Alternative energy

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Alternative energy

Postby YMix » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:04 am

Couldn't find a thread on this topic...

Sail-inspired wind turbine doubles efficiency without blades

We know that there's more than enough wind energy out there to power our entire civilization, but conventional wind turbines don't do that great of a job of harnessing it. They're expensive and inefficient, and we're looking for better technologies, one of which is a super efficient wind turbine that doesn't need blades.

It looks like some sort of flat satellite dish-thing, but this is Saphon Energy's wind non-turbine, the Saphonian. It doesn't have blades, and nothing on it spins: it just sits there, pointing into the wind, and captures energy. The design is based on sails, the kind that pull boats around, which are very efficient (and have been for thousands of years) at turning wind energy into usable mechanical energy.

Instead of harvesting wind energy with rotating blades, the Saphonian uses a sort of round sail held in a frame. As wind pushes on the sail, it oscillates in "a non-rotational back and forth motion," driving small pistons as it does so. The pistons are hooked up to a hydraulic system, which can either store energy via an accumulator, or convert it directly into electricity with a generator. There's no transmission, no gearbox, and the thing barely moves and is almost completely silent. At the same time, however, it's able to generate energy 2.3 times more efficiently than a traditional bladed turbine (harvesting up to 80% of available wind energy) while saving 45% or more on infrastructure cost. Not too shabby.

Saphon got a patent on this design earlier this year, and it's currently looking to partner up with a manufacturer for worldwide distribution. So far, we're not seeing any downsides here, except that abandoning the traditional bladed design means that we no longer have the option of reversing all of the world's wind turbines to slow the rotation of the Earth on special occasions like my birthday. Oh well.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Torchwood » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:04 pm

Wait and see, alternative energy is full of bright ideas which are hard to out into practice (e.g wave power). This is one of the comments:

The principals at best are deluded, or at worst this is a scam

1. They make above Betz Limit claims but provide zero data; no one with any wind device has come close to Betz Limit
2. The patent linked from their site isn't for the device they are promoting
3. It won't scale; cantilevered conical sections on top of a weak, piston-focussed joint? It wouldn't move except in the strongest winds.
4. It can't be feathered in high winds. The conical shape will just get more and more wind load until it rips free or pulls the tower over.
5. On top of massively inflated and unsupported claims, it uses much more material than other wind turbines to generate energy, meaning the cost of materials, fabrication, transportation and construction will all be higher. It's total lifecycle cost of energy will be much higher than currently economical three-blade, horizontal access wind turbines.


From a wind turbine manufacturer, no doubt...

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Re: Alternative energy

Postby YMix » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:07 pm

Good point.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Enki » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:01 pm

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/07/s ... nto-cloth/

Scientists create solar cell fiber that could potentially be woven into cloth

An international team of scientists led by a University of Pennsylvania professor said Thursday that they’ve created a unique new fiber thinner than a human hair that can capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity.

Their research on this new solar cell breakthrough was published this week in a subscriber-only preview available to the readers of the scientific journal Advanced Materials.

“Long, fiber-based solar cells give us the potential to do something we couldn’t really do before,” Professor John Badding said in a media advisory. “We can take the silicon fibers and weave them together into a fabric with a wide range of applications such as power generation, battery charging, chemical sensing, and biomedical devices.”
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Doc » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:57 pm

http://www.gereports.com/hybrids-of-the-high-seas/
Hybrids of the High Seas: Electric Hybrid Ships Cut Millions from Navy’s Fuel Bill
November 9, 2012

When the U.S. Navy’s USS Makin Island leaves base, it does not steam across the ocean. It motors. The amphibious assault ship, commissioned in 2009, is the Navy’s first hybrid ship. “It’s like a floating Prius, but much bigger,” says Paul English, a marine leader in GE’s Power Conversion business. “If you consider a hybrid car, it makes sense to run the gas engine on the highway and switch to an electric motor in stop-and-go traffic. It’s the same on the ocean.”

In the Navy: Sailors and Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit scrub down the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island. The ship is the Navy’s first vessel powered by hybrid propulsion.

GE gave the Makin Island a new system using a combination of two advanced gas turbines for high-speed sailing (they use the same jet engine technology that powers Air Force One and many Boeing 747 jumbos) and a pair of 10,000-horse-power electric motors that kick in when the vessel slows down below 12 knots. The motors draw power from six diesel generators. “Most ships spend the overwhelming majority of their working life doing something other than rushing from one place to another at top speed,” English says. “In fact, for about 70 percent of their operational life, ships tend to kind of hang around, deploy troops and aircraft, or support marines on the ground.”

English says that when a typical gas turbine falls well below maximum output, it becomes “tremendously inefficient, burning fuel just to turn over.” The GE propulsion system solves the problem and saves millions in fuel costs along the way. The Navy estimates that hybrid propulsion will save $250 million in fuel over the life of the ship. “If you work that up over a fleet of ships, you’ll see that something big is going on,” English says.

The 800-foot long USS Makin Island, which can carry close to 100 helicopters and 3,000 sailors and marines, saved the Navy more than 4 million gallons of fuel worth $15 million during its first 7-month deployment. GE has already received orders for two more hybrid ships, including one for the Navy’s latest large-deck amphibious assault ship, USS Tripoli, announced this week.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Doc » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:59 pm

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/En ... o-jet-fuel

Energy alchemy: Navy turns sea water into jet fuel

The Naval Research Laboratory has designed a system which harvests carbon dioxide and hydrogen, the raw ingredients of jet fuel, from seawater, according to OilPrice.com.

Last year the US Naval Military Sea Lift Command, the main fuel supplier to Naval vessels that are at sea, delivered around 600 million gallons to ships that were on the open water. (RELATED: Israel's Offshore Gas Reserves - Bonanza or Security Threat?)

Refuelling is a very difficult and dangerous procedure when two vessels are at sea, especially if the seas are rough, or there is a storm, or even in the middle of a fire fight. Yet it is also vital as running out of fuel would be devastating to a naval ship in action.

The NRL has designed a system which harvests carbon dioxide and hydrogen, the raw ingredients of jet fuel, from the seawater. NRL discovered that gathering carbon dioxide from the seawater was far more efficient than getting it from the air because the concentration in seawater is 140 times greater. The hydrogen and carbon dioxide go through several processes to create olefins (a hydrocarbon), and then two more steps to turn the olefins into suitable jet fuel. (RELATED: Coal Set for a Strong Comeback in Europe)

So far the lab tests have indicated that the process will produce jet fuel at a cost of around $3 - $6 per gallon. Now all that is needed is large scale tests on the open sea.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Enki » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:28 pm

You could easily make switches that take the rocking of a boat and turn it into electricity.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Doc » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:03 am

Enki wrote:You could easily make switches that take the rocking of a boat and turn it into electricity.


You have to get more power out than you put in and it has to be safe. I imagine large weights would be involved. Weights to take into account front-back waves would have the weights in the trough when the front is starting to rise. Then they would be back as the ship crests the wave. That would seem to be a energy losers. IF the weights went side to side that would make the ship easier to capsize. Though there may be ways to get around that.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Enki » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:12 am

Doc wrote:
Enki wrote:You could easily make switches that take the rocking of a boat and turn it into electricity.


You have to get more power out than you put in and it has to be safe. I imagine large weights would be involved. Weights to take into account front-back waves would have the weights in the trough when the front is starting to rise. Then they would be back as the ship crests the wave. That would seem to be a energy losers. IF the weights went side to side that would make the ship easier to capsize. Though there may be ways to get around that.


No, you can do it with very small weights. I read a couple of years back that someone had achieved it using tiny buckyballs. It's just an electromagnet with a cam that only turns one way. Since you are trying to reclaim the lateral motion, front/back don't matter. If you use a lot of tiny weights and put them at ballast level they won't really contribute significantly to the ships rocking, and could possibly counteract it.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Doc » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:10 am

Enki wrote:
Doc wrote:
Enki wrote:You could easily make switches that take the rocking of a boat and turn it into electricity.


You have to get more power out than you put in and it has to be safe. I imagine large weights would be involved. Weights to take into account front-back waves would have the weights in the trough when the front is starting to rise. Then they would be back as the ship crests the wave. That would seem to be a energy losers. IF the weights went side to side that would make the ship easier to capsize. Though there may be ways to get around that.


No, you can do it with very small weights. I read a couple of years back that someone had achieved it using tiny buckyballs. It's just an electromagnet with a cam that only turns one way. Since you are trying to reclaim the lateral motion, front/back don't matter. If you use a lot of tiny weights and put them at ballast level they won't really contribute significantly to the ships rocking, and could possibly counteract it.


There would have to be usable energy produced. That at least implies heavy weights to overcome the Counter motive force of the large generator/alternator. Assuming the idea that the electricity would be used to propel the ship.

Maybe an unbalanced fly wheel would work if you could regulate for the waves' cyclical variance.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Enki » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:48 am

Think thousands of small ones.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Typhoon » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:18 pm

Enki wrote:Think thousands of small ones.


The problem with thousands of small ones is reliability and maintenance.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Typhoon » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:20 pm

The fastest growing source of alternative, to oil, energy:

BBC | Coal to equal oil as world's top energy source within 10 years

The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that coal will catch up with oil as the world's leading energy source by 2022
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Enki » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:02 pm

Typhoon wrote:
Enki wrote:Think thousands of small ones.


The problem with thousands of small ones is reliability and maintenance.


Thousands of small proprietors. i.e. Your entire cul de sac is shingled with solar panels and everyone shares a grid. Maybe even having some kind of battery center underground somewhere in the area. Since battery technology is actually super cheap if you aren't worrying about miniaturization, it's completely doable.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Azrael » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:10 am

How about hydrokinetic power? It looks like it might take off in the not-too-distant future.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Endovelico » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:14 pm

Azrael wrote:How about hydrokinetic power? It looks like it might take off in the not-too-distant future.


Something like this?

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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Azrael » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:05 am

The basic concept has been around for a very long time. Better technology may make it more widespread and versatile than it has been in recent decades.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Doc » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:37 pm

Azrael wrote:How about hydrokinetic power? It looks like it might take off in the not-too-distant future.



The US generates quite a bit of hydro power. Much more than solar or wind power.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Azrael » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:47 am

Yes, from hydroelectric dams; but what about harnessing tidal power? That could be a growing industry.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Typhoon » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:36 pm

Kyodo | Seabed test for methane hydrate set

NAGOYA — In the first experiment of its kind, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. will begin a test project Sunday aimed at producing methane gas from methane hydrate in the Pacific seabed off Aichi Prefecture.

The government-affiliated minerals explorer aims to launch commercial production as early as fiscal 2018, as Japan seeks to end its over dependency on overseas fuel shipments by developing a brand new energy source.


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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Farcus » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:31 pm

Enki wrote:You could easily make switches that take the rocking of a boat and turn it into electricity.


I'd do that with hydraulic rams fed to accumulators before I'd do it with electronics. Salt air and seawater hate electronics, and always find a way to kill them.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Enki » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:34 pm

Farcus wrote:
Enki wrote:You could easily make switches that take the rocking of a boat and turn it into electricity.


I'd do that with hydraulic rams fed to accumulators before I'd do it with electronics. Salt air and seawater hate electronics, and always find a way to kill them.


Hermetic seals are your friends. ;)
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Azrael » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:36 am

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Engineered bacteria could make fuel from sunlight as a step toward replacing fossil fuels as raw materials for the chemical industry, U.S. researchers say.

Chemists at the University of California, Davis, say they have engineered blue-green algae to grow chemical precursors for fuels and plastics.
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Re: Alternative energy

Postby Azrael » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:40 pm

Notorious Altamont Pass wind area (near Livermore, California) becomes safer for birds.

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Is the world about to change?

Postby Doc » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:06 am

http://coldfusionnow.org/is-it-finally- ... s-claimed/
Is it finally happening?? A big market shift in the energy sector is claimed!!
January 9, 2013 / Brad Arnold / 26 comment(s) / Business and Economics
[Translate]

A little background – I’ve been a LENR activist for a while here, and have been waiting for such a market movement. If this source I’ll link you to is accurate, that is now occurring, and is a gigantic paradigm shift that will rival any in our lifetime. Unfortunately, I don’t have the tools to verify the accuracy of what was claimed. First here is the claim:

http://news.cnet.com/8618-17938_105-575 ... d=13475180

“The fact that oil companies like BP, Shell, Exon, and a host of others are all selling off their oil fields around the world, that Petrobas who spent a decade to acquire the controlling interest in a texas oil refinery, now are desperate to sell it at a loss.

The fact that Nuclear power plant owners are cancelling their big investment projects, and preparing to close their plants.

The fact that Siemans have have dropped all their Nuclear Power plants and attached industries as well as all of their green power industries where they were a world leader, including a multi billion dollar project to place their solar cell technology in the Sahara to provide electricity to Europe that they just cancelled like it was nothing despite millions already invested”

Now, here is the primer that explains it. Note the source of the first link.

“A volume about the size of a #2 pencil eraser of water provides as much energy as two 48-gallon drums of gasoline. That is 355,000 times the amount of energy per volume – five orders of magnitude.” ( http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-Gener ... t-Yet.html ).

This phenomenon (LENR) has been confirmed in hundreds of published scientific papers: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJtallyofcol.pdf

“Over 2 decades with over 100 experiments worldwide indicate LENR is real, much greater than chemical…” –Dennis M. Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

“Total replacement of fossil fuels for everything but synthetic organic chemistry.” –Dr. Joseph M. Zawodny, NASA

By the way, here is a survey of some of the companies that are bringing LENR to commercialization: http://www.cleantechblog.com/2011/08/th ... ation.html

For those who still aren’t convinced, here is a paper I wrote that contains some pretty convincing evidence: http://coldfusionnow.org/the-evidence-for-lenr/

Frankly, I doubt a normal person can even believe such a gigantic paradigm shift is occurring, but if it can be verified, it is the story of the new century.


http://lenr-canr.org/

This site features a library of papers on LENR, Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, also known as Cold Fusion. (CANR, Chemically Assisted Nuclear Reactions is another term for this phenomenon.) The library includes more than 1,000 original scientific papers reprinted with permission from the authors and publishers. The papers are linked to a bibliography of over 3,500 journal papers, news articles and books about LENR.

This website includes:

The Introduction to LENR-CANR, and a list of books, videos and links to other sites about LENR.
News about LENR.
A look at experiments: photographs of laboratories and equipment.
Special collections of papers, including papers from ICCF conferences, the 2004 DoE review, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and U.S. Navy authors.
The LIBRARY is a collection of full-text papers and books integrated with our bibliography. You can access the folder directly here. The most recent papers are listed here.
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