Author Topic: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas  (Read 12568 times)

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Offline dfmischler

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Re: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2016, 10:22:23 am »
Blue sky... hmm.

What if you could just paint the self-organizing seed-stock onto your roof, give it a little water and sand [and maybe some scrap copper] and have it grow into a photovoltaic array?  You know, like planting a lawn.  When it is mature just hook up the cables and you're good to go...
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 12:16:51 pm by dfmischler »
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2016, 05:49:31 pm »
Please elaborate. Maybe (super cheap) robots can do the assembly?

Not robots per se, but you can for instance use custom designed machinery on trucks on the rocky parts of the Sahara (ie. most of it). Something you can't do on a roof. The scale, continuity and consistency of jobs for installing current fields simply isn't big enough for that level of automation at the moment. Every field is a one of engineering project with high NRC, using general purpose heavy machinery with only a few custom tools.

Look at roadside fiber installation for the difference custom hardware can make.

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Maybe copper wiring in conduit that can withstand 30+ years in desert weather will get much cheaper.

Insulation in the dry and dark doesn't do much. Upping the voltages ASAP can save on copper, medium voltage DC is virgin territory.

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In an HVDC, system, there will, of course, be no inverter, but there will still be power electronics to do MPPT and to step up to the HVDC voltage. Nobody is going to make a string of PV panels 500kV+ long.

Electronics except for the power silicon gets cheaper at a good pace (price for SiC still has a long way down to go).
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 05:55:19 pm by Marco »
 

Offline PointyOintment

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Re: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2016, 05:32:56 am »
Actually if we listen to these guys we might not need superconductors at all.

More on Elpipes and large scale HVDC grids:
http://large.staElectric nford.edu/courses/2010/ph240/hamerly1/docs/hartley.pdf

http://www.geni.org/globalenergy/library/technical-articles/generation/elpipe/Chinese_Journal_HV_Engineering_004_November+footer.pdf

http://www.ciwg.net/files/70091162.pdf

https://www.google.com/patents/US8796552

According to a post on Electric Pipeline Corporation blog (http://elpipes.blogspot.com—yes, no proper website) both that company and Roger Faulkner's other startup, Ballistic Breakers (same website situation), were acquired by Alevo in or before November 2014. He said they hired him to continue working on elpipes, but their website doesn't mention elpipes. And a Google search for alevo elpipe turned up nothing relevant.
I refuse to use AD's LTspice or any other "free" software whose license agreement prohibits benchmarking it (which implies it's really bad) or publicly disclosing the existence of the agreement. Fortunately, I haven't agreed to that one, and those terms are public already.
 

Online Circlotron

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Re: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2016, 01:51:09 am »
How about this:
Build the honking biggest gyroscope flywheel anyone ever saw.
Orient it with the shaft lying horizontal.
Position it directly over either the North or South pole.
Rev it up initially from an external energy source to whatever it will stand.

As the earth rotates, the gyroscope will try and resist the movement and will try and raise one end of it's shaft and lower the other, but it will be securely held in place. The energy that is inputted to the rotating flywheel because it resists the rotation of the earth will be absorbed by the flywheel increasing speed. Attach an alternator to the shaft and use some of this energy.

Actually, thinking a bit further on this, it wouldn't have to be at the North or South pole at all. At the equator you would point the shaft axis along the equator. As you go closer to the poles you would simply have the shaft pointing around the earth like at the equator, so regardless of where it is it would only rotate once every 24 hours. Anyone's backyard would be suitable.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 04:07:58 am by Circlotron »
 

Offline gnasirator

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Re: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2016, 12:33:44 am »
That's actually very interesting.
Though, the downside to it is that it slows down the earth's rotation which frankly I wouldn't want to do.
Even though I'd really like longer days to get more stuff done  :-DD

How about this:
Build the honking biggest gyroscope flywheel anyone ever saw.
Orient it with the shaft lying horizontal.
Position it directly over either the North or South pole.
Rev it up initially from an external energy source to whatever it will stand.

As the earth rotates, the gyroscope will try and resist the movement and will try and raise one end of it's shaft and lower the other, but it will be securely held in place. The energy that is inputted to the rotating flywheel because it resists the rotation of the earth will be absorbed by the flywheel increasing speed. Attach an alternator to the shaft and use some of this energy.

Actually, thinking a bit further on this, it wouldn't have to be at the North or South pole at all. At the equator you would point the shaft axis along the equator. As you go closer to the poles you would simply have the shaft pointing around the earth like at the equator, so regardless of where it is it would only rotate once every 24 hours. Anyone's backyard would be suitable.
Kiwi by heart. But never liked Vegemite.
 

Offline earl colby pottinger

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Re: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2016, 01:31:53 am »
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2016, 05:27:27 am »
Big ideas often fail for weird reasons.  Take covering North Africa with solar cells and shipping the power to Europe and other places.  Assuming the solar cells are on the order of 10% efficient (well within current technology), you are removing 10% of the total solar heat load on North Africa and shipping it somewhere else.  So North Africa will cool, and presumeably become a more desireable and productive place to live.  And thence usurp the space used for solar cells.

Same sort of thing has occurred in Southern California, which was once an agricultural breadbasket for the US, and in some cases the world.  Orange county once was the source of much of the citrus in the country.  But after the water infrastructure was in place to support this, it was also a desirable place to live, and now most of the citrus has been covered by houses.  Same story in Walnut, California, named after local product that once was a signifanct portion of the world output.
 

Offline wraper

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Re: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2016, 08:00:59 am »
Big ideas often fail for weird reasons.  Take covering North Africa with solar cells and shipping the power to Europe and other places.  Assuming the solar cells are on the order of 10% efficient (well within current technology), you are removing 10% of the total solar heat load on North Africa and shipping it somewhere else.  So North Africa will cool, and presumeably become a more desireable and productive place to live.  And thence usurp the space used for solar cells.
This is weird idea which will fail for very obvious reason. Energy loss during transport. Cells are 20+ % efficient.
 

Online Circlotron

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Re: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2016, 08:47:01 am »
You could do better by putting mirrors on every rooftop in North Africa. 100% reduction in heat in those shaded areas.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2016, 01:15:32 pm »
My favorite: http://heindl-energy.com/

Our current problem is not power generation, it's storage! And this is just a beautiful solution because the storage capacity grows by radius^4 while build costs only grow ~to r^2 as only the surface of the rock needs working. More info on the homepage.

I happen to have studied at the inventor's university but I've never met him nor does he know I exist. But I love the idea for it is the only one I've seen so far that actually allows HUGE energy storage capacities as it would be needed for completely renewable world power supply.
Its an interesting idea, but I think most people would need a LOT of convincing that the seals could be made reliable.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Ridiculous 'blue sky' ideas
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2016, 01:24:54 pm »
daveatol's calculation is correct.

So we need to generate  0.78kWh/m2 * 10 floors / 24 hours  = 325W / m2 roof area

So we have 0.325 = Flow * 35m * 9.8n/s2 
                   Flow = 0.94 liters/second
                           = 56.4 liters/hour
                           = 1353.6 liters/day

We only have 60% efficiency so better make this 2250 liters/day for every m2 of roof area.

You forgot the minutes in your calculation:  ;)
     Flow = 0.94 liters/second
             = 56.4 liter/minute
             = 3384 liters/hour
             = 81216 liters/day

This would equal a pillar of water 81m high above the building!
Absolutely unpractical.
I ran some numbers recently for how big a pair of pools it would take at the top and bottom of a local hill, to store enough from rooftop PV in the day, to meet the overnight needs of just our house. Its an awful lot of water. Even if you live at the top of a really big cliff the pools need to be huge by domestic construction standards.
 


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