaks out of the cave it has been trapped in ?

What to do with a SURPLUS of oil that doesn't need to be fed to the automotive and energy generating pollution monsters ?

What to do about our foriegn policies with oil producing nations ( could we actually become independent of them , and leave them be?????) ?

The onset of the new technologies in this project have much merit and pupose that is being ignored / supressed by the modern day robber barrons who control too much of our lives , destroy our ecology , and keep us slaves to the system that they have created .

We are not cattle !!!!

We need to remove the reluctance of change (I fear it , but know it is needed) by being prepared to adapt to a financial paradigm that will occur as these devices become mainstream .

The transition from the fossil feuled economy , that the world population now lives under , to a cleaner less ecologically destructive economy will most certainly be met with resistance from many angles .

Next post to document employment in some of the fossile feuled industries , and offer some oppinions on what could be done to secure prosperity during the "Transiton Phase"

Other topics will include : Oil to plastics and their many uses / Labor displacement in the automotive industry / Creative suggestions for energy use from clean energy production , and its comparison to " planned obsolescence"

Comments encouraged !

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 03:40 AM
Nanotechnology brings alternative energy

Thread with interesting article.

posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 07:51 AM
The oil Conspiracy

- An overview

The situation in the middle east is volatile. A new threat faces the western world, and
according to those who waged war in our names, we should be scared. A result of this
terrorist thread has been the invasion of Afghanistand and Iraq.

Reuslt of Iraq war: Soaring oil prices, and American control of the second largest
source of oil in the world.

Result of Afghan war: Oil pipeline contract

US Government

"It is likely that George W Bush and his
allies have received more campaign contributions
from oil companies than any other administration
in history. All told, data compiled by the nonprofit
Center for Responsive Politics show that oil and gas
firms donated $1,889,206 to Bush's presidential campaign"

Of course the oil industry always has had it's hand in the political pie.

Exxon/Mobil Corp. spent $3,280,216 to influence Congressional and Presidential
campaigns from 1995 to 2000. BP/Amoco Corp. spent $2,989,073 during the same period.
Occidental Petroleum spent $1,544,774; Texaco Inc. spent $1,272,585.

George Bush, a History in oil.

1979-83: Fifty Bush family investors and friends led by
a New York Republican Party official provide $4.7 million to set up Bush
in a company called Arbusto. Pretty soon they go "busto" and in
1982 change the name to Bush Exploration.

1984: Spectrum 7 Corporation, oil exploration company from Ohio, owned by Bush's
associate William DeWitt Jr, buys Bush Exploration. Bush is placed as
CEO and recieves 1.1 million shares of the firm's stock.
The company soon finds itself with $400,000 in losses and a debt of $3 million.

1986: Bush and the people at spectrum merge the failing company with Harken
Oil, an oil exploration company from Dallas with a $2 million stock purchase. Bush recieves
$131,250 in stock options. Harken is a small company looking for oil opportunities within
the U.S. Harvard Management Corporation, an investment adviser for Harvard University's
endowment portfolio pumps millions into the venture.

1990: Although Harken has no international expertise, it gets the attention of the
Bahrain National Oil Company, which unexpectedly appears on the scene and bypasses big
oil's Amoco and Chevron to sign a production agreement with the little Texas concern.
The contract grants Harken exclusive rights to what seems to be a promising offshore
area squeezed between two productive tracts owned by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Wall
Street Journal speculates Bahrain was trying to cozy up to Daddy Bush, who was plotting
an assault on Iraq after Saddam Hussein seized Kuwait.

Dick Cheney

Head of Haliburton in the 1990's, Cheney has claimed since under media scrutiny
that he severed connections with them. This is hughly doubtful as Haliburton have been
rewarded with many many contracts in Iraq.

Corporate Connections


Afghanistan holds the key to to oil and gas reserves in central Asia. Not holding any oil itself,
the country simply provides a route to tap into the uncalculated reserves of
Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. These countries, now free from soviet rule,
will prove crucial as gulf supplies begin to run out in this century.


Iraq has become the focus point of the 'oil conspiracy' , and now after claims made by
George Bush and Tony Blair regarding WMD have been proven false, anybody with sense has
to think about the real motives behind this rushed war.

Some claim that invading Iraq has no positive effects for the oil industry. In the short term,
Ignoring the fact that high prices are good for business, this may be true. However it is
the long-term economic benefits of sitting upon such a large oil supply which would be the
main interest of the invasion if anything.

Oil - production:
2.2 million bbl/day; note - prewar production was 2.8 million bbl/day (January 2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
460,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
1.7 million bbl/day (January 2004)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
113.8 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
2.76 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
2.76 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
3.149 trillion cu m (1 January 2002)

Iraq holds more than 112 billion barrels of oil - the world's second largest
proven reserves as well as containing 110 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Iraq contains 112 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, the second largest in
the world (behind Saudi Arabia) along with roughly 220 billion barrels of probable
and possible resources. Iraq's true resource potential may be far greater than this,
as the country is relatively unexplored due to years of war and sanctions. Deep
oil-bearing formations, located mainly in the vast Western Desert region, could
yield large additional oil resources but have not been explored.
Energy Overview


[url=] Major GOP Donor Receives Federal Oil Contract

Congressmember Henry Waxman (D-CA) subsequently identified 17 different provisions of the Bush National Energy Plan bill that would have benefited Enron

George Bush, Failed corporate crook

posted on Oct, 25 2004 @ 04:39 AM
Iraq and oil - energy war?

....the middle East, particularly Iraq and Iran, since they seem to be the focal point for possible military attack by the United States in the not too distant future.
- February 28, 2002

"Dwindling global supplies of conventional oil, slow development and acceptance of alternative forms of energy, high costs needed to tap into unconventional sources and instability on the geopolitical front that will ensure that energy wars remain at the forefront well into the 21st century"
Energy wars! editorial

Without argument, we can all accept the following facts:

- The threat that Saddam posed was largley overestimated/exaggerated
during the build up to the war in the Iraq.

- Iraq sits atop the worlds second-largest reserves of oil a resource that translates into hundreds of billions of dollars and enormous economic power.

-There is a clear connection between the Bush administration and the energy industry. Many of Bush's cabinet, just like himself, were picked out of the oil industry.
Open - Bush administration corporate connections

- The U.S now has more power and military potential in the middle east region.

So why such a struggle for many to believe the connection between the war in Iraq and oil supplies. It is a fact that America's oil supplies are starting to get smaller, as most countries will soon find. Is the new drive into the middle east just the beginning of the 'energy wars' that some geologists and theorists are predicting? Is it not a question of America actully using the oil but a question of controlling the oil.

About Iraq and oil, from Bush:
It is not a factor, President Bushs press secretary, Ari Fleischer, said last month. This is about preserving the peace and saving the lives of Americans.

"U.S. oil deposits are increasingly depleted and by 2025, U.S. oil imports will account for perhaps 70 percent of total domestic demand. It needs to control the world's reserves -- and don't tell me that the United States would have invaded Iraq if its chief export was beetroot -- and it now has control of perhaps 25 percent of the world's reserves. "

Independant article: Us can't hide concern for Iraq's Oil

Overview of Iraq:

Known reserves
112 billion barrels, second only to Saudi Arabia or Canada in the world.
There are also many unexplored areas in Iraq due to years of war and sanctions, there could be much much more oil; potentialy 100 billion more barrels.
110 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is also estimated to be there.

An estimate of Iraqs oil prodcution abilities is around 2.8 - 2.9 million barrels per day. The production cost in Iraq is also one of the lowest in the world.

In the time of Saddam only 15 of 73 known fields were being developed.

Risk/fear premium

"It was not until the air war began in January of 1991, and images of its destruction flashed around the world, that oil markets immediately calmed and prices fell by $7 to $8 a barrel"

"I think we definitely learned something last time," says Emerson. "We learned that the market gets spooked by uncertainty, and when you have a certain resolution, whether it's diplomatic or military, there is a little bit of relaxation of the uncertainty and that allows the market to come down."

Prices before the war were getting high, March 2003 had the highest recorded price in America. Possibly Bush hoped that the war would calm the people's fears after 9/11 and help the oil prices become steady once again in time for elections.
ABC In Iraq to the victor goes the oil

The highest nationwide average price ever recorded by AAA was $1.73 and .7 of a cent a gallon, reached Aug. 30, 2003.

Economic benefits

Obviously, opening the large amounts of oil trapped inside Iraq will certainly help the economy of any indistrialised, western nation. Bush, with all his advisors from the industry in his cabinet will surely know this. I wonder if the corporate sponsors of the Republican party that are in the oil business (there are many including Exxon mobil will be donating kindly this election year?

"the American undersecretary of commerce, Grant Aldonas, told a business forum hungry for good economic news that a war in Iraq would open up this spigot on Iraqi oil, which certainly would have a profound effect in terms of the performance of the world economy for those countries that are manufacturers and oil consumers.

The Dollar

It's possible that Saddam's decision to change from the dollar to the euro in 2000 that made regime change so important to the United States. When Iran threatened to do the same, it was added to the "axis of evil." The defense of the dollar may be almost as important as oil.

The Euro Factor In Iraq War?

The future

"Given this situation, It makes perfect sense for an Administration buoyed up by its lightening military success in Afghanistan, to see if it's military power can be used to restore American control over two key countries where it's economic rivals might gain an oil foothold -- namely, two members of the "axis of evil," Iraq and Iran. "

Other countries like France and Russia are interested in Iraq's oil, especially seeing as Iraq owed them so much money. Now America holds the key to the door of all that wealth.

Iraq, in this view, is a strategic prize of unparalleled importance. Unlike the oil beneath Alaska's frozen tundra, locked away in the steppes of central Asia, or buried under stormy seas, Iraq's crude is readily accessible and, at less than $1.50 a barrel, some of the cheapest in the world to produce. Already, over the past several months, Western companies have been meeting with Iraqi exiles to try to stake a claim to that bonanza.

But while the companies hope to cash in on an American-controlled Iraq, the push to remove Saddam Hussein hasn't been driven by oil executives, many of whom are worried about the consequences of war. Nor are Vice President Cheney and President Bush, both former oilmen, looking at the Gulf simply for the profits that can be earned there. The administration is thinking bigger, much bigger, than that.

"Controlling Iraq is about oil as power, rather than oil as fuel," says Michael Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and author of Resource Wars. "Control over the Persian Gulf translates into control over Europe, Japan, and China. It's having our hand on the spigot."

Ever since the oil shocks of the 1970s, the United States has steadily been accumulating military muscle in the Gulf by building bases, selling weaponry, and forging military partnerships. Now, it is poised to consolidate its might in a place that will be a fulcrum of the world's balance of power for decades to come.

Does anyone feel we are starting to see the next struggle that will face humankind? As the oil starts to run out we all know what will happen: there will be no research into an alternative solution and the world will plung into chaos as world powers fight over the oil that is left. In the grand scheme of things do you think we are seeing the first move?

Our problems

"The latest measurements, taken a week ago, showed that carbon dioxide had reached about 379 parts per million (ppm), up from about 376ppm the year before, from 373ppm in 2002 and about 371ppm in 2001. These represent three of the four biggest increases on record (the other was in 1998), creating an unprecedented sequence."

Why not force our leaders to stop wasting lives and actually start to use military power to help instead of playing 'who can control the oil'
with the other major western nations. For me it is pretty clear what is happening. Why not try and find better ways to do things. Israel has some 200 atomic bombs and its own active biological and chemical weapons program for example, just one of the countries that pose a much larger threat than Iraq ever did. Yet the U.S will not do anything about countries like the Congo where millions are dying, ask yourself why we went into Iraq, keep all this in mind. Bush has he eyes set on the prize.

"The US wants to see increased global supply in order to push prices down so that gasoline prices will also fall for American drivers as they head into the North American summer and an election beyond that."

source for other information:

posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 05:38 PM
With the understanding that all fossil fuel reliant vehicles are pollutant to the environment, the operation of such should be re-designed to clean the air instead of the opposite. There are cars that produce clean and safe water from the energy source they have, why not gases?

posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 11:48 PM
I have asked Advisor for permission to join this particular thread, and he has agreed to let me post. I am hoping that my posts here will spark some debate and discussion on the subject of alternative energy sources.

Some of you may know that I am a soon-to-retire aerospace bureaucrat at The Boeing Company in Mesa, Arizona. I managed to acquire two undergraduate degrees, the first in English Lit at the University of Maryland almost forty hears ago and the other in Logistics Engineering from Arizona State University on the mid-eighties.

In the late '80's, I worked for Solavolt International, a photovoltaics (PV) engineering and manufacturing company in Phoenix, Arizona -- in the Systems Engineering Department -- where we designed small-scale stand-alone photovoltaic and hybrid (photovoltaics and/or wind turbine and/or microhydro and/or all three). I have been to sites in Mexico and Central America, as well as remote rural sites in Arizona and California, building and doing checkouts of PV systems. My special interest is photovoltaics for water pumping applications.

I guess I'm trying to say that I do have some experience in alternate energy, but not a lot. While I can answer most questions regarding PV, water-pumping, and wind-turbines, I don't know more than the average layperson about large-scale hydro systems, nuclear fission, biomass, or any of the more challenging approaches; this means if others don't supply inputs I'm certainly not going to be able to.

I don't think anyone would argue against the idea that our present system of burning hydrocarbons like oil, coal, and natural gas is a bad plan. Hydrocarbons are a finite resource, and whether or not we have reached "peak oil", we're getting to the point where it's more and more difficult to get it out of the ground, transported to where it's refined, sent around the world, and dispensed. That means the price goes up.

I also doubt that I could get an argument against the fact that Americans and Europeans are dependent on other people for our oil -- and those other people may not like us very much. Having to pay other nations for our oil and thus contributing to our balance of payments deficit is bad enough, but when you add to that the fact that a portion of our own money is probably going to support people who are at war with us is certainly not a pleasant thing to contemplate.

Finally, I think most of us would agree that burning hydrocarbons is poisoning our environment, including fouling our air, destroying our plants and buildings with acid rain, polluting our aquifers, and quite possibly playing an important part in sickening us via carcinogens and other diseases and even contributing to global climate changes.

Any one of these three reasons is enough to get us to move from hydrocarbon burning to something else; combine the three and you have, in my never-humble opinion, a mandate to kill off hydrocarbon burning before it kills off us!

The question is -- how?

Over the next couple of days, I hope to prepare several posts which I hope will start a conversation going on our energy future. These include:

1. Trying to determine how much energy we really need (now and in the future);

2. Coming up with a way to determine the effectivity of one energy source over another;

3. Discussing which of the alternative energy sources we know about will be the best one (or maybe the best mix); and

4. What future alternate energy sources we might see in the future.

I think this can be fun.

posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 12:18 AM
How do you measure Good versus Bad Energy Production?

I mentioned, in an earlier post, three reasons why I think burning hydrocarbons (oil, coal, and natural gas) is not a good idea. No matter how you look at hydrocarbon-burning, its easy to say that it is a bad approach to producing energy.

But identifying a "bad approach", although it may be a start, does not solve our problem; we have to come up with a good approach (or several good approaches) that we can use to replace the bad approach. So how do we identify a good approach? Ideally, that should be pretty simple:

A good approach to energy production is one that doesnt pollute at all, is safe to use in both large and small environments, is cheap as can be, and takes advantage of our existing knowledge base and transmission infrastructure.

The only problem, of course, is that such a good approach doesnt exist!

Hydroelectricity, which uses falling water from dams to generate electricity, does a clean job, but weve pretty much exploited all the rivers capable of providing hydroelectricity, what with the Brazilians and the Chinese completing two incredible feats of engineering to dam and exploit the Amazon and Yellow Rivers, respectively. So there isnt going to be much more hydro-power available over what we use now, and what we use now is only a small fraction of what we need -- or will need in the future. Plus, hydro changes the natural environment, turning stretches of riparian (river) environment into lakes, and keeping spawning salmon from returning to their place of birth to spawn.

Wind turbines have some problems, too. In order to make them work effectively, you need to determine the wind patterns for each area (and two areas only a couple hundred meters apart can have drastically different winds). Once you have done that, you have to choose a wind turbine which matches the wind patterns. A small wind turbine capable of extracting power from a light breeze wouldnt be able to stand up under a heavy gale, while a wind turbine strong and robust enough to stand against heavy winds wont even work with light breezes. Further, a turbines power output varies as the cube of the velocity of the wind, and a typical turbine is chock full of mechanical moving parts, which make the turbines innately less reliable.

You can make good arguments against things like photovoltaics, biomass (ethanol) nuclear fission, Stirling-cycle heat exchange engines, geothermal power, and even tidal (marine) hydroelectricity.

Does this mean that none of them are viable candidates for replacing hydrocarbon burning Absolutely not! But they all have some problems, and, if we want to come up with a better approach, we need to figure out a way to measure different bad things against others to come up with an optimum solution.

For example, theres no question that nuclear fission does not foul the atmosphere like hydrocarbons do; nor would we be reliant on foreign (potentially unfriendly) nations for our nuclear fuel. But, the generating byproducts (waste) while relatively small, are poisonous for millennia, and we have a tremendous problem in figuring out how to transport and store them. Admittedly, most of these problems are more political than engineering; nonetheless, theyre real problems which have to be addressed. Do the advantages of nuclear fission (or hydroelectricity, or wind turbines, or whatever) vis--vis burning hydrocarbons outweigh the disadvantages?

We need to figure out a sensible way to quantify the goodness versus the badness of different means of generating power. I certainly dont have the answers; does anyone here want to take a shot at it?

posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 12:45 PM
The single biggest problem with our current electrical distribution model is the model itself. It is based on 1890's criteria. Large centralized generation systems with endless transmission to the end user. Clearly 75% of the kW generated is wasted with this business "model". Over 75% of the energy produced is lost in getting it "there". In addition the best fossil fuel generators are 20-30% efficient. The advent of over 100 years of technology should lead us to a newer model. Small localized production to minimize transmission loses.

There is currently available a fuel cell that produces electricity at almost 80% efficiency. This unit utilizes natural gas to produce clean power, and produce pure excess hydrogen for other uses such as in automobiles. This would be a very good interim technology until we develop better hydrogen infrastructure. These units could be installed on the 'subdivision" level to provide both power and fuel. They are relatively inexpensive, maintainable, and use the cleanest of the fossil fuels.

Here are a few links.

The point is we need to rethink how we make and distribute electricity completely..............

[edit on 27-1-2005 by DrHoracid]

posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 04:00 PM
I don't like the idea of replacing a big infrastructure with another big infrastructure, but a subdivision-size model would work, especially here in the Southwest where we're growing rapidly and building new developments like crazy.

I think that some demo programs (subsidized as necessary either through grants or tax credits), then a shift to new builds (to get some of the non-recurring costs down) and we could well move into a "retro-fit" mode within a short time.

I think this bears looking into big time. Good post, Dr.

posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 05:27 AM

Originally posted by Off_The_Street
I don't like the idea of replacing a big infrastructure with another big infrastructure, but a subdivision-size model would work, especially here in the Southwest where we're growing rapidly and building new developments like crazy.

I think that some demo programs (subsidized as necessary either through grants or tax credits), then a shift to new builds (to get some of the non-recurring costs down) and we could well move into a "retro-fit" mode within a short time.

I think this bears looking into big time. Good post, Dr.

Actually this model was used approx 10 years ago in the Phillipines but the technology was 5mW gen sets made in sweden. It was funded by a "cable" company that needed to provide electricity to remote villages so they could sell TV's and cable access. I know I did it.

I have already done mega economic analysis on bringing it down to subdivision levels with the old tech gen sets. Haven't updated it for fuel cells, yet. The idea really isn't new. NASA built the Nasu Bay subdivision outside Houston headquarters with a central plant providing both heating/cooling and electiricity back in the Apollo days. I think it was modeled on russian towns in siberia.

I know the model works with gas generator sets providing electricity at less than 4 cents / kwh including the cost of equipment, maint, and fuel.

I will update the model for the fuel cells and post the data here. Will take about 2 weeks..........

posted on Feb, 3 2005 @ 06:26 AM
Time line for Alternative Energy Research

In the beginning.......
Early Man 790,000 - 10,500 BC

The remains of a campfire from about 790,000 years ago was found near an ancient lake in what is now Israel. Tiny flint pieces and remains of burned wood indicate a hearth. So the use of fire and flint for tools began.

10,500 BC Many believe that either the ancient Egyptians or Aliens were responsible for an advanced civilization.
Zake Hawass, Director General of Giza maintains that there isn't one single artifact before 5,500 BC

Energy to complete work was accomplished by muscle/people power, fire, the sun, horses and wind.

6000 BC ended in Advanced parts of Middle East & Southern Asia
4000 BC ended in Europe, Africa and rest of Asia
2500 BC ended earliest in the Americas

Raw copper was pounded into tools and ornaments.
10000 BC
4000 BC

Tools and weapons made of bronze.
This happened at different times in the different cultures, normally following the use of copper.

3600 BC Ban Chiagi, Thailand - oldest bronze culture on earth
3250 BC Ireland Newgrange, vast stone and turf mound
3200 BC - 2500 BC Egyptian Pyramids, estimate date of completion
2,570, said to be tomb of Pharaoh Khufu
2720 BC Greece Hellenikon Pyramid
2660 BC England Silbury, step pyramid of chalk and earth
2600 BC Belize Cuello, largest site of Maya world
2500 BC England Silbury, stone circle
2500 BC Scottish Gordon, Grampian stone circle
2100 BC Greece Ligourion Pyramid
Italy, Mexico, Australia, India and other pyramids around this same period of time. Babylon reached height of glory during middle Bronze age with the forging of plows, hoes, spades. Ancient China also appears to have been ahead of the western world with early technology of farm tools and techniques in smelting of iron.

1200 BC - 500 BC
replacing Bronze - different times/different cultures
Furnaces developed to reach melting temperatures
Large aqueducts carried water
roads spanned empire
public sewer systems

AD 1740 - AD 1830
Steam engine, steamship, locomovible, electric motor.

AD 1914 first scheduled air service

AD 1926 liquid fueled rocket, jet engine

AD 1942 Nuclear reactors

AD 1961 Space travel

Wars and rumors of wars found intense need for more and better engines of destruction. Constant new means of travel and communications made
the world global instead of local communities.

Between the years of 1950 and 1970 lifestyle changes in the western world
exploded with every sort of labor saving device and exotic luxury
toys for adult and children.

By the year 2050 population is estimated to be 9,190,252,232. Third
world countries will want to participate in the lifestyle of the western
world. We need to find sustainable, renewable alternative energy sources.

The ancients seemed to have had some source of energy/power to accomplish the building of the pyramids, arranging gigantic rock circles with temples and mounds in every area of the world. They also seemed to indicate a knowledge of astronomy and science. As this all seemed to take place within the time span of 3600 BC - 2100 BC, it would seem to be the place to look for the secret.

If we could find this energy source our problems would be over. No more polluting the world or using up depletable energy sources. How the world would run with a free energy source. I don't know.


Scientists trace ancient signs of fire's use
Click here
Early Man 200,000 - 35,001 BC
Click here
Technology of the Gods
by: David Hatcher Childress
The Stargate Conspiracy
by: Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince
Exploring Ancient World Cultures
Click here
Ancient Chinese Technology
Click here
World Population Information
click here

Technology Throughout History
Click here

The Ancient World Time line
Click here
Alternative Energy Sources
Click here
Clean Energy/A Short History of Energy
Click here
Clean Energy/renewable energy
Click here

[edit on 2/3/2005 by Mahree]

posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 09:43 AM
The data related to the possibility of neighborhood use of fuel cells is very promising. The prelimary data indicate that local fuel cells in a subdivision size of 200 home each is very feasible.

The cost of the installation could be amortised over 20 years.

The cost of electrical power would be approx. 4-5 cents per kwh.

This cost includes: the fuel cells, fuel (natural gas), installation, maint. and all other cost. This does not include the resale of excess power during non peak times nor the money generated through sale of the excess hydrogen.

I am putting all the calcs into a full report and wiil provide electronic copies upon request.

I anticipate requesting a DOE grant to select a "test" sight. do I set up distribution of the reports? Is there space on ATS? Please advise......

The logical next step after grant request is to locate a site. This should be done in an "unincorporated" location outside normal city limits. Local code issues for the redistibution of the excess hydrogen may be a problem.

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