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KC Jones
10-14-2004, 11:48 AM
Some interesting ideas in producing more energy more efficiently in a "greener" process. Surprisingly enough they bail on traditional "green" energy sources like wind power.

Big green energy machines

How are we going to generate more power and decrease its impact on the environment?

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The ZEPP

The ZEPP is a supercompact, superfast, superpowerful turbine putting out electricity and carbon dioxide (CO2) that can be sequestered. Investments by energy producers will make methane (natural gas) overtake coal globally as the lead fuel for making electricity over the next two to three decades. Methane tops the hydrocarbon fuels in heat value, measured in joules per kilogram, and thus lends itself to scaling up. Free of sulfur, mercury, and other contaminants of coals and oils, methane is the best hydrocarbon feedstock.

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Conclusion

Small is beautiful when small also means powerful and inexpensive, like the machinery of the Internet. The energy system requires economical green ideas big in power yet small in impact.

Solar and the so-called renewables are not green when considered on the large scales required. A single 1,000- MWe nuclear plant equates to prime farmland of more than 2,500 km2 producing biomass, a wind farm occupying 750 km2, or a photovoltaic plant of about 150 km2 together with land for storage and retrieval. Although a present natural- gas combined-cycle plant uses about 3 metric tons of steel and 27 m3 of concrete per average megawatt electric, a typical wind-energy system uses 460 metric tons of steel and 870 m3 of concrete. Solar and renewables in every form require masses of machinery to produce many megawatts. They lack efficiencies and economies of scale. Like low-yield farming, to produce more calories, solar and renewables multiply in extent, linearly. Unlike the Internet, solar and renewables cannot become much smaller as they become much larger. Thus, they will grow little.

Fortunately, hot new technologies like ceramics, as well as cool ones like superconductors, make possible big, truly green energy machines. ZEPPs and SuperGrids can multiply the power of the system 510 times while shrinking it in a revolutionary way.

source: http://www.tipmagazine.com/tip/INPHFA/vol-10/iss-5/p20.html

ptlyon
10-14-2004, 11:53 AM
That's all fine and dandy, but your natural gas prices are so high right now due to lack of supply, i.e. production, so how cost efficent will it actually be?

KC Jones
10-14-2004, 12:05 PM
That's all fine and dandy, but your natural gas prices are so high right now due to lack of supply, i.e. production, so how cost efficent will it actually be?

Didn't you watch Beyond Thunderdome?

We'll just start rasing pigs in caves to produce methane ;)

It's all pie in the sky dream stuff, but interesting none the less.


Methane is naturally occurring, but human-related activities such as fossil fuel production, animal husbandry (digestive processes of ruminant livestock and manure), rice cultivation, biomass burning and waste management release significant quantities of methane into the atmosphere. Methane's natural sources include wetlands, natural gas and permafrost.

Landfills, coal mining, livestock, manure and the production and transmission of natural gas are the five major sources of human-produced methane in the United States. A significant amount of these emissions can be reduced by applying available and economically worthwhile options such as capturing the methane and recovering the cost of the emission-reduction technology by selling the gas or using it to substitute for other energy inputs, according to the scientists.

Methane is produced by several sources where gas can be contained and measures can be taken to prevent it from being released to the atmosphere," said Hayhoe. "For example, cattle manure can be collected and placed in a digester. As anaerobic decay occurs, methane is produced. This methane can be removed from the digester and used to generate electricity."

By capturing methane lost during normal operations, companies can benefit by using this fuel source onsite, selling it to utilities, or selling it directly to end users while benefiting the environment. Many U.S. industries are participating in voluntary programs with the EPA to target methane emissions.

Nightfyre
10-14-2004, 12:17 PM
Nuclear power is a good temporary solution. Safe, Relatively inexpensive... Only trouble is that it runs on fossil fuels and disposal is... controversial....