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Author Topic: Could we use a ring of giant prisms to collect sunlight for power generation?  (Read 6733 times)

Offline WhitePlanetaryMirror

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So I'm kind of a different kind of scientist, but I wanted to see what kind of reactions I got from this posting. Not to make you all fall into a floydian reverie, but What would happen if we were able to set up a ring of giant prisms, equadistant from one another around the earth. Would we be able to glean some kind of perpetual energy collection, maybe have one of the prisms designed to focus light toward some recieving apperatus on the planet surface. A crazy idea, and as I said i'm no physicist, but It seems like the sun is our best bet for energy, so mirrors, lenses and prisms all seem like things we could use to collect and harnass some of that yellow goodness.

Mod edit - Formatted the subject as a question - please do this to help keep the forum tidy and easy to navigate - thanks.
« Last Edit: 30/10/2008 10:10:45 by BenV »


 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Yes it IS a crazy idea. 

Prisms and lenses operate by using the refraction of light in an extended body of material so therefore involve large quantities of material in orbit.

You can do much better by using mirrors to deflect and concentrate solar radiation.  An effective mirror can be made with a few microns of metal typically aluminium on a durable plastic film support typically mylar a fraction of a millimetere thick. A vast mirror then only weighs a few kilograms and can be rolled or folded up to put into orbit and opened up.
« Last Edit: 30/10/2008 11:11:03 by Soul Surfer »
 

lyner

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Every square meter of the Earth's surface at the Equator receives nearly 1kW of the Sun's power at Noon. Why bother to expend energy by building a spaceborne system when it's available down here? You could have duplicate sets of terrestrial 'receivers' all round the Earth at a fraction of the cost of a single reflector / 'focusser' in space.
There really isn't any shortage of energy on the Earth. It's just a matter of the will / need to use it. As the more accessible forms become less available or as global warming gets more noticeable, the Alternative ~Sources will all be used.
 

Offline WhitePlanetaryMirror

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Yes I only hope it's not too late by then, the biosphere is already seeing drastic variances from normality, and the technosphere isn't showing any signs of slowing. People are still driving humvees ans pushing to drill the lifeblood out of alaska. Is it going to take a massive natural disaster before we say okay enough is enough, lets sign keyoto and pull our heads out. I mean, isn't there already a car that runs on pure water, and isn't there a harmonic oscillator that has broken the laws of entropy? I saw a video where a scienist plugged this oscillating device submerged in water into the wall. he claimed that the amount of hydrogen gas bubbling out of the water was equivelent to a greater amount of energy then the machine was consuming from the dc outlet. I also heard that the government was systematically assassinating free energy pioneers, I know sound pretty "conspiracy theory" but people are greedy, and a lot of political hands smell like gasoline.
 

Offline WhitePlanetaryMirror

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Ok so if it doesn't help us with energy, lets talk about asthetics, in theory if we could do that, and get those kind of large materials into space, is it possible that we could put a ring rainbow around the earth, one that was visible from the platet surface and one that intrigued outside "visitors" to the point of making contact.
 

lyner

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You old hippie, you!
 

Online yor_on

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come on WPM :)
Don't you give governments and bureaucracy's to much credit here?
Nah:)

Otherwise the plastic film is a good idea, but it would probably act as a sun driven sail, also there would be a lot of trouble transporting that energy to Earth.

We should adapt to what we want the Earth to be, not testing it for 'maximum people impact'.
We need to learn how to plan for the future. And change our energy sources, not that it will stop the nearest decades of warming.

The CO2 cycle is fifty years from 'source' to 'sink' and man-made CO2 is abundant on Earth.
Methane exist in smaller amounts with a 'life-cycle' around ten to twelwe years, and about a twenty one times 'better' heat holding. So if we stopped all our man-made emissions today the gradual heating of our planet would still go up for decades.

There are the deposits hiding in frozen so-called gas hydrates, that forms on land or under the sea. There exist large frozen deposits under the oceans and if the temperature continuous to rise those will be released at some time. And the depth (2000 meters to 10 000 meters) they are at (normally) makes it very hard to extract and use as a energy source as some ahh:) loves to promise us.

"Gas hydrates are a potential energy source found in permafrost environments and under the sea floor. They form when water and methane gas come together under extreme pressure and in a cold environment. The water and gas are frozen together at a molecular level. One cubic metre of gas hydrates contains 164-cubic-meters of methane gas, and 0.8 cubic metres of water."

And in Siberia Oerjan Gustafsson of Stockholm University in Sweden told the Independent newspaper in an email from the vessel Jacob Smirnitskyi.


"An extensive area of intense methane release was found. At earlier sites we had found elevated levels of dissolved methane.

"Yesterday, for the first time, we documented a field where the release was so intense that the methane did not have time to dissolve into the seawater but was rising as methane bubbles to the sea surface. These 'methane chimneys' were documented on echo sounder and with seismic [instrument]. At some locations he said concentrations of the gas were 100 times the background level. These anomalies were documented in the East Siberian Sea and the Laptev Sea, covering several tens of thousands of square kilometres.

Gustafsson added: "The conventional thought has been that the permafrost 'lid' on the sub-sea sediments on the Siberian shelf should cap and hold the massive reservoirs of shallow methane deposits in place.

"The growing evidence for release of methane in this inaccessible region may suggest that the permafrost lid is starting to get perforated and thus leaking methane."

Estimates for the amount of carbon locked up in the hydrates vary from 500 to 5000 gigatonnes. Scientists predict that warming will release some of these deposits, but modeling the temperature rise that would trigger significant releases has proved extremely difficult."

The depth of those frozen seabeds was very shallow but then again everything around there have been frozen for a very long time. And the tundra (land) is also opening up into mud and kilometer long seas with methane releasing.

Among the most stupid arguments I've seen recently is to look at this as a energy asset, to me it's the opposite, it's the beginning of a major irrecoverable turning point for our earth. And neither will it be any asset that the Arctic becomes ice free. The big guns have already started to split the 'ownerships' to oil and gas rights there.
As if more gas and oil would solve it for us?
 
« Last Edit: 08/11/2008 00:11:58 by yor_on »
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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I mean, isn't there already a car that runs on pure water

No. Perhaps you are confused with a hydrogen powered car, which burns hydrogen and oxygen with the waste product of water. Energy is required to obtain this hydrogen in the first place by splitting water, so this is a form of energy storage, not an energy resource.

Quote
and isn't there a harmonic oscillator that has broken the laws of entropy? I saw a video where a scienist plugged this oscillating device submerged in water into the wall. he claimed that the amount of hydrogen gas bubbling out of the water was equivelent to a greater amount of energy then the machine was consuming from the dc outlet. I also heard that the government was systematically assassinating free energy pioneers, I know sound pretty "conspiracy theory" but people are greedy, and a lot of political hands smell like gasoline.

You do sound a bit of a conspiracy theorist. The fact is that the first law of thermodynamics, which is one of the most fundamental physical laws there is, states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms. It would take a hell of a lot more than a "scientist" claiming to have broken it for me to be convinced.
 

lyner

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Quote
I also heard that the government was systematically assassinating free energy pioneers,
I wonder where you heard that. There are legions of Web Pages that will tell you about all sorts of conspiracies. You just have to read them intelligently and in context. Look for the key words which distinguish them from the authentic News Sites and serious Science Sites.
We do have our share of loony posts on this forum but they are usually 'modified' by the more mature replies.
Despite what some people say, Science is a lot less of a 'matter of opinion' than some people may imply.
 

Offline WhitePlanetaryMirror

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All of you are hung up on your laws of thermodynamics, if you were really keeping up to date you should be aware that new findings in quantum physics have completely shattered the fundamental thesis' for labratory observation which subsume every physical law we have in existance, einstein said it with his "spooky action at a glance" speil, if quantum theory is true then this era of science has ended, why? because we have proven that we are all part of a unified field, at our very core we are one being, What does this mean? have we found god? how do we go about creating a viable science to explore this new construct of our reality? I think scientists like Dr. Masaru Emoto with his experiments with water as well as Dr. William Tiller and his intention imprinted devices are making the most phenomenal strides in the world of physics and all science for that matter and both of them have adopted the new paradigm of interconnectedness.
 

lyner

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Dr. Masaru Emoto seems, to me, to be a bit of a Pseudoscientist, I'm afraid. For experimental results to be believable, they need to be reliable and repeatable.
Despite his obvious passion, he does not convince me.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Tell me which laws have been shattered.
 

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