The Naked Scientists Forum
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18/05/2006 00:45:42 »
Well i was thinking, why cant we put massive solar energy feilds across the deserts?
It is largely unutilized and wasted space and energy, i suppose a problem might be sand buildup on solar cells though huh...
well i still think it would work, perhaps using that solar/wind combination that uses heat from light to create wind to turn a large turbine (theres another post on that somewhere)
Also, what prevents us from making reaally large oceanic solar platforms?
That is largely unutilized space, and the only problems i could see are large storms (which could be avoided having them placed around the equator) and oxidation (which could be prevented in some way im sure)
The other problem would be getting the energy back to land, i suppose you could use underwater cables (they have things like this already)
Also, why cant we utilize deep ocean currents?
There is certaintly lots of energy there, all that moving water, just place turbines in it and you can get energy.
The only problem i see with this is that they might get grown over with sea life... I wonder if you could prvent this in some way...
If you could this would be an ideal energy solution.
As well as this, what about thermal energy sources?
There is thermal energy in many places, you just needa dig deep enough.
Im just curious why things like these cannot be done to increase the energy effeciency of our planet...
Re: Alternative energies
Reply #1 on:
18/05/2006 02:36:35 »
The problems with large solar arrays are:
1) Massive silicon usage – a lot of sand consumed to create the solar cells.
2) Large areas of land or sea put in the shade.
3) Change in the albedo of the local ground.
I believe people are looking at using underwater currents, but the technology is extremely immature at present, and the ecological impact unknown.
Thermal energy is utilised in some localities. One problem is that the area around which you extract the heat from will cool over time – it depends on how much heat you extract. Where there are presently natural geysers, it is not difficult to use the heat from these to draw power (although doing so will have local environmental impacts, as the surrounding areas that have developed to utilise this heat will be deprived of the heat). Where you need to drill your own bore holes to get deep underground heat, this remains relatively expensive.
Not saying that any of these are to be dismissed, but they all have problems (some present technical obstacles, and some future potential problems). There are no magic solutions that will come without any cost.