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Old 08-02-2017, 09:57 PM
240D.Bill's Avatar
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Location: Vancouver, WA
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Global Energy Alternatives for Automobiles

Continuation from "Future of old Diesels?" in the child forum 'Diesel Discussion' for a great prerequisite or reference to the discussion. I hope the participants follow from that thread. There's some great information and discussion taking place with regard to Bio, EVs, Solar, Fossil, Nuclear, et al...

In response to and follow over from the referenced thread I'd like to weigh in, challenge any misinformation I have, and gain insight from the collective body of knowledge within.

Firstly, I don't believe a viable solution can be supported that undermines or inadequately factors the basic laws of thermodynamics. My own convictions are grounded in the physical and practical application within those parameters. IMHO, a viable solution must use those laws in determining a solution and as a guiding principle to support the long term(250+ years).

Personally, I suggest a handicap. Let's assume a global epidemic or other large scale 'natural disaster' to curb present demand and give us a head start. ;-) Just kidding... although it would help in addressing a seemingly impossible challenge. Sidebar Thread!

From the research I've collected it's my understanding that we currently do not have the infrastructure or expertise to safely handle and dispose of the heavy metals used in both production and disposal of PV arrays. It is possible to develop and support that requirement but little has been done to address it thus far. Consider also the harvesting, production, disposal/recycling hurdles coupled with that solution and I presume there is a considerable and perhaps less viable solution to meeting demands at present. There's much work to be done but I cannot imagine the development will be abandoned despite any justifiable factors if any, to do so. It's popular and on the surface appears to have a bright future... forgive the pun.

If and only if the infrastructure can safely address the waste generated, I believe solar energy is promising. Though I'm well acquainted with the electrical equations associated with energy management and production with electro-mechanical, wind, solar, geothermal, etc., I'm not a mathematician. I cannot adequately address or provide all the relevant factors/variables/figures to support viability of a Global Solar solution. However, there's no denying the potential energy as our signal most powerful and abundant source of energy. Any effort to harness, store, and develop that potential cannot be ignored. If you accept the premise: The sun is our largest source of energy, it must be the most logical starting point as governed by laws of thermodynamics. The crux lays in the efficiency to which we can convert and store that source of energy. With each transition there is a significant drop in efficiency. One cannot dismiss the energy conversion stags associated with raw material collection, production, and other aforementioned factors. Perhaps there is someone here that can address those obstacles.


I love the idea and practical application of using it in my Diesels. Terrestrial and acquatic plants are primary solar energy consumers that harness, store, and provide a more importantly produce a surplus of energy to support the energy equation. Metaphorically speaking, it must logically be considered a viable source to spin our gold. Terrestrial sources are a huge limiting factor. We. We need surface area and therefore must shift infrastructure to harvest these tiny but collectively massive storage battery aka. phytoplankton and algae.

Nuclear Energy

Let's face facts:
1. Atomic fusion is arguably the least popular alternative
2. Atomic fusion is presently the most efficient and viable alternative that we have both the expertise and infrastructure to meet present demand.
3. Shortcomings, accidents, and hurdles incurred with early development have been significantly contained and effectively mitigated.
4. Swaying public opinion and improving the undeserved notoriety of atomic energy is going to be a long uphill battle.

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Old 08-02-2017, 10:05 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 7,417
Ford got it right in 1958
Current stable:
- 2004 Mazda RALLYWANKEL
- 2007 Saturn sky redline
- 2004 Explorer...under surgery.

Past: 135i, GTI, 300E, 300SD, 300SD, Stealth
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:08 AM
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Charge off of this
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:15 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 278
I think we have fusion under wraps with one glaring exception:Cyberattack... The network of VFDs controlling the reactor can be overridden with and reactor warning software tricked into a system status that is somewhat less than 'normal'. They are closed networks, nonetheless but you'd be surprised/maybe not... how irresponsibility poses threat to closed gateways. Read up on how the first reactor in Iran was shut down. Imagine if the neighborhood elected an official to operate the reactor and entrusted them with security measures to prevent such attack and maintain the intranet.
Hypothetically speaking, that official may like work com home more often, use a personal computer or storage device. Maybe it "...just made things simpler to organize". Think of the ramifications if anything remotely similar to that scenario were to happen! The neighborhood would be forced to remove and press charges wouldn't they? Sounds as if we should give that idea careful thought in my opinion
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:40 PM
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Solar Pollution?

Solar PV's are essentially made of the same materials used in computer chips and most modern electronic semiconductors. That material would be highly refined silicon, with trace amounts of elements having one more valence electron (phosphorous) or one less, (boron).

There are trace amounts of cadmium in some PV's. That cadmium is unlikely to be released in normal usage, or even in a fire. 1KwHr generated from coal releases 360 times as much cadmium into the air as is encapsulated in in the amount of PV's needed to generate 1 KwHr.

Silicon tetrachloride is used in processing, and a company in China dumped a bunch of the stuff on a field rendering it unfit for food production, and releasing hydrochloric acid which caused major eye irritation in the area. That silicon tetrachloride can and must be recycled.

Smelting sand into semiconductor grade silicon is quite energy intensive. Estimates run from 3 - 12 months for a panel to generate enough energy to repay that energy debt. Trucking waste, if not recycled on-site, adds to the carbon footprint, if carbon based transport is used. There is no reason solar powered plants cannot manufacture solar panels, and i believe there are some that already do.

Coal and gas emit 100's of times as much pollution as solar watt for watt, and most of it is dumped right into the air or water (see MIT study that there are 200,000 early deaths per year from fossil air pollution in the U.S. annually). Nuclear waste? Fuggeddaboutit!

Recycling of solar panels is kind of a non issue, as they take decades to lose enough output to actually need recycling. Many from the 1970's are still producing near full output. It's a crystal!

For solar to approach 100% "Greenness" these issues need to be addressed. But to stick with our highly polluting energy infrastructure while waiting for every last crumb of solar pollution to be addressed results in way more pollution.
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:54 AM
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A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transportation. Most definitions of car say they run primarily on roads, seat one to eight people, have four tires, and mainly transport people rather than goods. Cars came into global use during the 20th century, and developed economies depend on them. The year 1886 is regarded as the birth year of the modern car, when German inventor Karl Benz built his Benz Patent-Motorwagen. Cars did not become widely available until the early 20th century. One of the first cars that was accessible to the masses was the 1908 Model T, an American car manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. Cars were rapidly adopted in the US, where they replaced animal-drawn carriages and carts, but took much longer to be accepted in Western Europe and other parts of the world.
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Old 11-10-2017, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 240D.Bill View Post

Nuclear Energy

Let's face facts:
1. Atomic fusion is arguably the least popular alternative
2. Atomic fusion is presently the most efficient and viable alternative that we have both the expertise and infrastructure to meet present demand.
3. Shortcomings, accidents, and hurdles incurred with early development have been significantly contained and effectively mitigated.
4. Swaying public opinion and improving the undeserved notoriety of atomic energy is going to be a long uphill battle.
You're confusing fusion with fission. Fission is a practical way to make electricity, but there are no practical fusion plants in existence.

Fission produces tons of highly radioactive waste. Nobody has solved the problem of what to do with all of it. In the US, nuclear power plants store their waste on-site, and for that reason no obsolete plant has ever been fully decommissioned and decontaminated. Every former nuclear site still hosts spent fuel facilities, either a pool or dry casks. The nuclear industry survives with the hope that someday, a method will be found for tidying up.

There are alternative fission technologies that bubble up from time to time, such as thorium fueling. None of these fully solve the waste problem, and none are in widespread use. Even if you solved it, there's a powerful "not in my backyard" reaction to every proposal. I think there would be enormous push back on new plants anywhere in the world. There have been only two new plants approved in the US in the last 30 years. There's no reason to believe that will change.

Fusion is a different story, but better? Maybe, maybe not. Fusion is likely to produce less troublesome waste. But the safety of a fusion reactor can only be assessed when there is an actual fusion reactor to evaluate. A practical fusion reactor would produce significant volumes of deuterium and tritium, which are chemically identical to water if liberated in the environment. And a fusion plant using a lithium blanket poses a chemical explosion risk. That's a new and different sort of hazard: mass volumes of low level nuclear waste that's highly bioactive. A fusion reactor would also be a powerful neutron source, which could make it the ideal machine for producing bomb materials. So the future may not be any more rosy with fusion power.

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