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Archive for the ‘Energy Reform’ Category

Unlimited clean and free energy forever…..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1194169/Set-controls-heart-Sun.html

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Say what you want about US based GM being a dinosaur of a car company, building inefficient cars in inefficient manufacturing plants, but the same cannot be said about their European subsidiary Opel (soon to be owned by Canada’s Magna).

Check out this You Tube video from one of their European plants.

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Geothermal power is power extracted from heat stored in the earth. This geothermal energy originates from the original formation of the planet, from radioactive decay of minerals, and from solar energy absorbed at the surface. It has been used for space heating and bathing since ancient roman times, but is now better known for generating electricity. About 10 GW of geothermal electric capacity is installed around the world as of 2007, generating 0.3% of global electricity demand. An additional 28 GW of direct geothermal heating capacity is installed for district heating, space heating, spas, industrial processes, desalination and agricultural applications.

Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, and environmentally friendly, but has previously been geographically limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries. Recent technological advances have dramatically expanded the range and size of viable resources, especially for direct applications such as home heating. Geothermal wells tend to release greenhouse gases trapped deep within the earth, but these emissions are much lower than those of conventional fossil fuels. As a result, geothermal power has the potential to help mitigate global warming if widely deployed instead of fossil fuels.

There are a 3 main issues with geothermal that need to be addressed before we decide that this is the best option.

  1. What impact do the gases released from geothermal implementations have on greenhouses gas emissions?
  2. How much geothermal energy does the Earth possess (and how much can we take before having an impact)?
  3. How the heck do we drill efficiently and deep enough to extract this energy.  Currently we use diamond tipped drill bits to bore holes into the Earth’s crust but this method had proven costly, time consuming and ineffective.

Issue #1 and #2 still remain controversial however a new invention from Jared Potter has addressed issue #3.  Check out the video of this prototype in work.  It is very impressive.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_power
http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-06/jets-7200°f-hydrogen-cut-through-granite-100-feet-hour
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmxxsf_AJ3w&eurl=http://www.popsci.com/&feature=player_embedded

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This is a You Tube video of a true green house.  It has wind, solar and passive energy.  The coolest thing is that uses hay as insulation.  Apparently the hay or straw has breathing capabilities, making it its own heat recovery ventilation system.    It is amazing what you can do if you build and design your own home.

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I predict that the price of a barrel of oil will dip as low and $29 by Q2 of 2009 (currently sitting between $38 and $45).  Not only are supplies fairly high right now but everything we read tell us that demand is going lower and lower.  The recession causing us to use less oil but also the annoyance of paying $147 a barrel last summer is making us conscious of our consumption.

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3788bwc

The combustion engine may not be dead yet.

Hydrogen fuel can be implemented as a renewable energy medium with immense potential. When utilized properly, it has the potential to entirely replace fossil fuels altogether. Transforming our largely oil based economy, to a new hydrogen based economy, which will provide sustainability throughout the 21st century, and beyond, for as long as the sun continues to shine.

Is it possible for hydrogen to compete with oil in a global market? Absolutely!

For known energy sources hydrogen has the highest energy to weight ratio.  In fact, NASA has used it as a fuel source since the 1940’s.  NASA also uses hydrogen for its primary fuel while in space and for making drinking water. FYI..one pound of hydrogen when combined with oxygen will make upwards of nine pounds of pure distilled drinking water.

When most people think of alternative renewable energy they think of the electric car. You charge it for three hours and only get a 150 mile range. Although rapidly being developed (maybe very rapidly with the recent bailout) they remain slow, small, and pricey. With a hydrogen powered vehicle you don’t have to give up any of your luxury. In fact, hydrogen is more powerful than gasoline. Liquid Hydrogen has a BTU rating of 60,000 per pound where as gasoline has a BTU of only 18,000 per pound. This means that hydrogen lighter and more powerful than gasoline and diesel.

Hydrogen also has many practical uses. Hydrogen can be used as a cooking fuel, to heat your home and mow your lawn. Hydrogen can run your generator and produce the electricity for your home. With the addition of a fuel cell, hydrogen can be converted back to electricity to power your computer and your lights. It can be used in create electricity and replace gasoline, propane and even natural gas.  Probably the most important effect it will have is that it can be used to purify drinking water in devolving countries.  Think of the impact that will have on the reduction of global suffering.

We most not be naive to think that extracting hydrogen is easy.  Although advances are being made everyday we still need more efficient ways to get hydrogen.  At one time it actually took more energy to produce hydrogen from H2O than the energy that the extracted hydrogen would produce.  This is no longer the case but there is still much room for improvement.

The fact remains that using hydrogen for energy is imperative.

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I am continuously baffled why we still rely upon centralized sources of electricity.  In a world where terrorism is an everyday threat shouldn’t we make our power plants less vulnerable?  Most security advisers would agree that the answer is yes.  But my approach to accomplishing this goal is different than the status quo.

Sure adding more concrete and steel to reinforce our existing plants is the obvious solution but I think that decentralized sources of electricity are the answer.  One might think that this is not a practical solution due to its costs but the truth of the matter is that electricity is not difficult to produce even though we are told so by utility companies.  There are various methods to accomplishing decentralized power…even with today’s technology.  Currently the best way is for public/private partnerships to enter into long term agreements to provide power for communities in pockets 10,000 homes or less.  This will ensure that even in the unlikely event of a terrorist attack on one of these smaller plants the damage would be isolated.  2 or 3 large scale windmills with combustion powered generator back-up is all that would be required for each pocket of homes.  Since the footprint of a windmill is very small they can be placed in even the densest of communities.

4 stem windmill

4 stem windmill

The main criticism of windmills is that there is little you can do with the power during non-peak times.  I have a solution for this as well.  During non-peak times when the wasted power would normally be intentionally grounded why not use that power to elevate water so that it can be released the following day at peak times and used to propel traditional hydro turbines.  It is believed that hydro driven turbines are currently up to 100 times more effective than wind turbines so a little will go a long way.

Gravity fed water would power this turbine.  The water would be pre-elevated using non-peak wind power .

Gravity fed water would power this turbine. The water would be pre-elevated using non-peak wind power .

Obviously the ultimate goal is for each individual household to be given the capability to produce their own power, although as discussed in an earlier post we may be some time away from this….then again maybe not?  Check out this company www.secondsourcepower.com.

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