I've been more than aware of what folks have been up to with Fusion. It's still a technology demo. Like Lithium-Air batteries, they are a 'thing' that science can point at and say they're doing stuff - but they are very far away from a practical, real-world application.I guess you're not aware that they already have sustained fusion reactions. The only issue now is getting a net energy gain from the process. Right now you have to put in more energy than you get out. Thanks for being constructive though...
Just last year. They got 192 lasers to create a 500 TW flash. They need to multipy that by 1,000. AND figure out a way to contain it. But hey - don't take my word for it. How about MIT?
This assumes they can resolve all the issues in #5..."First, the current official plan is that ITER will demonstrate net fusion gain (Q = 10, that is, ten times more fusion power out than heating power put in) in about 2028 or 2029. At that point, designs can begin for a “DEMO”, which is the fusion community’s term for a demonstration power plant. That would come online around 2040 (and would putt watts on the grid, although probably at an economic loss at first), and would be followed by (profitable, economic) commercial plants around 2050."
1 – Non-inductive current drive.
2 – Confining a 'burning plasma.'
3 – Confining a steady-state burning plasma while avoiding off-normal events.
4 – Validated predictive capability for fusion-grade plasmas.
5 – Diagnosing a burning plasma.
6 – Better understanding of plasma–wall interactions.
7 – Materials for plasma-facing components.
8 – Magnets that meet the plasma physics requirements and allow reactor maintainability at reasonable costs.
9 – Design and materials for tritium fuel cycle and power extraction.
10 – Reliability, availability, maintainability, and inspectability (RAMI) of the reactor designs.
So that's quite a LOT of assumptions that they are making to even say they will have anything of value by the year 2050.
Short term: Generation III Nuclear. Anyone who mentions the term "Alternative Energy" and doesn't include nuclear shouldn't be taken seriously. They should be laughed off the stage. Nuclear provides the most power in the smallest footprint with zero after-construction carbon emissions. Solar will have a significant role too.
Medium Term: Thorium Based Nuclear Reactors. Pioneers in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s... the technology wasn't truly mature enough yet. But it's time is fast approaching.
Long Term: Space Based Solar. It's not far fetched at all, nor particularly difficult to build, especially since the "sllar panels" would be printed quasi-fabric like quilts rather than rigid panels. Sound far fetched? The US launched a signals intelligence spy sattelite with a mesh antenna (so very similar technology) in January, that once it unfolded, became larger than football field. Energy would be transported from space via laser.
Very Long Term: Fusion. Three approaches are being worked on. One will succeed. It will then have to be scaled up and physically downsized (both challenges, but far from impossible). But because of low investment, Fusion development timescales is very long.
Near Term: Batteries. For everything. Including cars. Plugging everything into the grid is fine.
Long Term: Fuel Cells. Again, an investment mountain more than a technology one.
Wind particularly is completely a first-world feel good exercise. It isn't scalable at all.
here's the article from the source: https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleas...-12-07-01.html
the amount of surface area they cover? Granted, the efficiency of these particular cells are like ten times less than the silicon cells, but this is just an example. There's plenty of innovation in the area of photovoltaics research, so don't discount solar cells simply because their efficiency is (presently) severely limited.
Last edited by Lolercaust; 2012-09-13 at 09:24 PM.
No - I understood it perfectly - it is you who misread the article... And I quote...I think you misunderstood it.
The energy release was 500TW. "The Energy release needs to rise by a factor of around 1,000"."To hit the point of 'ignition', that energy release needs to rise by a factor of around 1,000. The technology challenges are considerable."
M'eh - I really doubt this is practical in scale. It's one thing to put up one satellite doing this. It's quite another to put up dozens, or hundreds of them. Especially when you consider that we're already running out of 'real estate' up there. There's so much space junk up there already that it is pretty mind boggling. How you'd jockey around all these huge solar panels without having them get smashed to bits by the thousands of other satellites and other junk up there would be quite an accomplishment.Space Based Solar. It's not far fetched at all, nor particularly difficult to build, especially since the "sllar panels" would be printed quasi-fabric like quilts rather than rigid panels. Sound far fetched? The US launched a signals intelligence spy sattelite with a mesh antenna (so very similar technology) in January, that once it unfolded, became larger than football field. Energy would be transported from space via laser.
It is more that I discount solar because it is inefficient AND expensive AND geographically limited - but I digress. I'm not saying give up on solar. I'm saying we don't pin our nation's energy future on it. Solar will always have a niche in some places, but it is simply not practical as a solution for the "nation's" energy needs. Solar will never be able to reliably or affordably provide power for all the things the nation needs (residential, transportation, manufacturing).There's plenty of innovation in the area of photovoltaics research, so don't discount solar cells simply because their efficiency is (presently) severely limited.
Last edited by The Riddler; 2012-09-13 at 09:33 PM.
i think tidal power can be a good thing too, i honestly think the effects on the wildlife are neglectible.
solar energy is a "no brainer" there are some really large thermal through plants and the solar panels ones aren't that inefficient anymore.
wind energy is pretty usable as well. roughly 20% of denmarks energy usage can be sated through it!
but the real problem lies within the crazy amount of energy we use. just take the usa as an example they need bout 90MW/h per capita thats more than double the amount of the EU-27 and close to 5 times as much as china but some might say you can't/shouldn't compare those.
I've always thought that nuclear energy makes for a better replacement over our current use of fossil fuels. The problem however is, whenever someone gets the thought of a nuclear power plant near their home. They immediately get the images of Homer Simpson workers, Mr. Burns tycoons, three-eyed fishes in their lakes, and of nuclear pollution as a result of steam (water actually) generated by power plants, in their heads :/.
Last edited by Pud'n; 2012-09-13 at 11:16 PM.
Centennial wind farm we have here.
Furthermore, wind farms do not require exclusive use of the land.
Last edited by Masark; 2012-09-13 at 10:59 PM.
I'd go for nuclear power in the transition stage to fusion power, but I know the political climate is set against it.
What has been made by QQ can be unmade by QQ!!!
The only reason enery output from fusion is less than the input is due to them being small. No one is or has ever been concerned about this as a real problem since scaling up increases the output much faster than the input requirements. The biggest problem is degredation of the containment walls. It is a big problem but unsuprisingly that is a large focus on research.
Any energy source that humanity can tap into at will, is going to be abused until it is depleted or until it tears our environment apart. If we could find a way to syphon the sun's energy instead of having to wait for it to arrive naturally we would probably exhaust that in a couple of hundred years.
Which is exactly why the suns energy is the safest bet... (By that I mean solar/wind/water/biofuel/plants which are all derived from the sun) If we can learn to survive on that alone (learn to exploit it more efficiently and reduce the energy consumption to that level) our civilization might have a chance not to destroy itself.
I think solar is best alternative of energy.Solar panels are really a fantastic idea for homes. Installing solar panels in the house will increase the resale value of your house and you are completely independent of energy.solar panel absorbs the energy from sun light and convert that energy into electricity.
---------- Post added 2012-12-03 at 01:42 PM ----------
wind power can also be a good option :-)
Don't necro old threads, even if they are still up to discussion, just make a new one if so.
Last edited by Majad; 2012-12-03 at 01:49 PM.