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Old 10-16-2009, 03:17 PM   #21
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Understood, but again, the output of existing power plants will have to go way up and probably need to be upgraded, and no doubt a lot more would need to be built. It's still just a band-aid on a problem.
Agreed. And in most parts of the US, solar, wind, and geothermal are not practical. (Solar, in particular, is kind of useless for recharging a car at night.)

Hydro is pretty decent in areas where the topography support it, but it is not without strong opposition.

That pretty much just leaves nukes. Clean, reliable, high power density, and they could be affordable if the bureaucracy surrounding them was pared down to a reasonable level.
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:52 PM   #22
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We need to hurry up and figure out fusion
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:06 PM   #23
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We need to hurry up and figure out fusion
Fusion will be nice when it happens.

In the meantime, there's CANDU. If we (the US) would just swallow our pride and accept that the Canadians came up with something better than our design, it would solve pretty much all of our current problems regarding the nuclear fuel cycle.
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:10 AM   #24
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I would be OK with Nuclear (fission) power if it were not so horribly expensive. I think this is what you mean Joe by reducing bureaucracy. I heard horror stories about the infamous wastes of money at the South Texas Nuclear Project (STNP) when it was built many years ago. It was finished far, far over budget and resulted in huge lawsuits. The name has even been changed to STP, presumably for PR reasons. Now they want to build another one.

Screw the White Zombie, I want to ride on that Killacycle. [email protected] and it sounds a lot cooler than the car.

KillaCycle - World’s Quickest Electric Motorcycle

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Old 10-17-2009, 12:37 AM   #25
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Except for a few small things:

1. Power generation is much more efficient on a large scale...as done at power plants.
2. Conversion back into mechanical work in a vehicle is 95% effecient...compared to ~30% with gasoline.
3. Electric motor characteristics and power draw are much better suited to our driving styles than internal combustion.
EXACTLY!

NA6 - think of all the gasoline-burning activities a car does besides propelling the vehicle forward; accel enrichments, idling, warmup enrichments, etc. The electric motor has no pumping losses and fewer parasitic ones, and less friction. So, even if the electricity came from coal (and only half of it does) we're still better off. The change would be plenty gradual enough that the infrastructure could handle it fine. When it does need augmenting, that's work created for some American somewhere, ensuring he has a job.

Joe - Solar energy would be difficult to capture at night. Someone should invent some kind of energy storage device for electricity so that it could be saved for later. You're a smart guy, if you come through on this, you'll be rich. Just don't forget to give me my cut for the idea.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:00 AM   #26
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all I gotta say is the torque that that thing creates is absolutely nuts I mean it pulled hard as hell off the line like to see what the 60ft was
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:59 PM   #27
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I wanted to do that to my miata instead of the turbo however i dont have a house :( the building owners would say something if they see a double gauge cord out of my 3rd story window to my car :(

Imagine tons of torque on a 1700 lb miata,aaaahhhh one day :P
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:15 PM   #28
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Joe - Solar energy would be difficult to capture at night. Someone should invent some kind of energy storage device for electricity so that it could be saved for later. You're a smart guy, if you come through on this, you'll be rich. Just don't forget to give me my cut for the idea.

we had a guy come to talk to us at college about this thing. He was saying he wanted to put up people on the moon that can build factories to create big mirrors or something like that. Then he wanted to make them out of the dust on the moon. Why not earth? Because its much easier to lift off a 200 mile wide object on the moon that it is on earth.

He would take that and put it at the equator.

The special design mirror should convert the received rays to high power radio waves which are then absorbed with a device on earth and converted to energy. The device on earth is suppose to take the radio waves and convert them directly into energy, not heat and then into energy like most of the stuff now... nuclear.. bio.. etc, this is why radio waves can be used instead of microwaves. One of the main questions was what if a bird flies through it? will it get fried? No because you are using high concentration of radio waves, not high concentration of microwaves therefore its not heat.

He was saying that 5 of those things will be enough to power the entire united states because they got the energy directly from the sun and then converted it to something that can pass through our clouds instead of the clouds blocking it.

I dont remember the exact cost of it however he did say that it will be the same as the stimulus plan. He was joking about it that instead of the plan they can create something that will fuel the world for ages to come.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:37 PM   #29
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Funny, a few weeks ago we were talking about capacitance and super conductors in my physics class, this just makes it more interesting
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:39 PM   #30
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I dont remember the exact cost of it however he did say that it will be the same as the stimulus plan. He was joking about it that instead of the plan they can create something that will fuel the world for ages to come.
Everyone thinks space travel can be done cheaply, until they try it themselves. Building a moon base that could produce a mirror as described would be extremely expensive.
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:30 AM   #31
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Everyone thinks space travel can be done cheaply, until they try it themselves.
It's a matter of perspective, I suppose. Virgin Galactic is cheap if you compare it to NASA.

While the underlying technology sounds a tad far-fetched to me, I have little doubt that if it were ever proven to be economically advantageous to generate power by building mirrors on the moon, that someone will figure out a way to do it cost-effectively.
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:00 AM   #32
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Virgin Galactic is cheap if you compare it to NASA.
I have said it before, and I'll say it again. VIRGIN GALACTIC IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO THE SAME THING AS NASA or the ESA! It takes a lot more energy and complexity to get something that large into a stable orbit then it does to just go straight up and down. Even something that weighs only about 300 kilos takes about $10M to get into LEO (low earth orbit, about 600 km up). And that is just for the private company ELV (rocket), not the payload.

It is like saying by building a $15K LS1 Miata, I can go racing for much less money than Brawn GP F1. Therefore I am better because I can do it cheaper than Brawn. Well, no duh I can. Apples and oranges.

We'll see how much a ride on Branson's ship costs, and what kind of mission profile it has. If it is straight up and down still, or even a '1/2 orbit' jump across the Atlantic, I will not be impressed. Plus, Branson clearly has very deep pockets. He could pump a lot of his own cash into it and operate it at a loss just to get it off the ground, no pun intended.

Last edited by ZX-Tex; 11-05-2009 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:58 PM   #33
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Tex, havent you seen astronaut farmer?



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Old 11-05-2009, 07:05 PM   #34
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Tex, havent you seen astronaut farmer?



Yeah I have actually. You know you are right. If Hollywood can do it then NASA can too.






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