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Forum posts for Just an idea

water!
Posted by Hatful on Mar 02, 2005
cars that use water.
burn/use the hydrogen and all that is left for exhaust is water.
that'd be a sweet trick.
the power line thing seems like a great idea as well and a whole bunch more plausible.

Hydrogen
Posted by fanoom on Mar 02, 2005
I was watching Daily Planet the other day and they had a bmw hydrogen car on it that they were racing around with. converted v12 engine that ran off of liquid hydrogen.... topped at 300km an hour... But is it just me that adding a whole whack of water vapour into the air may be a bad thing, what with global warming and all.

it's happening
Posted by Katie on Mar 03, 2005
the hydrogen cars will arrive. In fact, one of their largest obstacles to becoming marketable is the fact that it will cost a whole lotta money to get those hydrogen stations set up around the country. Oh, and that pure hydrogen is extremely flammable.

I know that they have test projects going on with buses in Vancouver and California.

I don't think that the water exhaust is such an issue, it's really not that much water that is released. But perhaps this requires some research.

Anyway, the hydrogen station is a good idea....get in touch with Ballard Power systems or GM or Honda to see what's happening on that front. Ballard creates the fuel cells that hydrogen powered cars run off of. And they have partnerships with GM and I think Honda. Although that partnership may be a thing of the past.

Or you could contact the city of Vancouver.

You could be a millionaire!!

As for the buried power lines and magnetic fields stuff, that is not my area of expertise.

woo, save the planet!
Posted by cosmicfish on Mar 03, 2005
i think perhaps a hybrid. the power line idea is good, as long as the power is coming from a good source. the goverment is trying to install many wind turbines in grey and bruce county, woo hoo!

but if the power grid goes down then how would people get anywhere?

Hydrogen
Posted by fanoom on Mar 03, 2005
Yeah, I have been doing some research on the Hydrogen station idea. In Australia they are currently trying to get a solar powered hydrogen filling station up and running but are having problems with creating enough hydrogen for the amount of energy being put into it. So my idea about the filling station goes along the lines of basically the same idea, generate your electricity via your typical solar/wind generator, use the old electrode process to split the water molicules, compress the hydrogen, and hopefully create enough fuel to refill your vehicle, every two days? Of course you'd need distilled water to run in a machine like that, not to mention about 15 grand worth of solar/wind generators plus the cost of the machinery, tanks, space.... The cost alone, let alone the maintence... I just see more and more money going into a venture like this. In a age like we live in where cheap seems to be the way to go I can't see a totally environmentally friendly way of doing something happening.

The world goes round
Posted by fanoom on Mar 03, 2005
While pure hydrogen is extremely flammable, so is gasoline, propane, ethanol, butane, all those yummy hydro carbons. While a current gas tank is plastic or steel (just a single wall) a hydrogen fuel container (not a cell) is a triple wall construction with a gel inside one and a vacuum seal between the outside wall. BMW has fire tested, practically blew up theirs. hell they were even saying that if a gasoline were to be introduced now as a viable fuel it would never pass because it is just too dangerous and volitile. That's right, Hydrogen is safer, go figure.

On a completely unrelated note has anyone ever heard of any research being done into an air purification process that is similar to the process of plants for transforming carbons into good old air? Maybe sped up and ran in a friendly fasion?

wind
Posted by Hatful on Mar 03, 2005
wind power is a pretty idea, but not that reliable or efficient, not to mention very space consuming and goddam ugly.
they should put them out on the land or ocean where no one can see them and spend the money (which would be a lot) to run the wires.
bruce country and other populated areas shouldn't be bogged with them.

also
Posted by Hatful on Mar 03, 2005
it wouldn't be at all destructive is cars released only pure oxygen.

oxygen
Posted by fanoom on Mar 03, 2005
No shit, but that would be just dreaming now wouldn't it. You know they can make solar cells that can power a home with only two hours of sunlight a day? But you need to store it... And what do they use? Your traditional acid battery.. There must be a better more efficient storage device out there. Yes Mike, the mythical zero point energy. That would solve pretty much every problem I can foresee with the generation of power... convert everything from AC to DC incorperate in zero point energy.... BAM no need for neuclear power plants, no reason for anyone to be cold ever again. It'd be a friggen miracle.

actually
Posted by Katie on Mar 04, 2005
I personally think the wind turbines are quite elegant to look at. I also don't think they're that big. It's required that they be a certain distance apart, I think so that if one was to fall down a dominoe effect would be prevented. Which means that the fields are still usable.

I actually drove past a huuuuuuge field of the turbines in Spain, they were literally as far as the eye could see and we were driving past them for about 10 minutes. And the fields were still in use for agriculture. It was really quite fabulous, and awe-inspiring.

I think they're a great alternative.

Putting them in the ocean is fine, but there is nothing so spectacular about Bruce County that it shouldn't do it's part in providing a green source of energy.

As an fyi, it is possible to call up your utilities company and request that a percentage of the energy you use be "green". I think most people choose to get 5-10%. It does cost more, as things like wind turbines aren't in use in very many places in Canada yet. And really, Canada needs to invest a significant amount of money to make this a plausible option.

I'm not sure why you think wind energy is inefficient. If there is on turbine, yes that would make it extremely inefficient. But when there are wind farms, they position each turbine at different angles to catch the wind in all its craziness, and I think it's generally about 75% of the turbines that are actually generating energy at any one time.

Other stuff.
Posted by mike on Mar 04, 2005
Yeah, wind turbines are great, so is solar power, but there are other options.

Although at a glance hydro-electric stations seem pretty cool, there are down sides. Mostly that you have to flood ridiculous amounts of land to get them to work good. So... why don't we just go to where the land is already flooded. The ocean. Why can't we build large underwater turbines that take advantage of the huge and powerful underwater currents? Why can't we build tidal generators that take advantage of the huge amount of water being displaced by the moon every day and shit?

What about Geothermal energy? There are lots and lots of steam pockets and underground hot water resevoirs heated by the Earth itself. Other that money (it's just bits of paper and metal, WE have assigned value to it) what is preventing us from harnessing the ridiculous amounts of heat energy the Earth is already generating?

Shit, there is energy flowing all around us, all we have to do is harness it. What about zero-point energy? Screw Fission, screw fusion, tap the power of atoms themselves.

Green solutions
Posted by Nerhael on Mar 04, 2005
http://wired.com/wired/archive/13.02/nuclear.html

This is an article essentially about Nuclear energy and it's goodness etc, but it touches on a lot of that other energy stuff, and some of the problems with it.

For instance, other than solar, I think every other solution get's fought by some other group of people. Turbines kill birds, and take up all this space, hydro kills fish populations, blah blah blah, whine whine whine.

Anyhow, not really here to say anything other than the article was interesting. Give'r a read.

neuclear power
Posted by fanoom on Mar 06, 2005
From what I read in that artical I only got that neuclear power is a cleaner alternative to burning coal (no shit). But in my opinion it is far from perfect, and no where clean enough for me. The FACT that a hosehold can live off of their own solar array to generate all the power they need to run a household is reason enough that we DO NOT NEED POWER GENERATION. Not to mention that environmental groups would support big business in the creation of potentially earth destroying measures of neuclear power makes me nearly sick to my stomach. Human greed is perhaps the most disturbing thing I have ever seen. We want everything for nothing, screw everyone and everything that gets in our way. I'm starting to believe that the only way we can get out of this distructive cycle is an apocolypse. Sorry, those are just my feelings.

.
Posted by phduffy on Mar 06, 2005
I don't know if I really want to get into this, because I've mostly stayed out it since my views are different.

However, I am a strong supporter of nuclear energy and nuclear power. It's magnitudes cheaper than solar or wind power or any other power, and new power plants, such as the new plants being made in China have basically no risk of a meltdown. Alternative energy sources will not work in China or India, as they just can't produce enough energy. Simarly, I suspect (but don't know) that you can't power a factory based on solar energy, so we need power generation. pudding, if you're out there, do you know what percentage of energy goes towards industry, and what percentage goes towards home owners?

I think a Canada without fossil fuels based energy would be great, regardless of whether that's in the form of solar or wind or nuclear or whatever.

Anyways, not trying to argue, just state that there are people who believe in nuclear energy, and it's not all driven by greed, but by the desire to see a clean earth and an equitable one.


to the EXTREME!
Posted by cosmicfish on Mar 07, 2005
let's all just go back to life sans electricity. we should invest our time in learning magic. surely there is less environmental damage and more possibilities.

also, i have been informed that hydrogen cars can only get up to 80 clicks.

80 km/h
Posted by Nerhael on Mar 07, 2005
If that's true about the speed...it's likely a technological limitation of the moment, and not something outside the realm of possibility to break later.

80 km/h
Posted by fanoom on Mar 07, 2005
BMW created the H2R to prove to the world that Hydorgen is a viable fuel for automobiles by breaking the 300 km/h barrier using existing technology (A retrofitted V12). However, a hydrogen fuel CELL car isn't capable of very much speed, and is little more than an electric car from what I heard. Although I have seen an electric car on television that has an accelleration of 0-60 MPH in like 2.3 seconds....that may be a little wrong...but it was definately between 2-3 seconds... which is VERY impresive.

Neuclear Power
Posted by fanoom on Mar 07, 2005
Well Paul, I agree that neuclear power is much more affordable then fully green solutions. However the waste that it generates could one day become our down fall. While a keen foresight has never been one of man's attributes it should become one. We as a lifeform have taken far too much from this planet, and given it only poison in return. Why then would we further poison the world by using a power source that creates life ending waste? If you suggest getting rid of our waste by other measures such as vaults deep bellow the earth's surface or space, you should reconsider it. Dumping has forever been the way of life for us humans, and look where it has gotten us.

Dammit.
Posted by mike on Mar 07, 2005
Blaaaaahh! Fuck money. I'll say it again... money is just a bunch of paper and coins, WE asign value to it.

Nuclear power is NOT green power. I cannot be convinced of this. You can't wander around splitting atoms, making deuterium, sucking in vast amounts of water then heating it up and putting it back into the water source, creating radioactive spent fuel rods that won't be safe for 1000 years, all the while having a SLIM (I'll assume it's very, very, very slim or we wouldn't be screwing around) chance of radioactively contaminating a body of water and a good chunk of land IF something goes wrong, and say that your better beccause you are cheaper . I am also under the understanding that you can enrich the fuel to the point of being weapons grade, and nukes aren't cool. It is better than coal, and other fossil fuels, and likely better that various examples of hydroelectric, I'l admit that, but it is far from a green energy source.

What about biomass? At least it's better than coal, and we gotta do something with all that shit.
What about the geothermal? It's a little expensive... but read the first paragraph again.
What about solar? There are more types than just the panels, I can think of 2 other types. The sun is just sitting there, it's practically begging us to use it.

We could just have a whole bunch of people drag rocks to the top of a big hill, wrap some strings around a generator and the rocks and roll the rocks down for all I care. There is power all around us just waiting to be harnessed... and I'm not just talking about zero point energy.
Anytime something moves there is potential to get energy. The Earth is spinning, that's gotta be something.

And why is noone out there building my tidal generator?

My $0.02
Posted by pudding on Mar 08, 2005
Wow lots of discussion here.

I am not an engineer and haven't read up on this stuff, but here are a couple thoughts: (NOTE: THIS POST IS HUGE AND I APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE)

Households/Solar Power
It's nice to talk about running households on solar cells, etc... and it will eventually happen where more people will switch to that (but remember it costs money initially but will pay off over 10-20 years or whatever). The other trend will be micro generators... ie run-on-river... where a community etc will put in a small turbine in rivers... that is happening more and more because there are lots of opportunities and I am sure technology is improving

Industry
However, I think industry uses WAY WAY WAY more power than houses... the TTC uses a disgusting amount of power. I am too lazy to look it up, but someone go check it out. What do you think it costs to power electro-magnets or run an assembly line at GM or move heavy pieces of metal around etc... a lot more than running your computer. We need serious & reliable power generation to do that... and solar cells with batteries don't cut it. So we have a few options....

Nuclear
I don't know much about it... my sister is working for a company that may be helping to start up some reactors at the Bruce. It is scary to think of something going wrong... but that won't happen. Mice will ambush and kill youbefore we have a meltdown. They are stupid expensive and probably take years to build, but places like China and India will need them as they industrialize.

Wind
They look pretty inthe winter, but I don't think you want to live near them. We (my work) have a wind farm in Quebec near a town. You can see some of the turbines from the town and while it looks nice, you probaby don't want to see it out of your living room every day. Our towers are ~65m high + the blades which are maybe 20m? And they don't kill birds. No one wants a bird to hit a turbine... we do bird studies before building and follow up testing. City buildings kill WAY more birds. They are a good source of power (probably 50% capacity factor or production as a % of its rated power)... not sure what the payback on them is, but it must be damn good as they are going up everywhere.... Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, etc... plus if you are lucky enough to have a farm where someone wants to put some down, you get paid damn good $$ to rent the chunk of land, plus you can farm arouind it

Water
Mike talked about oceans etc... I think they are doing that... but doing anything underwater is expensive as shit. That is one downside, but there is lots of energy there waiting for someone to come up with a good way to harness it. Run-on-river is good... and will start becoming more popular.

The cost of these choices is important. Nothing gets done unless it makes money... a household buying a solar set-up is no different than a country building a nuclear plant. If you want a green solution it may cost more now but it will be awesome for our kids/grandkids. It's a choice we need to make.


.
Posted by phduffy on Mar 08, 2005
Mike and fanoon, I wasn't trying to convince you of the benefits of nuclear energy, as that's not going to happen. I also don't think you're going to un-convince me of nuclear energy. I was just making the point to show that not everyone who's in favour of nuclear is doing it because they're greedy. For some of us it might just be ignorance.
:)