The replacement for big oil

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Merkava_4, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Merkava_4 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #1

    Der Spiegel
     
  2. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #2
    A replacement for oil, maybe but not a replacement for big oil.

    Exxon Mobil have been running ads on British telly for a while about algae and I'll bet you all other big oil firms are spending huges amounts of money on algae and other developments.
     
  3. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #3
    The problem is watering them. ;)
     
  4. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601

    ChristianVirtual

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #4
    Still a thermal process to create movement. Part of our problem.

    Solar, wind, waves to create electrical power to split water in H and O and use that in a fuel cell decentralized sounds most sustainable to feed our Apples and BMWs.

    Living in Japan these days doesn't make nuclear a good option either.
    In the same magazine as above "Der Spiegel" http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/technik/0,1518,778425,00.html
    was two days ago an artical about a French company want to build nuclear power block and put them on ground of the ocean. Not sure is that is the best idea. At least you enough water around, but if something goes wrong you can't really easy reach. The waste issue is still not solved. Landfill in Mariana trench, 11km deep ?

    Back to the oil, its good to have an idea to make oil, we need it to keep machines running smooth; make tire and many things else ... But don't waste it throug burning to create kinetic energy. Cars,trains and ships can be powered with electrical energy; for aircrafts we are too early (at least outside Area 51;)

    Think different
     
  5. Zerozal macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    PA
    #5
    Yep.

    http://www.syntheticgenomics.com/media/press/071410.html
    "If research and development milestones are successfully met, ExxonMobil expects to spend more than $600 million on the algae biofuels program over the next decade..."
     
  6. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #6
    I keep saying this, but people choose to ignore it. The way of the future will be 100% solar power
     
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #7
    I have to hope this would eventually happen with spray on panels etc. It seems a bit strange that more effort isnt being put into this although not surprising as you can't charge for sunlight.
     
  8. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Up the irons
    #8
    I would like thorium reactors to drive the hydrogen fueling stations. :eek:
     
  9. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    City of Angels
    #9
    Or you could just skip the fuel cell and use the electricity to directly charge the vehicle's battery.

    Electricty -> Hydrogen -> Fuel Cell -> Electricity -> Electric Motor

    Electricty -> Electric Motor

    One of these is better

    How do you figure that? How much grid energy storage capacity do you think is needed to account for the sun not shining all the time? And where are you gonna put all these batteries and who's gonna pay for them?
     
  10. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #10
    First a cost effective manufacturing process needs to be developed.
    currently it is running 12 to 15 years before a home owner sees a ROI.
    Solar panels consume a larde amount of resources to make.
    The panels my last company made weight over 30pounds each. Teh solar cells wieghed less than a pound.
    Framing, glass, laminate materials and backskin all added up.
    Other processes used other materials but again all added up.
     
  11. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #11
    I agree, the hydrogen system is just an attempt to shoe-horn our current habits into the future. With electric vehicles, there can be an evolution in automobile design —*motors in all four wheels was one of the coolest examples —*while abandoning many of the current system's waste and complexities: the system of moving fuel from Saudi Arabia to refineries in NOLA for distribution in Japan.


    Solar won't completely cover the entire energy needs, but it can fulfill significant portions of energy usage. Other systems like tidal and wind, nuclear, and natural gas will also help.

    One of the advantages of solar is it's localization. I can build a system, though it might be expensive, for a single house or off-the-grid neighborhood. I can't do that with natural gas or nuclear — at least not without authorities kicking down my door for the second one. Plus, solar can be scaled up like the new Solan system at UA tech park, or EnviroMission's massive solar tower.

    However, all power systems require infrastructure investment, so docking solar for needing batteries doesn't seem fair. To make natural gas work, we need compressors, tanks, feed stations, not to mention miles of pipelines. With solar, we need the cells and batteries.
     
  12. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #12
    When considering cost, don't forget security. Some energy sources are dangerous, flammable or worse.
     
  13. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601

    ChristianVirtual

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #13
    Total agreement

    But the distribution can be subject of charging for those who choose not having a solar panel on their roof.

    The hydrogen might be easier to transport in different areas; agree that near the solar plant a direct charging is better.

    The sun is shining all the time; it us spinning away half of the day. But instead shipping oil on big ships around the globe we can ship solar energy the same way; of course transformed in something easy to transport (hydrogen ?).
    A nice way to utilize the desserts in the world; by nature lots sun there.

    3Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, Who is next ?
    Cost and security total out of control; in Chernobyl they have to rebuild the safety cocoon; in Fukushima we dont have yet an idea but "quad cores" down.

    Which makes solar-generated electrical power the most best choice; only to think more about fair distribution. Can't be difficult. If we just want
     
  14. lewis82, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

    lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #14
    Put covers on the vats. This way the vapour can't escape, and the greenhouse effect must not bother them very much (if it does, just use an opaque cover and semi-transparent sides to prevent excessive heating of the water).

    http://www.simplygreen.co.za/articl...er-plant-that-works-at-night-constructed.html
     
  15. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    City of Angels
    #15
    This is true. Fun fact is Google is also investing in a huge solar generation station here in CA.

    I'm not knocking solar for infrastructure. I'm saying you can't get a portfolio that's 100% solar (or wind) unless you can store the energy. Current battery technology for grid energy storage only lasts around 12 hours. That means if you run a city 100% off solar and can actually afford these 12 hour batteries which are the size of buildings, if the sun doesn't come up in the morning, your whole city will black out anyway.

    If anyone could actually figure out a way to solve this grid energy problem, they'd be a billionaire.
     
  16. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    City of Angels
    #16
    Actually electricity would be easier. You just install power lines as opposed to having to dig up and trench pipeline. And if the neighborhood has electricity, the infrastructure already exists.

    But why use hydrogen fuel cell vehicles when the energy conversion process is the same as an electric vehicle plus some extra steps?

    We ship oil because oil provides fuel for vehicles and oil reserves are concentrated in select countries. That's not the case with hydrogen.
     
  17. Merkava_4 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #17
    If we could produce our own algae oil to fuel ourselves and then export the extra to other countries, we wouldn't have to guard other people's oil and we wouldn't have any national debt from guarding other people's oil.
     
  18. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601

    ChristianVirtual

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #18
    a very positive "side effect"; but believe me, there will be always something to "guard"
     
  19. MacHamster68, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #19
    i welcome anything thats brings the fuel prices down , but on what expence , water is one thing but think about how many hectars of algae you need only to replace the oil needed in the UK not to mention the worldwide oil consumption .., just thinking about that we need space to grow something to eat too ..or can we use those algae as food too ..i mean its nice to get cheap fuel , but whats the point if we have to starve to achive that


    btw what about cold fusion only water and paladium needed basically , ok i know its only experimental , and you are supposed to get by products to ...helium if i am right there , sorry my knowledge about it is a bit restricted and i am to lazy to google for it , but i encourage anything really as oil will run out sooner rather then later..and solar energy..hmm its cloudy again so no energy , tidal power could be used easy in the uk and if i open the windows wind is enough there , so why nobody is manufacuring small efficient wind generators for home use that are affordable and generate sufficnet power for a normal household ...cant be that difficult or
     
  20. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #20
    You guys totally underestimate how rapidly technology advances. Even if it's 12-15 years, who cares? Solar panels will be shrunk down and much more efficient over the years, storage technology will advance. Solar is the only true gateway to energy independence. All this talk about algae and all that crap is a huge waste of time. Solar is where it's at, mark my words. Once technology advances to the point where solar is efficient and practical, our energy issues will be over. Next project...making water desalination technology more affordable. The way we've been living for the past century was the epitome of unsustainable living, no one thought of the future. Now look at this mess, its a disgrace. However, I'm an optimist, i firmly believe the future will be bright, and technology is our best friend.
     
  21. Merkava_4 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #21
    All the algae needs is wide open space with lots of sunlight for the liquid solar panels and storage tanks; it doesn't need any prime farm land. We've got lots of wide open desert in this country that's inhabitable for humans but is perfectly suitable for algae.
     
  22. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    City of Angels
    #22
    I'm a power engineer at a utility. I work with most of these technologies firsthand and unless you can come up with a way to store enough electricity to power the grid through a worst case scenario when the sun doesn't shine (IE it storms for X number of months), you're never gonna get 100% solar penetration.

    Like I said, if you could solve this grid energy storage problem, you'd be a billionaire because every utility would want to license your technology so they could phase out coal and nuclear. You'd also win a Nobel prize for your work.
     
  23. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601

    ChristianVirtual

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #23
    Not sure if it's a storage issue. If we all could agree on a world grid the problem is solved. That would give poor counties even the chance to sell us something we urgently need ... Energy. That would make them independent from us; maybe something we don't really want.

    Yes, it would require a huge investment into a global grid. But a storm in north America is still a local event; for that time in a dessert downunder enough energy could be harvested. Follow the sun ... Like in IT support.
    I'm sure there are technical problems to solve and lots patents to apply but I'm sure its not SF and can be done.

    It's a challenge but we also flew to the moon ... It require stop think in national dimension, it require a global solution
     
  24. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #24
    Solar is not the answer in itself. The earth only receives so much radiation per square meter at the ground(is about 340W/m^2 on average over entire globe). As one can tell, you need a ton of area to get a decent amt of energy, not to mention the tech to capture and convert all of this energy at a high efficiency and then whatever ineffieincies are found via transport.

    The Earth's energy needs will only increase and solar energy is too low of a power density to be the end all be all solution...
     
  25. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601

    ChristianVirtual

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #25
    Going solar should not mean we have to stop develop energy-saving ways for cumsumption; LED vs conventional bulbs etc still be valid technologies.
    And space should not be a problem; start in cities on each roof.
    But interessting input though we respect to energy we receive via sun.
     

Share This Page