Author Topic: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air  (Read 3741 times)

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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2018, 03:22:37 pm »
Burning biomass which produces CO2 is net carbon neutral,  because the plants absorbed that carbon less than one hundred years ago.

The problem with carbon emissions is burning million-year-old extracted hydrocarbons, that were built up over the course of many millions of years,  in a matter of a century.

While I was just jokingly pointing out possible inconsistencies that are frequent in a lot of those "green" projects, I'm still not sure I get the line of reasoning of those claiming it to be "carbon neutral".

It would be (somewhat, the plain neutral assertion seeming a bit too optimistic IMO) neutral if it were considered in isolation. But it's obviously not. There are still as many sources of non-neutral CO2 emissions as before. So any additional "neutral" CO2 emission is just adding up. If the environment is reabsorbing this, it's also reabsorbing the CO2 from all other sources. I can't see how it could ever be neutral unless it was either completely isolated, or helping reducing other existing emissions at least by as much, which in this case it's clearly not?

Waiting to be enlightened  ^-^
 

Offline edy

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2018, 04:29:00 pm »
Waiting to be enlightened  ^-^

I know, Skysource/Skywater Alliance will plant 1000 trees somewhere in the world for every one of their devices sold!  :-DD

It seems these were the actual 5 finalists and then one of them dropped out, giving room for the winner to enter the finalist group:

https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/22/water-abundance-xprize-finalists-compete-in-gathering-water-from-thin-air/
https://newatlas.com/xprize-water-abundance-five-finalists/53903/

... thus allowing Skysource/Skywater to actually enter the top 5 and then end up winning the prize.

If you notice, all the other finalists were actually using solar or wind and were not releasing any CO2 emissions.

And in case you want to throw in some conspiracy theories, dabble in a bit of criticism and also ulterior motives, suspicion of corruption and general tin-foil hatted-ness, you can also read this critique which shows why "Xprize" is not a prize at all and really it is just fleecing the public with many catch-words and media-friendly promotional material yet scientifically and engineeringly speaking is a load of steaming carbon-emitting biomass:

https://schatziesearthproject.com/2016/04/26/is-the-xprize-really-a-prize-at-all/

(apparently there are huge entry fees being collected by the Xprize foundation who are all backed by major corporations that are looking essentially to outsource R&D to competing groups so they can reduce their own development risk)

 :-DD

« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 04:43:18 pm by edy »
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Online cdev

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2018, 08:56:30 pm »
This kind of frazz may be a form of modern propaganda- I am not saying it is, but I see a lot of stuff that seems to me likely to be these days.

Tell people they are doing great, stoke their egos, and then rip them off while they are basking in your glow. Like in the 'influencing real cockroaches with pheromone daubed robotic cockroaches' paper, it helps a lot if you 'smell right'.

Or so my ad industry friend, a serious influencer from way back, told me.

That seems to be a common strategy.

Again not saying thats whats happening in this particular situation.

I don't know how much time folks here have spent in real deserts. I have a feeling many Australians have. I also have spent a lot of time in them, and the one thing that my coast-acclimated body notices first - what you notice straight out is that its insanely dry. (doh!) When I haven't been there in a while, I forget just how big of a thing that is. It changes everything.

Its so dry your entire body feels differently than it does near the coast (which when you return to you can feel it, the air feels thicker, its quite noticeable) Your skin feels quite different, dessicated is a good term for it.

To give you an example, of how dry it always is, you can hand wash your clothes, and then flop them down on something outside in the sun, and by the time you are done with your shower, they are totally dry.

Its insanely hot too, in many desert locations. So hot you basically cant survive without water and ideally air conditioning (or a system of tiny spray nozzles to sprinkle jets of water on your roof - and you when you are outside, a very low tech but effective old school solution)

I am sorry to say but I just don't see it as being at all easy to extract enough water out of desert air to survive without a lot of energy.

The coast is a different story. There, there is lots of water in the morning and afternoon fog and in the dew. In the desert, not so much. Just a tiny bit.

Digging a really deep well is probably the most energy efficient way to get water.

Maybe they don't want to remind people that fracking pollutes the groundwater?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 09:05:55 pm by cdev »
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Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2018, 09:45:51 pm »
Burning biomass which produces CO2 is net carbon neutral,  because the plants absorbed that carbon less than one hundred years ago.
The problem with carbon emissions is burning million-year-old extracted hydrocarbons, that were built up over the course of many millions of years,  in a matter of a century.

If you do the calculations, you find that the amount of warming which can be produced by even a fairly large CO2 increase is not very significant.
Really, the climate alarmist campaign of Al Gore is no different in principle from this idea. It sounds plausible but the numbers just don't add up.



This shows just how tiny the change of infrared retention is, for the difference over the industrial era. Taken from MODTRAN, the official greenhouse gas effect calculator.

The problem is that people keep repeating the alarmist guff without ever stopping to think, 'Is this actually right?'  After a while it's being repeated by so many people that it's taken for granted that it must be right. After all if it were not, surely there wouldn't be so many people repeating it? No?

The Internet is a tremendous boon when it comes to finding out things, but it also has the problem that it makes it easy for BS merchants to set up a 'microphone howl effect' by seeding their ideas in numerous places, from whence they will be repeated enough times that the public start to believe them.  :blah: :bullshit: :blah:  :bullshit::blah: :bullshit: :blah:  :bullshit::blah:  :bullshit::blah: :bullshit::blah:

Probably the best proof that we are being lied to, is that the unadjusted temperature records for several regions show the 1930's to have been hotter than the present era.



Taken from original USHCN data. You can download this dataset and plot it yourself.

"Let him who hath understanding, reckon the number of the Beast." For, knowing the numbers, one is not so easily deceived by the forces of evil.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2018, 10:09:17 pm »
Funny how people who know nothing about climate science suddenly become experts when they are told it might affect their lifestyle... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect
Bob
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Online nctnico

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2018, 10:16:54 pm »
@IanMcDonald: local temperatures don't tell the entire story. On average the earth's surface temperature is rising. Still it doesn't matter whether burning fossil fuels causes global warming or not. Fossil fuels are finite so it is good to switch to alternative energy sources anyway but this needs to be sold to the general public one way or another.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2018, 11:23:59 pm »
It's rising, but it's been rising for a long time, while CO2 emissions have shot through the roof only halfway the last century. Sea level rise was steady long before the 50s, it's still steady (at our tidal gauges any way, satellites disagree ... I can walk to the tidal gauge, guess which one I believe?).

US mid west temperatures are not indicative of the world, but the level to which they have been manipulated are indicative of the honesty you can expect from consensus climate science.
 

Offline tpowell1830

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2018, 11:57:00 pm »
@IanMcDonald: local temperatures don't tell the entire story. On average the earth's surface temperature is rising. Still it doesn't matter whether burning fossil fuels causes global warming or not. Fossil fuels are finite so it is good to switch to alternative energy sources anyway but this needs to be sold to the general public one way or another.

[RANT WARNING]

The big question is, what does actually tell the entire story? The true test in my thought process of such hype is whether first, it sounds like hype, second, does the story keep changing over time, but the hyped answers given lead to the same place; destruction of the world. You have to admit that, like Carl Sagan says, to make extraordinary claims you must have extraordinary evidence. Climate change is not a new term. It has been around for a very long time and so has actual climate change, and so it goes, climate change is always around. The climate in the dinosaur times had a lot more oxygen, but there is evidence that there was a lot of CO2 as well. CO2 is not a major player in climate change, whereas water vapor is an order of magnitude larger as it applies to cooling or heating of the planet. But the biggest player is the sun. The extraordinary claims that are made about climate change (formally global warming) IMHO has not been proven out in a satisfactory scientific method. The data that has been gathered from 100 years ago is not all that accurate, nor is it global, as you say, it is of small areas that had the ability to measure temperature. The world of instrumentation was very primitive 100 years ago, by today's standard. The study since all of the alarmists started this has been spotty and completely indeterminate.

Alternative energy resources are sparse and problematic and if we rely on current alternative energy technology, we will need to give up usage of much of our technology and go back to a more agrarian world where we must vacate cities and live in farming communes or some such thing. Use horses and buggies to get around until that magic alternative fuel technology comes forward. Otherwise there will be much riot and civil destabilization because large cities will not be sustainable. This is the alternative to fossil fuel usage, a complete redistribution of people.

Meanwhile, back in reality, the world does not have that magic alternative fuel that will allow us to continue in the way in which we are currently comfortable. Asking the governments to do something is not a good method, because bureaucracies are about the most inefficient/ineffective entities ever devised (did I say ever?). For all of you who think that solar and wind are cheap and environment friendly, think again to the entire process in which these are created (using fossil fuel energy). The concrete used in wind generation in order to anchor these windmills down releases a tremendous amount of CO2 into the air. The chemical processes used in order to create the solar cells for use in solar power systems is very dirty and unfriendly to the environment. Making batteries is unfriendly to the environment (where do they go when no longer usable?), not to mention a very environmentally dirty process.

Trees take CO2 and make bigger trees. Do you know where the material comes from that makes up the trunk and branches of trees (hint: it is not from the roots in the ground). One of the answers is to plant many more trees. Perhaps we can get many of the movie/TV stars who are behind much of the push about CO2 and climate change to use some of their millions of dollars to plant trees on their large properties so that the CO2 in the air goes to growing more trees? It would be a start.

I don't have answers to all of these questions. If any of you have answers that are not something you found on the internet (such as xPrize or stop using fossil fuels now) that actually comes from your mind using scientific or engineering methods, please start a company and make it work. Or, join a company that has demonstrable good science and engineering methods to do good for the environment. The pay is lousy (unless you dupe and win the xPrize) because there is no market yet, but it will eventually come if your devices are done well. If your product is good and less CO2 producing, yet energy packed, then it will sell. This will lead to better efficiencies, and better products in the natural order of how things are done.

[RANT OVER]

P.S. I did not mention nuclear energy as it has its' own problems and I don't want to get into that argument.
PEACE===>T
 

Online cdev

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2018, 12:34:28 am »
Speaking of trees, there are huge trees inexplicably growing from out of the floors of lakes in the high Sierra (mountain range in California) deep underwater, and after quite a bit of investigation, of tree rings from them and the like, this leads scientists to believe that the climate in the US west was much much dryer than it is today at multiple points in the not too distant past, for periods of a century or more, and also that the climate became wetter abruptly, otherwise the trees would not have survived in an upright state as they have.
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Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2018, 06:46:58 am »
Fossil fuels are finite

This is true, and the issue we are facing is that we are being manipulated into implementing a rushed replacement, one which will not work well, or at all. We don't need or want any proposed  replacement to be hard-sold to the public by way of propaganda and exaggerations. We first of all need to know that any proposed replacement will work.  :-DMM

The amount of money spent so far on wind turbines would have funded a fullscale fusion test many times over. Or, a whole program of thorium reactors. The reason that didn't happen is because of vested financial interests in  the subsidies for wind energy. Plenty people got rich on these. It's more difficult to get rich by doing genuine innovation than by exaggerating the performance of a product you know you can make, to the point where governments can be duped into backing it. :-DD

This isn't helped when businesses are allowed to woo the 'Green' sector of society with claims of running on '100% renewable energy' when what this actually means is that they've put up turbines equivalent to their energy usage. They don't run on the energy from the turbines. They might as well claim that all deliveries are by skateboard because they've bought as many skateboards as Transit vans! (But the vans still do the actual deliveries.)  The sheer number of such bogus claims being put out, distorts the public's view on such matters.

Thankfully, governments are starting to see through this, and to demand that sellers of alternative energy products are held accountable for failure to meet exaggerated claims.  :-+

The same is true in the nuclear industry, which is why we have so many reactors based on dodgy pressurised water coolant and zirconium fuel cladding. It's a tested arrangement, albeit one known to have serious safety flaws. It's less effort to put out claptrap to the effect that you've overcome the safety flaws (when in fact you haven't) than to develop a better reactor.  Paradoxically that is still seen as true even though the safer design was fully tested in the 1960's.

Basically we need more people in government who properly understand the energy supply industry, and who have no commercial ties to buddies in the energy sector.  The latter has been the big problem in the UK, with both Tim Yeo and Ed Davey having personal investments in the wind sector.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 07:01:12 am by IanMacdonald »
 
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Offline ebastler

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2018, 06:53:57 am »
"The winning Wood-to-Energy Deployed Water System (WEDEW) [...]"

I assume that's proncounced like "voodoo"?  :P
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2018, 11:46:15 am »
The amount of money spent so far on wind turbines would have funded a fullscale fusion test many times over. Or, a whole program of thorium reactors.
You don't know those can work economically either. I think the chance is very slim they can get costs anywhere near LWRs. My highest hopes are for pure lead cooled fast reactors, running on Uranium of course since thorium is such a silly idea. With the high burn up of fast reactors we aren't running out of Uranium any time soon, so what's the point of making things more difficult than they need to be?
Quote
The reason that didn't happen is because of vested financial interests in  the subsidies for wind energy.
Not really, it simply avoids sticker shock.
Quote
The same is true in the nuclear industry, which is why we have so many reactors based on dodgy pressurised water coolant and zirconium fuel cladding. It's a tested arrangement, albeit one known to have serious safety flaws. It's less effort to put out claptrap to the effect that you've overcome the safety flaws (when in fact you haven't) than to develop a better reactor.  Paradoxically that is still seen as true even though the safer design was fully tested in the 1960's.
Most of the breeder designs are far worse, unless you don't think there's safety flaws in plants which use flammable coolant or which requires pumping the fuel around through massive on site reprocessing plants? I'd take a PWR over a Lithium cooled accident waiting to happen or a pie in the sky LFTR in my backyard any day of the week.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2018, 11:50:47 am »
"The winning Wood-to-Energy Deployed Water System (WEDEW) [...]"

I assume that's proncounced like "voodoo"?  :P
By German speakers speaking English perhaps! :p (Similar to how my stepdad, like many native German speakers, pronounces “vegetables” as “uetschtapls” (German orthography)! :p)
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2018, 11:54:44 am »
I vas referring to se latter part of se vord, mainly.  ;)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 12:07:42 pm by ebastler »
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2018, 07:55:30 pm »
LFTR was thoroughly tested in the 1960's. It works.

We know in principle that fusion works. After all, what indirectly powers all those windturbines? Pixie dust?  :-//
 

Online cdev

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2018, 08:03:20 pm »
As long as its profitable. That's all that matters now.

Building new fission plants is insanity


Look up what "Groupthink" means.. The original work was by Irving Janis.

An 1859 level solar storm like the one that narrowly missed us in 2013, could cause dozens, perhaps hundreds of meltdowns all around the world at the same time. Because of the solar storm issue, new nuclear power plants should not be built. 

We should not make the potential problem worse.

OTOH Fusion should be researched.

As far as the fission plants they have now, they should decommission them and figure out how to make the spent fuel safe without a continuous flow of water.

Otherwise they present a real problem if the power grid goes out for an extended period. As could happen in the aftermath of a Carrington/1859 class event.

Many aging nuclear plants are near populated areas, some are even near the ocean, in areas vulnerable to tsunamis, and/or earthquakes, and often, even when they are not, there are questions as to their safety.

Some like the reactors at Indian Point are huge accidents waiting to happen.

They are literally falling apart. I am not kidding.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 08:15:16 pm by cdev »
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Offline Marco

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2018, 09:28:02 pm »
LFTR was thoroughly tested in the 1960's. It works.

They had no reprocessing of the fuel ... so half of it works as a small research reactor, which means bugger all.
 

Offline edy

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2018, 04:33:15 pm »
So now it's making the media rounds and of course spreading more and more false or misleading or incomplete information:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/25/world/fresh-water-green-machine-trnd/index.html

It would be nice if Xprize actually gives better details on specs and design to the competing entries, especially the winning one, for the benefit of transparency. Then again, since it is a privately sponsored corporate backed competition they don't have to do diddly-squat.

So I read the brief article above and of course it only talks about pulling water out of the thin air. It mentions using solar (laughable) or biomass as an energy source (but no mention of the use of combustion products as a source of water and CO2 emissions). So someone coming away from reading that article will have very little to know what is happening.

I am still at a loss to explain what is novel here and how it could possibly be any more practical than all other dehumidifier systems out there, except for the use of combustion exhaust to act as the main source of water vapour and possibly using the biomass as a power plant or as a direct source of heat for one of those heat-based refrigeration devices (that use ammonium salts and some other processes for converting heat into cooling).

Not sure about the efficiency of any of this, but the point seems to be that using biomass generates way more energy and way more water vapour than could be achieved by solar or air humidity alone (at least without massively scaling the system to some ridiculous size and cost). So insofar as this thing being a "water source" it relies on burning material and assumes availability of biomass in an arid region.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 08:12:43 pm by edy »
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Offline LaserSteve

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #43 on: October 28, 2018, 09:14:48 pm »
I work at a major university. All sorts of our researchers started jumping on the water from air scheme about 4-5 months ago.
 Seems to be the latest fad.

. I didn't  have the heart to tell one of them that 1.7 Kilowatts of AC to drive a magnetron  for 20 minutes to liberate 0.45 gram of water seemed inefficient compared to just buying a dehumidifier.

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Offline Gregg

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2018, 12:31:05 am »
What gets to me is that none of the free water from air idealists ever address the problem of how nasty the condensate can be and what needs to be done to make it potable. 
Data centers around the globe have huge HVAC systems that produce lots of water from the air they cool; but it is slimy at best and biocides need to be used to keep the drains form clogging. 
Unless the condensate is sterilized in some manner it is definitely not “drinking water”.
 

Offline edy

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Re: Couple wins $1.5min XPrize for invention to make water out of thin air
« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2018, 12:28:01 pm »
Run some heavy duty UV lamps 24 hours a day on the system, using up even more energy, and make it out of a metal or coating that is not friendly to growth of microorganisms... but yes, how true, due to the relatively slow water flow and it sitting stagnant most of the time and not very cold, it will tend to grow lots of stuff in it. Not to mention if they plan on using biomass burning exhaust fumes and precipitate that, what's going to be in the water. Either way the water is going to need lots of filtering and some minerals and salts and probably chlorine will have to be added as I can't imagine drinking essentially "distilled" water is good for you long term.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 12:30:25 pm by edy »
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