How do alternative energy sources work?


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    Default How do alternative energy sources work?

    Most of them operate on exactly the same principle that fossil-fuel energy sources work. Something is exerted to turn a magnet inside a coil of wire, or a coil of wire inside a magnet.

    This converts the mechanical energythat turns the thing into electrical energy.

    In a fossil fuel generator, you burn the fuel to heat water, which pushes steam through a turbine to turn the generator.

    For a wind turbine, it just uses the wind to turn gigantic fan blades to turn the generator.

    For hydroelectric, the water falling through the dam turns the turbines.

    For solar-thermal, an array of mirrors collects and concentrates sunlight to heat a target, which heat can boil water and turn a turbine.

    The only one that's really different in the fundamental mechanism is photovoltaic. Photovoltaic utilizes the Photoelectric effectinside a p-n junction (diode), where light pops electrons out of the depleted region of the p-n junction where they are collected at the terminals, generating a voltage and current.

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    Default Re: How do alternative energy sources work?

    Thorium is a real solution too. Oak Ridge National Laboratory ran a molten salt Thorium breeder reactor for about 7years at full capacity. I think it was a worthwhile experiment. Opinions do differ however and the inherently unsafe high pressure water cooled Uranium reactors won the bid because those types of reactors have the peculiar benefit of producing weapons grade plutonium.

    That's a pretty sad historical fact and the main reason you don't hear too much about it. But it's true. A safer, cheaper, more abundant source of nuclear power with practically no waste was passed up to make way for a more expensive and complicated and dangerous technology for the sole reason that it must be tightly controlled by our military of course, because of the simple fact that it produces weapons grade plutonium as a byproduct and a thorium fueled reactor can't.

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Had this technology been developed further America would be a super duper power with oil reserves to spare. But no! They didn't want safe abundant energy! They wanted mutually assured destruction! MAD, and at our expense physically and financially.

    LOOK IT UP! Oak Ridge ran this thing full bore. It worked! It should have been the eureka moment like when Edison threw the switch! But it was all wrong because there was another burgeoning big business on the horizon which solved the difficult question of how to mass produce unobtainium, and they did it right under our noses, and they made us feel so insecure by scaring us and convincing us that it's SO unsafe that nobody else but them can possibly control it.
    Well the facts differ materially from what we were told. It's apples and oranges as far as safety is concerned, first of all when you compare these two technologies. It's apples and oranges as far as nuclear waste as well. Thorium reactors have the amazing ability to use up the waste that's just sitting there. Not just the weapons, but the other stuff as well.
    It's shame, shame, shame and you know who's to blame.



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    Default Re: How do alternative energy sources work?

    Yeah....you didn't have to win a war so you can live free........put that up your pipe and smoke it......the fact that a few Japs learned the hard way and had to get Nuked is history.....play with fire and get burned.



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    Default Re: How do alternative energy sources work?

    It's important to note that, while these are the ones we've actually made to scale, there's plenty of other less-common power generating techniques. For example, the peltier effect- "peltier devices" or "heat pumps" have a circuit where the material changes in a sequence- say from copper to aluminium to copper- causes heat to move away from one side and build up on the other. If you don't cool down the side on which the heat is building up, then this increases the resistance of the circuit and it no longer occurrs- but, the effect passively happening to the material also moves a current through it, and it is this principle on which 'nuclear batteries' are built- they're essentially kept warm on one side by fissile radiation from a nuclear power source, and cold on the other by the dark vacuum of space. These devices are also used in high end computing as active cooling of processor and memory components, and in small scale refrigeration- you see them a lot in those alibaba wine-fridge things that hold 12 bottles.

    and there's no end to the possibilities of electrical effects- if you cast a piece of wire into a block of concrete, and hit the block with a hammer, a current transmits through the wire. the passive photovoltaics use a principle where photons of light hitting a particle of silicon bond and act with the material as electrons instead of being scattered back, and this could probably be enhanced if there were some capacitive layer of latent free electrons for the photons to bump, so more of them did the bumping than the scattering, a bit like the way your phone screen 10 years ago might have used the resistive force of your finger displacing crystals in a circuit grid electrode- also generating small currents that the phone measures to - where, now, it measures a change in the electrical field of your finger passing above and coming into contact with the screen, which gives it higher sensitivity at the expense of a small amount of current output as a constant overhead... but I'm not an expert on this or a physicist or anything like that, I'm just one ******* running my own thought experiments and trying the stuff myself. Haven't tried this one, will report back when I have.

    But, I hope what I have shared illustrates- there's lots more places to look for this stuff.



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    Default Re: How do alternative energy sources work?

    The end result is you can't get anything for nothing and the best you can expect is a small percentage of the available energy input from any source.....once mankind realises that life is just a short preparatory trip to the grave, then, in the next world, if you haven't been a good fellow all your troubles will come back to haunt you as you burn to a crisp......of that you can be sure.



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    Default Re: How do alternative energy sources work?

    Nonsense. We have lots of reasonable ways to turn water into steam and vent that into a circular chamber to spin something with magnets on, so we can put wires by the magnet and harness the current generated.

    Or... differential heating, voltage threshold passed on capacitance... and so on. It's not so much that any of these are free, it's that they're all relatively straightforward to do work instead of humonkeys like us, a bit like the same way that the farmer doesn't grow the crops, but he does all the work of and supplies all the material for getting them into position to grow and the keeping away of the things that prevent that growth. I think that's a good model of the human interactions with electricity- it's not quite 'set it and forget it', but 'check the water once a day and make sure nothing obviously bad is happening without you doing something' that I think we should be shooting for.



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    Default Re: How do alternative energy sources work?

    Yes that is true ....lots of ways , but they are all so inefficient that we spend more burning the fuel than we get out as an energy resource, then we burn that up too and get less again.........mankind is the only animal that needs to have energy resources just to live.



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