Any new renewable energy ideas? Watch

Snagprophet
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Not sure if this belongs in this board but I'll post it anyway.

I can't remember if I read about this, or someone mentioned it to me or I've made it up myself, but what does anyone reckon about turbines placed in underwater currents? Currents always flow. Would it affect the current because it's a large structure? Would the current move so these turbines couldn't be static? It sounds like a rather lucrative field, having just looked at those Sellafield pictures (not an anti-nuclear hippie but renewables are all home grown and allow us energy independence) it seems like a nice alternative assuming we don't sort out the waste issues.

These currents could be used to create what we get with all turbines running flat out.
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Balloon Baboon
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Masterbate emergency phone charger.

Title says it all.
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Blind Ferret
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If only I could generate electricity from my cynicism, I'd give you a few watts. As far as I know renewable sources such as turbines cost more than they generate, we also live in an economical environment where the cure matters less than the treatment, if that makes sense.
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Balloon Baboon
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(Original post by Blind Ferret)
If only I could generate electricity from my cynicism, I'd give you a few watts. As far as I know renewable sources such as turbines cost more than they generate, we also live in an economical environment where the cure matters less than the treatment, if that makes sense.
On the serious note. He's correct. Turbines are just not cost effective at the moment.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Lee R)
On the serious note. He's correct. Turbines are just not cost effective at the moment.
Nor do they generate much electricity a lot of the time; most of the time when I see them they're either totally static or very weakly moving. We seem to live in a wonderful climate where most of the time they generate little power, but when they have the opportunity to generate loads they're hitting the speed limiter.
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RF_PineMarten
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(Original post by Blind Ferret)
As far as I know renewable sources such as turbines cost more than they generate, we also live in an economical environment where the cure matters less than the treatment, if that makes sense.
No they don't. Renewable sources can easily produce more electricity in their lifetime than it takes to produce them in the first place. And efficiency is increasing all the time, solar panels can compete with fossil fuel power stations in some countries.
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Jammy Duel
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And if Lockheed Martin's Fusion claims are true then the need for renewable power, at least in wealthy countries, goes away, that is of course unless their technology is absurdly expensive, but even then it will just get cheaper and more effective over time.
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Manitude
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(Original post by Snagprophet)
Not sure if this belongs in this board but I'll post it anyway.

I can't remember if I read about this, or someone mentioned it to me or I've made it up myself, but what does anyone reckon about turbines placed in underwater currents? Currents always flow. Would it affect the current because it's a large structure? Would the current move so these turbines couldn't be static? It sounds like a rather lucrative field, having just looked at those Sellafield pictures (not an anti-nuclear hippie but renewables are all home grown and allow us energy independence) it seems like a nice alternative assuming we don't sort out the waste issues.

These currents could be used to create what we get with all turbines running flat out.
Tidal currents can be used to generate electricity. But they're not cheap as they're so huge and they can disrupt wildlife and shipping lanes from what I remember, although it's not as bad as say a tidal barrage.

I'm in favour of them as a short-mid term replacement for fossil fuels personally, but it's technology that will become obsolete when the neodymium and other rare earth metals used in the magnets for the turbines run out, or when fusion is sorted.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
And if Lockheed Martin's Fusion claims are true then the need for renewable power, at least in wealthy countries, goes away, that is of course unless their technology is absurdly expensive, but even then it will just get cheaper and more effective over time.
lol. Lockheed Martin claims are there to try and attract government or other commercial partnership investment.

No details have been provided and their own press release states: "the real breakthroughs occur when experiments take place". Meaning, the whole thing is a drawing board exercise.

They don't even claim they have solved the plasma confinement problem with no information on the critical parameters of plasma temperature, density or confinement time.

Expect this to be the same as other fusion claims which are; "within then next few decades" - for the last 70 years.
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pjm600
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(Original post by Snagprophet)
Not sure if this belongs in this board but I'll post it anyway.

I can't remember if I read about this, or someone mentioned it to me or I've made it up myself, but what does anyone reckon about turbines placed in underwater currents? Currents always flow. Would it affect the current because it's a large structure? Would the current move so these turbines couldn't be static? It sounds like a rather lucrative field, having just looked at those Sellafield pictures (not an anti-nuclear hippie but renewables are all home grown and allow us energy independence) it seems like a nice alternative assuming we don't sort out the waste issues.

These currents could be used to create what we get with all turbines running flat out.

Underwater turbines can disturb the natural flow, with potential impacts on wildlife, fishing, shipping etc.

Such currents usually occur in areas far from where the energy is used, requiring the creation of extensive infrastructure to carry the power (eg undersea cables).

Perhaps the best, most workable, solution at present is to lower energy usage through increasing efficiency and decreasing demand.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by uberteknik)
lol. Lockheed Martin claims are there to try and attract government or other commercial partnership investment.

No details have been provided and their own press release states: "the real breakthroughs occur when experiments take place". Meaning, the whole thing is a drawing board exercise.

They don't even claim they have solved the plasma confinement problem with no information on the critical parameters of plasma temperature, density or confinement time.

Expect this to be the same as other fusion claims which are; "within then next few decades" - for the last 70 years.
One would hope though that if they're saying they plan to build and start testing within a year they have a good idea what they're planning to do, even if they don't make that information public. Charles Chase implies that the confinement problem has been solved in that by some undisclosed mechanism the Beta for the rector =~1, so at least it would be a lot easier to contain than in a Tokamak Ring.
Even if T4 amounts to nothing directly, it will still be progress in as much as one less thing on the list of things that might work, or a lead on further development leading to success.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
One would hope though that if they're saying they plan to build and start testing within a year they have a good idea what they're planning to do, even if they don't make that information public. Charles Chase implies that the confinement problem has been solved in that by some undisclosed mechanism the Beta for the rector =~1, so at least it would be a lot easier to contain than in a Tokamak Ring.
Even if T4 amounts to nothing directly, it will still be progress in as much as one less thing on the list of things that might work, or a lead on further development leading to success.
What I would be seriously concerned about is if Lockheed Martin cashes in on worldwide science and R&D which is freely available and paid for by the global taxpayer, and then makes unimaginable profit off the back of it.

Rather like trying to patent the discovery of the Human Genome.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by uberteknik)
What I would be seriously concerned about is if Lockheed Martin cashes in on worldwide science and R&D which is freely available and paid for by the global taxpayer, and then makes unimaginable profit off the back of it.

Rather like trying to patent the discovery of the Human Genome.
you're concerned about this? They're a for profit organisation, what're they going to do? Invest huge sums of money into this to then keep it in the public domain and not, almost certainly succeed in, making back their investments and a massive profit.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
And if Lockheed Martin's Fusion claims are true then the need for renewable power, at least in wealthy countries, goes away, that is of course unless their technology is absurdly expensive, but even then it will just get cheaper and more effective over time.
Their fusion claims are almost certainly not true or at the very least, a massive exaggeration.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
you're concerned about this? They're a for profit organisation, what're they going to do? Invest huge sums of money into this to then keep it in the public domain and not, almost certainly succeed in, making back their investments and a massive profit.
Having worked (in partnership) with them for many years, I know that they are ruthless asset strippers going in for the kill when the hard work is already done and paid for.

They have openly flaunted their strategy to strip all of the 'good bits' of developed fusion science and put them together to make profit.

That for me is same as having had the taxpayer foot the development bill for national infrastructure only for it to be sold off for £1 and then corporations tart it up, claim they came up with the big ideas and charge the earth to use something we already own.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Their fusion claims are almost certainly not true or at the very least, a massive exaggeration.
Time will tell, doesn't change that IF they're true it makes talk of renewable largely waste of time.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Time will tell, doesn't change that IF they're true it makes talk of renewable largely waste of time.
Actually, it doesn't. A lot of people make out fusion power to be some kind of miraculous panacea that can solve all of our problems. Whilst fusion power would undoubtedly be a good thing, there are still plenty of issues with it. Getting hold of the raw materials in the first place, for instance, is the first of several issues. No single source can be responsible for our energy needs and fusion or not, renewables will have to play an important role in any long-term energy strategy. There are plenty of places where renewable energy simply makes more sense than fusion. An obvious example is developing communities such as many rapidly growing places in Africa where solar energy is probably their best hope for sustainable growth. Plenty of countries will continue to use their geography for energy, like hydroelectric and geothermal power, both of which can certainly play massive roles in energy production.

Anyone who makes out that a single energy source can provide a solution to all our problems doesn't know what they're talking about. Fusion power would be great, but it's not a panacea.
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Unruly Marmite
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Isn't there a working Fusion generator at a European research institute? I remember reading about it, it just requires more or as much energy to be put in to start it as it produces, which is admittedly somewhat of a flaw.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Unruly Marmite)
Isn't there a working Fusion generator at a European research institute? I remember reading about it, it just requires more or as much energy to be put in to start it as it produces, which is admittedly somewhat of a flaw.
There are loads, but nobody cares when there's an energy deficit. There have been working fusion reactors for a very long time.
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Unruly Marmite
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
There are loads, but nobody cares when there's an energy deficit. There have been working fusion reactors for a very long time.
Yeah, bit of a problem that. Still, I think it's kind of encouraging. If you force yourself to be optimistic.
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