"Power Surge" PBS.org

Posted by Coolbeans on April 20, 2011 (11:57PM)

For those interested in New & old Power options. I watched this last night on Nova channel. Covers wind, solar, nuclear, bio-fuels and other power sources. It has the Sanmen site I visited in it as well and quick review of the Japan plant.

If you follow the link to the site you can see when it is playing on tv in your area by clicking the check local listings and typing your zip code.

Posted by incubus on April 21, 2011 (12:51AM)

Big fan of Nova here.

I missed this one, but a recent item you might find extremely interesting on this topic, the "Rossi experiment".

It may well be quackery, but to date the experiment has been done successfully twice, the most recent one being signed off as having legitimacy by the Swedish Skeptics Society (a group of respected scientists that debunk things like this).

This article realistically sums events up to now - http://www.livescience.com/13745-newest-cold-fusion-machine-impossible.html

Posted by UrbanSprawl on April 21, 2011 (09:32AM)

Great show with realistic view, no black boxes:


Posted by Coolbeans on April 22, 2011 (01:01PM)


I checked out the link you provided for "Rossi Experiment" sounds interesting. These days if it even smells credible they will have plenty of people trying to promote it for profit. Any idea why it isn't getting any major publicity?

For the Power Surge program I thought China's use of Solar panels and LEDs has made great leaps to advance those technology's.

The Bio-fuel brewed like beer could have potential if they could get the cost down for the process. That would take our oil needs down. 

Not into Solar yet but have some Bio-fuel stocks.   

Posted by incubus on April 22, 2011 (01:54PM)

Cool, mindful that the patent office still categorizes "cold fusion" with "perpetual motion", until I hear more accredited sources verify the process I'll assume it's quackery, but keep an ear to the ground.

I remember a lot of this type stuff in the late 70's - early 80's after the oil crisis and very little of it ever turned out to be credible.

CNBC had a documentary on this topic last night - "Fuel", reminded me of this thread.

They went heavily into the topic of bio-diesel, which is basically any form of organic oil.

It works on any diesel engine without modification, the big problem is the cost, you can easily figure that out the next time you're at the supermarket by checking the price of vegetable oil.

One very interesting thing they discussed, apparently there's a type of algae that thrives in raw sewage and produces large amounts of oil as a byproduct.

This cultivation process takes three days, costs nothing in raw material input - actually makes money by saving the costs of sewage treatment.

It introduces zero CO emissions because the CO released in combustion is CO that has been recently sequestered by the algae.

They also proposed the concept that in coming decades, municipal sewage may merge with power plants by farming algae from sewage and fueling energy production.

A double benefit by cutting sewage treatment and energy costs.

The only foreseeable problem, the big oil lobbyists in Washington who control our government behind closed doors.

Posted by UrbanSprawl on April 22, 2011 (02:55PM)

The only thing I didn't like about the show is they didn't mention CO2 is the by-product of the beer making process. 

I believe our best solution is solar, electric vehicles, and eventually vehicle-to-grid integration.  The main hurdle is manufacturing a $2/watt solar panel to make it profitable for the consumer without using subsidies.  Currently it's at about $6.50/watt before subsidies.  Many in the industry believe DOW chemical is the closest with their shingles since the installation costs will be sunk costs.  


Posted by incubus on April 22, 2011 (03:17PM)

UrbanSprawl said: The only thing I didn't like about the show is they didn't mention CO2 is the by-product of the beer making process. 

 The CO byproduct is already circulating in the ecosystem, it's not like CO  from oil that was sequestered and trapped over billions of years and now being abruptly reintroduced into the global ecosystem.

As these bio-fuels eject CO in combustion, they also sequester that CO when produced/grown. 

Posted by incubus on April 22, 2011 (10:04PM)

Great article on the topic in Washingtons Blog today:

"As CNET noted in 2007:

Sixty-two percent of the energy consumed in America today is lost through transmission and general inefficiency. In other words, it doesn't go toward running your car or keeping your lights on.

Put another way:

We waste 650% more energy than all of our nuclear power plants produce
We waste 280% more energy than we produce by coal
We waste 235% more energy than we produce by natural gas 
We waste 150% more energy than we generate with other petroleum products

The Department of Energy notes:

Only about 15% of the energy from the fuel you put in your tank gets used to move your car down the road or run useful accessories, such as air conditioning. The rest of the energy is lost to engine and driveline inefficiencies and idling. Therefore, the potential to improve fuel efficiency with advanced technologies is enormous."


Posted by Fiddie on April 23, 2011 (08:24AM)

From FreeDicionary.com
Noun1.internal-combustion engine - a heat engine in which combustion occurs inside the engine rather than in a separate furnace; heat expands a gas that either moves a piston or turns a gas turbine
The operative word is HEAT.  Heat engines can be found here.
Semi-serious rant mirroring incy's energy efficiency post can be found here.

Posted by OldFart on April 23, 2011 (03:59PM)

It requires some outside-the-box thinking but this heat we waist now could be captured and regenerated into some useful. Many hybrid vehicles charge their battery when braking and other heat transfers. I herd somewhere that the Dutch are trying to install piezo-electric  devices under the road, basically generate electricity from the weight of the cars passing the road 

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