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 Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2008 7:01 PM
 SSC-Dedicated Group: Administrators Last Login: 2 days ago @ 5:42 PM Points: 32,275, Visits: 14,529
 Comments posted to this topic are about the item The February Energy Update Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwestForum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help
Post #461372
 Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2008 10:48 PM
 Grasshopper Group: General Forum Members Last Login: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 6:12 PM Points: 18, Visits: 129
 Yes, the gravia lamp looks cool, but let's have a simplistic look at the physics.If we assume that the physical dimensions of the lamp allows a 10Kg (22lb) weight to be raised through 1 meter (about 1 yard) then the potential energy available is:Pe = mgh (assume gravity of 10 m/s^2)= 10 * 10 * 1= 100 JoulesAssuming that even the most efficient light source possible would need to consume at least 1 watt to produce useful light and that the potential energy stored in the weight can be converted to electricity with an efficiency of 100%, then the light would operate for only 100 seconds before needing the weight to be raised again.In reality, we can't convert at 100% efficiency and we need lots more than 1 watt to be useful, so even looking into the future, this idea isn't feasible.Producing light is comparatively cheap (from an energy usage point of view). The real consumption hogs are heating and cooling.
Post #461417
 Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 12:50 AM
 Grasshopper Group: General Forum Members Last Login: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 2:20 PM Points: 14, Visits: 187
 What I don't understand is the idea behind biofuels. When parts of the world are starving and the price of basic crops such as wheat are increasing (due to shortages?), what do we do? We grow crops to burn. Hmm.
Post #461459
 Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 7:17 AM
 SSC-Dedicated Group: Administrators Last Login: 2 days ago @ 5:42 PM Points: 32,275, Visits: 14,529
 I'm not sure about biofuels myself. It's an interesting idea, essentially using solar energy over time to create fuels, but I think it does need to be managed.I've heard that the US has more capacity for farming than we use, and either destroy crops to keep prices inflated or don't plant areas. That's a fundamental problem, but it's not easily solved without government managing this somehow. We certainly don't want farmers switching to biofuels and causing shortages.The world hunger issues are other problems and I have no idea how to solve them. Some of that is developed countries helping others, some of it is the native governments not allowing help, probably other reasons. That's not one I have any idea how to solve. Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwestForum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help
Post #461625
 Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 7:45 AM
 SSCrazy Group: General Forum Members Last Login: Today @ 8:33 AM Points: 2,218, Visits: 2,412
 You might have seen news about this knee brace. It's not for protection, though that is probably a possibility. This one actually generates power, helping to recharge small electronics. Gives new meaning to the "talk all day" cell phone if you have one of these.The knee brace also gives a twist to an old saying. The knee brace version: He walks the walk, so he can talk the talk....webrunner -------------------"The chemistry must be respected." - Walter White"A SQL query walks into a bar and sees two tables. He walks up to them and says 'Can I join you?'"Ref.: http://tkyte.blogspot.com/2009/02/sql-joke.html
Post #461650
 Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 8:17 AM
 Ten Centuries Group: General Forum Members Last Login: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 8:37 AM Points: 1,044, Visits: 2,987
 webrunner (2/28/2008)You might have seen news about this knee brace. It's not for protection, though that is probably a possibility. This one actually generates power, helping to recharge small electronics. Gives new meaning to the "talk all day" cell phone if you have one of these.The knee brace also gives a twist to an old saying. The knee brace version: He walks the walk, so he can talk the talk........suggesting it might be more appropriate for some people to have a version of the harness that generates power from the gluteus maximus instead. Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat
Post #461690
 Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 8:28 AM
 SSC Rookie Group: General Forum Members Last Login: Yesterday @ 1:26 PM Points: 25, Visits: 1,277
 I agree it is a bad idea to grow corn to make alcohol. But it is possible for biofuel generation to be beneficial: the idea would not be to grow crops specifically for converting them to energy, but to use the waste and by products of existing crops. For example rice crops in California's Central Valley have the rice plant (stalks/leaves) burned in the fields, which creates lots of air pollution. If that material could be used as a fuel or converted into liquid fuel we'd be solving two problems. There is also the current practice of converting waste cooking oils into biodiesel-- restaurants and food processors are going to have waste oil, the only question is does it get thrown away or used as fuel?Brian
Post #461705
 Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 8:36 AM
 Ten Centuries Group: General Forum Members Last Login: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 8:37 AM Points: 1,044, Visits: 2,987
 Feifarek (2/28/2008)I agree it is a bad idea to grow corn to make alcohol.I wouldn't go that far, although I'd agree better using grapes...... :DSeriously, though, I agree with the rest of what you're saying. The answer isn't just a matter of finding a different source of energy, but instead a far more complex picture of how we (re)use a whole gamut of finite resources. Far more can be done to reuse and/or recycle waste and byproducts, and far more can be done to reduce our energy requirement in the first place. IMHO, both those are rather more important than finding an alternative substance to burn as engine fuel. Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat
Post #461719
 Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 8:37 AM
 Grasshopper Group: General Forum Members Last Login: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 2:20 PM Points: 14, Visits: 187
 Agree that using waste is a good idea - if it's going to be burnt then makes use of the process.However, is there really enough waste to act as a replacement for oil? Gotta think not, so perhaps just a small part of the jigsaw. How much carbon does it take to create a solar panel and how long before the benefits, in terms of carbon reduction, are achieved? A question I have wonder, but yet to research properly. Someone once told me that creating a new car has a larger carbon foot print than the fuel it will burn its lifetime. Wonder how true that one is?Sorry for the rambling/moaning/whatever you want to call it! I'm just feeling a little green today - as he sits in an air conditioned office with lots of lights on and a PC chucking out heat!!!Perhaps we should all just go and live in a cave!!
Post #461722
 Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 8:43 AM
 SSCoach Group: General Forum Members Last Login: Friday, November 01, 2013 1:55 PM Points: 15,442, Visits: 9,579