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Alternative Energy Thread


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I'm starting this thread as a place to discuss ideas and nerdy details for all forms of alternative energy, from nuclear reactors providing electrical power, to linear generators powered by the movement of a human doing human things to power personal devices.  It seems nerdy discussions of the merits of various energy sources and their carbon footprint pop up in various places, so why not condense them into one place?

 

To start off, I've had an idea kicking around in my head for a year or so now, for a linear permanent magnet generator built into something like a knapsack or backpack that charges a few 18650 cells for the purpose of recharging personal devices like cell phones and cameras.  I've seen flashlights use these and achieve remarkable efficiency in the process.  Something similar could also be built into a belt or something you can clip onto a belt, and your batteries could be arranged like the ammo belts of the wild west for that cyberpunk look.

Another idea I had is a collapsible vertical axis wind turbine that can fit in a bag like the ones you stuff camp chairs into.  There's a lot of options for outdoorsy types to recharge things with solar, but solar doesn't work so well under trees or at night.  I haven't done any 3D modeling, but the geometry should work.

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Ten slaves grow food, two rotate the pump wheel.
(Ah, this is not about alternative sources. Oops.)

Whatever you do with the backpack, it will result either in a fuel cell, or in a tesla power receiver.
Don't forget, the electrochemical batteries are just degenerated fuel cells.

Edited by kerbiloid
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It will rock. Especially together with fusion which produces a lot of neutrons.

And probably it will happen simultaneously: the end of coal/hydrocarbon powerplanting, the collapse of "green" alternatives, and first fusion reactors.

Edited by kerbiloid
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2 hours ago, Thor Wotansen said:

@kerbiloid and @Dragon01 what do you guys think about Thorium liquid sodium reactors?  I know you guys have a lively discussion about nuclear treaties over in the SSTO thread, just thought I'd throw another element in the mix over here.

While he's making a fool of himself again, I'll throw in a more informed opinion. :) Thorium reactors are a very good idea, and IIRC India was working on them, because they have a lot of thorium. The major advantage over uranium is lack of nuclear proliferation concerns, giving it a wider appeal. Thorium is also great in that it's possible to make very efficient reactors with it (breeders work especially well with it.). Unlike uranium, it will not run out under any reasonable level of use. We'll have to figure out fusion eventually, but thorium should work quite well until then.

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19 hours ago, Dragon01 said:

We'll have to figure out fusion eventually, but thorium should work quite well until then.

What a manufacturer will provide, that will work. Currently they mostly provide uranium plants.

19 hours ago, Dragon01 said:

. The major advantage over uranium is lack of nuclear proliferation concerns

And the dependence on the controlled manufacturer is the best guarantee of the (non)proliferation.

So, you may keep guessing.

Edited by kerbiloid
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