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Alternative Energy Research Project

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posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 12:11 PM

Originally posted by DrHoracid
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.

Please forgive me if my questions are not well informed. I am interested in your project.

1. Is the cost of 4 - 5 cents per kwh a net cost to the consumer from the beginning, after the amortization of setup, and the purchase of fuel cells, natural gas and other supplies and maintenance costs?

2. How much income do you see being generated from resale of power during the not peak hours?

3. In what ways does one use the excess hydrogen? What kinds of problems would be involved for distribution of excess hydrogen?

4. How much more energy would we be getting from the use of the natural gas this way?

Thanks for your patience.

posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 08:30 AM

Originally posted by Mahree
Please forgive me if my questions are not well informed. I am interested in your project.

1. Is the cost of 4 - 5 cents per kwh a net cost to the consumer from the beginning, after the amortization of setup, and the purchase of fuel cells, natural gas and other supplies and maintenance costs?

2. How much income do you see being generated from resale of power during the not peak hours?

3. In what ways does one use the excess hydrogen? What kinds of problems would be involved for distribution of excess hydrogen?

4. How much more energy would we be getting from the use of the natural gas this way?

Thanks for your patience.

Yes the net "cost' would be in that range 4-5 cent/kwh not including transoportation costs to the grid. There would be a 'connect fee" but the owners of the local grid.

Resale of excess could be as much a 5-10% recovery of the operating cost.

The excess hydrogen could be resold to auto end users in the neighborhood.

Natural gas is the basis of the hyrdrogen source for use in the fuel cell. catalytic conveters stip the hydrocarbons of the H for use in the fuel cell process.

posted on Apr, 3 2005 @ 03:00 PM
Thanks ServoHahn for bringing this topic to my attention.

My particular interests in the energy area regard use. Cold Fusion and its ilk are not of much interest to me as they are speculative, most likely expensive and therefore economically discriminatory and at the present unattainable in any meaningful amount.

Much like nuclear energy- while available, its use is structurally limited to intense government oversight and regulation, expensive and not economically viable for much of the world.

My bias: to be meaningful for energy use something must be acceptable.
(One of the many notes regarding humanity revolve around acceptance. There are instances in human history that relate to peoples rejecting something beneficial to them for reasons relating to nothing more than bias.)

While this sounds mundane and boring the full range of human thought and prejudice must be considered.

    If an energy source is available that is cheap (compared to present sources) and is societally unacceptable it therefore is not viable and the source will not be used.

    Renewable- this is not a criteria for me. I believe as with many things 'bridge' technologies could be viable.

    Geographically restricted- I have no problem with geographically restricted sources. As a matter of personal prejudice this issue should not only be considered but should be explored. Some areas of the world may have acceptable energy sources that for various reasons may not work well or at all in other areas.

    Pollutants- while pollution should be considered it will not be of primary concern. I believe that pollution is of secondary concern. This is where I will place it.

    Energy- passive energy sources I believe are all to often overlooked. I believe emphasis placed on convertible energy sources often negates other sources that may not need conversion other than passively to be commonly available.

My next submission(s) on this topic will relate to what is(are) commonly referred to as 'solar energy.' While it is true that the sun is the source of this energy this is a misnomer and leads to much disinterest and misunderstanding. Heat sink or solar sink might be more appropriate but in themselves they would lead to confusion. As to terminology of source, everyone will use whatever they like as far as I'm concerned.

posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 02:52 AM
First I'd like to say Props to the ATS admin for setting up a Peak Oil forum. Undoubtedly there will be a lot of useful information there.

Right. When are we going to run out of oil? It is my understanding that M. King Hubbert was one of the first to suggest that we might actually one day run out of oil. Now, what I have just said is ridiculous. Fossil fuels were always limited and ever suggesting otherwise would have either been very foolish or a badly placed propaganda ad. You can view some scientific and geological predictions here. The scariest thing about this article is that, according to the most biased source (our own energy department), we have a MAXIMUM of 30 years of crude left in the ground.

There are no real questions about when we started using fossil fuels regularly for combustion... we can just look at history. I'm wondering at what point did the public eye lose sight of the fact that oil is not renewable? At what point did we decree that it was ok for the world to be so totally dependant on something that's only going to last one and a half centuries? Yes, we can use small amounts of the stuff to lubricate our machines, but if you take a match to it, it'll burn until it's gone.

So. We know that
A. As of today, we're almost completely dependant on oil as a precursor all combustion fuels
B. Oil will literally run out in about 30 or so years and
C. Oil is one of the most valuable natural resources and thus a prized item to wage war over

Now, there is an obvious solution to A, B, and C. The answer is: stop using oil. More difficult than it sounds? Not really. Not everyone can drill and process their own oil, but everyone CAN grow and refine their own biofuel. This biofuel is sometimes called "biodiesel". There is a TON of free information on the net on how to make the stuff and it's relatively simple.

Where does bioenergy come from? One of the most energy efficient devices known to man is actually the green plant. Plants mostly use the wastes of other life forms to grow. They use energy from the sun, they "breathe" in CO2 (the very stuff we breathe out) and give us oxygen in exchange, and they pull nutrients out of dead and decomposing life forms and out of animal waste. What a perfect recycling machine. Plants are the only necessary ingredient of biodiesel... and all we need to grow them is essentially sunlight, CO2 and other plants (though you can use any decomposable waste to provide the necessary nutrients needed to grow a plant).

Carbon exchange is one of the biggest factors in matter-to-energy conversions. This is due, in no small way, to the fact that Carbon can make four bonds (four single or two single and one double, etc.) at a time. Unlike Solicon, however, carbon can also can easily create long, complex, and chemically stable bonds (stay tuned for all the boring science behind this concept). Now you can only burn the amount of carbon out of biodiesel as the plant originally took in. Doesn't this sound a lot more renewable than crude oil?

Can biodiesel replace crude oil? No, not by a long shot. But it can help. Currently biodiesel is being sold as a 20% biodiesel to 80% diesel mixture because biodesiel itself does not get very good mileage. When thinking about biodiesel it is important to remember that it is practically free, comes from plants, and no one will want to fight any wars over it, and that you need no conversion to run biodiesel (and most other combustibles) through your diesel engine. There are currently concoctions being concocted to use a type of biofuel in regular gas engines without conversion (many Brazilian farmers use what can best be translated as "gasohol"). Wouldn't the benefits of biofuel outweigh the low mileage problem?

If biodiesel can't replace oil, what can? Well, that's what this thread is all about, isn't it? Hopefully in the future we will never be so dependant one one type of fuel that this problem will ever arise again. Biodiesel is less of an outright replacement of crude oil and more of an additive (though it can be used by itself) that will help us as a society make the switch from crude oil.

This is something that everyone's been screaming about for a long time, but no one seems to be doing on a good enough scale. Ok, we have a maximum of 30 years of oil left... we whould stop using so much of it. We have the technology to make every vehicle have excellent mileage, so we should do that. We should give larger tax incentives to cars with better mileage and to companies that make cars with better mileage. Unfortunately it seems that most of our politicians own (or are trying to control) most of the world's oil... so as long as the people in power are getting rich off of something, they tend to use their power to protect their investment. Never fear! I will post (in detail) everything you need to do to make your own, cheap, biodiesel. You can stick it to the man individually!

(if I should die from unnatural causes anytime soon, suspect the oil companies)

Alternate fuels aren't secret, they're just not believed to be very profitable. Well, I have an idea... STOP trying to capitalize on the end of the world! Heheh... but seriously... if companies don't step up the pace, I'm afraid that we're just going to have to make our own energy (and not pay a dime for it).

While I am going to stick more to the topic from now on, I want it to be known that I BELIEVE that oil companies are lying about how much oil we have left. I also believe that oil companies are raising the prices of oil at its various stages artificially and I believe that if we outright refuse to buy the stuff, we can put them all in their places.

I am actually taking action in Westwood, California to raise awareness of the end of oil and (the beginning of) bioenergies. I'm trying to get a project off the ground that will provide free biodiesel conversions from lawn leavings. I hope everyone can find a way to take action to help reduce energy use and to stop using crude oil.

Until next time,
P.S. Please give me feedback (positive or negative) on any or all of my essays and research. Thanks!

[edit on 11-4-2005 by ServoHahn]

posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 12:56 AM
I am only using web resources so that any interested person can easily find the resources.

I am a proponent of renewable energy resources. As such heat-sinks and Trombe walls are at the top on my list. I will begin with a Trombe wall.

While there are many fine examples of the different approaches to Trombe walls on the Web, the California Energy Commission pictorials are the clearest.

From this view the general 'workings' of the wall are visible. Basically, a Trombe wall heats up with sun light (solar radiation) and transfers the heat directly and indirectly into the house.

The direct transfer is the heated air passing from the space between the wall and the glass (glazing/window). Indirectly the wall itself gains heat through the day and transfers it its coolest side (the house hopefully) throughout the day and night.

The vents, top and bottom of the Trombe wall, are closed or 'chocked' down during the night to prevent room air from escaping into the air space and being lost to the cold glass.

Other than extended cloudy days, a well designed Trombe Wall can heat most houses throughout any cold spell. While expensive to construct,* a Trombe wall arrangement could easily save many consumable resources.

This drawing is Tibetan showing a Trombe Wall built in an ancient method, long before they were called Trombe Walls.


Named after French inventor Felix Trombe in the late 1950s, the Trombe wall continues to serve as an effective feature of passive solar design.

Cal. consumer energy



Aspen core

Tibet environmental

The heat sink aspect of Trombe walls predate written history. Materials used for their construction range from mud (adobe) to brick and rock. Usually a dark southern face is used to assist in the heat gain.

The next addition to this project will present some details relating to heat-sinks.

posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 02:09 AM
The member Terapin offers a contribution to this project, which is much appreciated and welcome.

Subject: Alternative energy research
from: Terapin
sent: 23-9-2007 at 22:43
Greetings Advisor. I thought that you might be interested in this recent news for use in your 'Alternative Energy' research forum

A method developed at Colorado State University for crafting solar panels has been developed to the point where they are nearly ready for mass production. Professor W.S. Sampath's technique has resulted in a low-cost, high-efficiency process for creating the panels, which will soon be fabricated by a commercial interest. 'Produced at less than $1 per watt, the panels will dramatically reduce the cost of generating solar electricity and could power homes and businesses around the globe with clean energy for roughly the same cost as traditionally generated electricity. Sampath has developed a continuous, automated manufacturing process for solar panels using glass coating with a cadmium telluride thin film instead of the standard high-cost crystalline silicon. Because the process produces high efficiency devices (ranging from 11% to 13%) at a very high rate and yield, it can be done much more cheaply than with existing technologies.


More here Method for 1$/watt Solar panels will soon see commercial use

Cordially, Terapin

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