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Any bright ideas about an alternative source of electricity? Answered

Fossil fuels are depleting, thermal power plants barely provide sufficient electricity. A new era has come, an era of science and technology. As we advance our knowledge, we need to fuel our needs. Think about a world without electricity, how will it be?
So, why don't we put together our grey matters, and think about an ultimate solution?



4 years ago

Actually, on this particular subject, i don't think the problem is lack of power generating technology.
I think the problem is lack of proper support to implement existing technology.

We've all heard of alternative power solutions, but I don't see many serious conversations about how to overcome those weaknesses; people tend to acknowledge the weakness and move on to a different subject.

So a large problem with alternative energy is the demand versus the need. People easily understand that there's a high demand for energy in cities, but most alternative energy strategies have large land usage requirements which displaces where that energy is being generated. This results in losses simply due to moving the energy.
Whether we convert the energy into something else, like bio-electrolytically generated methane, or just use powerlines, there are losses.

Currently, i'm in favor of high temperature superconducting powerlines that use liquid nitrogen to maintain the superconducting state of the transmission line. The energy put into liquifying the nitrogen can be off put using underground transmission lines, and running turbines off of the expanding gas (cause the nitrogen is usually boiling). However, the success of a project like this would be dictated by the cost of the materials needed to construct the superconducting material.

sometimes making a process efficient is a good approach . a penny saved is a penny earned.

The refrigerator is a big household consumer of amps. how could it be made more efficient? Perhaps a device to dissuade folk from loitering with the door open. it could deliver a small shock if someone stands with the door open more than 15 seconds.

Efficiency improving strategies are kinda cool, but i don't think that's necessarily going to work out.
Even if you made a process 100 times more efficient, the population of the world that are going to start using that technology is usually going to be much more then increase in efficiency.
This is why china is constructing the nuclear power plants that it is making. They have something like a 3 billion people who all are starting to discover the joys of electric refrigeration and other home appliances.
Even if they use devices that only use a fraction of the power, it's still multiplied by a 1,000,000,000 or more.

Nice thinking @ Toga_Dan !!

Though fusion seems to be promising, we might be missing out other resources. If you think about it, high energy particles in particle accelerators can be used to achieve different types of nuclear reactions at different energy levels. Our daily life activities can also be used to produce electricity. Like Triclaw said, methane is a useful source. There is an instructable about producing electricity from running. It may give small amounts, but think about all the people all over the world. If you add up, it will be huge.

the best renewable engery is well farts . Methane digesters could power everything with all the food we eat then flush and all the food we trash the power souce would be unlimited with very little waste

There are already lots of solutions out there - solar thermal, solar electric, onshore & offshore wind, high-altitude wind, onshore & offshore wave, large & small scale hydroelectric, biomass, biogas, ethanol, deep-ocean current, tidal barrage, geothermal, orbital microwave, even nuclear options.

the problem is that each one has its own, dedicated company, organisation or lobby group. This is natural, because they have a vested financial interest, but no single alternative can replace fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels can be successfully and reliably replaced, but it must be by a combination of alternatives, used in an overlapping fashion so that each option's strengths reinforce the weaknesses of the others (eg solar is less efficient at dawn and dusk, when demand is high, but that is when on and off-shore breezes pick up, so the drop in supply from solar is replaced by the wind.).

One big problem with environmental alternatives (solar, wind etc) is that they lack predictability, and supply often cannot be matched to demand.

The one technology that is going to revolutionise the alternative energy supply industry across the board is energy storage - once somebody works out how to easily store excess energy in a quickly-accessible form, the corner will be turned.

Cause a billion better minds have been working on that for decades. The problem always comes down to cost.