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Everything posted by MBobrik

  1. I could go on about you massively underestimating the advantage of interactivity while searching, and the diminishing returns of throwing more people at observing the same visual information, but this is more important, because it deals with end results of your approach. Sure. AI improved to the point where it can make all the decisions locally, which implies at least human intelligence. So we end up starting an interstellar civilization of not humans but sentient robotic researches, and thinking they will throw some bits of information our way, hoping they won't turn around and start treating us just like any other animal to research. To that I can only say, what's sauce for the goose, it's sauce for the gander. If we shall give up the rest of the universe to the robots, why to hang around and waste oxygen at all, and not replace us with robots down here too ?
  2. This is one of the saddest things I read this month.
  3. Trowing more people at it won't solve the basic problem of inadequacy of passively watching compared to interactively searching. Why single driver ? why just driving by and not stopping to walk and look around ? except that the delay and bandwidth issues get more severe the further you go. Just slowing things down is practical on mars, maybe jupiter. But beyond that ? rocks may wait another billion of years, but the rover has limited life expectancy, and so have the humans operating it. So good luck with that strategy researching the kuiper belt and beyond.
  4. Time delay, bandwidth. You don't notice, nor can you check as many things when you are (for all practical purposes) passively watching video feed as if you are actively moving around in real time, searching.
  5. This is exactly the point I was trying to make. I was talking about oil shale extraction. Which is almost as far from a simple well as it gets.
  6. Well, the numbers tell a different story. Coal 2900 $ / kW installed, nuclear $5500 / kW installed. Which is surely bigger, but not that bigger as your description of tech level difference between "1800's coal burning boilers" and "hyperadvanced 1950's high tech" might suggest. Seems unlikely because they got the same EROEI as solar panels. I don't think that oil fields are fast to set up and that short-lived.
  7. high temperature electrolysis got around 64 %.
  8. Germany shows us that a change of infrastructure is economically possible right now. Even though it demonstrated it by changing in exactly the opposite direction of what is needed. There is no other reason than political that Germany converts its nukes to coal and not in the other direction, and there is no other reason than political that prevents other countries from changing their infrastructure too. Now consider that the same number applies to an oil shale field ( or mine ? ) too. But we are all putting our money there, and nobody is saying that it does not pay out.
  9. If there isn't any more efficient substitute. However the bar is set very low with natural photosynthesis efficiency and inefficiencies of planting and harvesting on top of that.
  10. The reason is that plant efficiency really sucks. 2-4 % - - - Updated - - - Or nuclear. Or solar in desert areas. Or wind turbines.
  11. True, I should be more specific. We are talking about something that plants do safely in their bodies at massive scale. So, methinks, it can be done at industrial scale too.
  12. Look at his numbers. 165 GWh / year = cca 20 MW plant. There are already over 350 MW power plants that use the space and resources far more efficiently.
  13. First, in my post I merely pointed out that, fischer tropsch is able to produce an adequate kerosene substitute. I was not talking about efficiency yet. Second, efficiency is a solvable problem. magnemoe above put even a concrete number - current technology would give us $120/barrel, which is not much higher than current oil prices. And I was talking about a hypothetical situation where all fossil fuels are completely banned, so competing with them would be a non-issue. We are talking past each other here. I was talking about producing synthetic kerosene for kerolox using rockets. It has per se no relation to power grid whatsoever. No base, intermediate or peak. It could happily dump out synthetic kerosene even completely disconnected from the grid. So why you are talking about grid load, like ... at all ? FIY "HVDC requires less conductor per unit distance than an AC line, as there is no need to support three phases and there is no skin effect." " Due to the space charge formed around the conductors, an HVDC system may have about half the loss per unit length of a high voltage AC system carrying the same amount of power." Uh, ethanolamine ? If it is chemically possible then it can be made even at industrial scale, methinks.
  14. Do you know what the short term looks like for example in Germany ? Following Fukushima they are shutting down nukes and cranking out coal power plants and opening new coal mines like there were no tomorrow. All that building and mining effort could go into nuclear, instead of coal. As I said. It's all politics, and ultimately (patho)psychology. From what I see, EROEI of photovoltaics is 6.9 which is comparable to oil from tar sands.
  15. Except that we have. Or could have. The only thing that is preventing us from doing so, is radiation phobia of large segments of the population. That was true in the eighties. Current solar panels are far more effective. Not to mention the fact that all big solar power plants don't use photovoltaic.
  16. Air is not like light, you don't need a fixed area. You can let a large volume blow through a small extracting apparatus. When fossil fuels are banned there wont' be any CO2 producing power plants.
  17. The reason why we do "big, centralized" anything is economies of scale. And there is generally nothing wrong doing things that way, as long as it is the more efficient way.
  18. There is quite extensive research on tuning fisher tropsch to the desired product properties. Producing synthetic kerosene substitute is completely within capability of current technologies. Feel free to check it on the internet. What? Fuel synthesis, as opposed to base power gird load, which is constant, and the power supply has to keep up, can be stopped/ started/reduced depending on current power supply. There is no upper distance limit for HVDC. There are many compounds that bind to CO2 almost reversibly, and can thus suck it out of air and release it in concentrated form to fischer tropsch input feed. So the energy cost of this step is not big compared to other steps in the process. Believe it or not, plants work internally by chemical processes
  19. Wrong. Any organic material can be partially pyrolyzed and then converted to hydrocarbon mixture via fischer tropsch. I don't say it is the most efficient, or even acceptably efficient route, but you can do it. And, if there will be no other carbon inputs it has to be CO2 neutral by definition. good thing that driving fuel synthesis does not place the same demands on the source as power grid base load. HVDC, or convert it to fuels on site. Your choice. We are talking about small fraction of the overall energy flow through the system. That is my opinion too, but some people want to avoid the n*** word at all cost. So I say doesn't matter. If you think you can go without it, just go on, your choice. The only restriction is zero fossil carbon.
  20. There are definite carbon sinks in the nature, though they are very slow acting. Peat bogs, carbon rich sediment burial ... unfortunately, the classic forest, nor agriculture, is not one of them.
  21. Then we should start with the most significant things first. And space launches are ridiculously insignificant compared to other CO2 sources.
  22. Forest, after a short growth period becomes more or less carbon neutral. Reaching equilibrium and stuff. So to offset a steady influx of fossil carbon you would have to convert more and more of land to forest, restricting agriculture, and ultimately running out of places where forest can grow at all. But I ultimately wouldn't care how the CO2 neutrality would be achieved, so if someone wished to temporarily keep up launch rate by converting more and more area to forest, it would be his choice.
  23. Plant a forest and then process its cellulose to kerosene, or cover a desert area with solar power plants, scrub the CO2 from air chemically and then synthesize kerosene. Or replace solar with nuclear. Your choice. But no fossil carbon
  24. I say more CO2 neutral energy sources and no need to reduce us to rural India quality of life nor reduce the population. Oh, and if I were really draconian, I would not ban kerosene fuel, I would just make mandatory that all carbon in it comes from captured CO2 from the atmosphere.