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blues

Elaine, did you ever dig up that e-mail with the .mp3 audio about the (highly touted) capacity of super-high pressure compressed air (yeah, ordinary air)? I could easily re-send it. I prefer wind power to solar energy, since it could see us through a period of 'nuclear', or volcanic, or whatever winter. Another big thing. The most promising solar energy systems I know of consist basically of insanely extended semiconductor junctions. That is, they are simply gigantic, flat silicon diodes. This in itself is not a huge problem, since the purity of solar cell silicon does not need to be ultra-high, like computer chip silicon must be. BUT there is a huge BUT! Suppose there is a humongous solar flare, or some fanatic fires off a small EMP device high over Oklahoma? These gigantic, flat silicon diodes would be crispy critters in an instant, from coast to coast, as they must be the most sensitive targets for EMP anyone could dream of! I see this as a huge problem!!!

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Wind energy is still in its infancy. The winds needed for generating anything useful are still way too high. Even on my mountain, we have many days with winds below 15 mph. Only on the coasts and very high mountains, is the speed high enough regularily enough to justify wind generation. This is why all the big wind systems are off coastal areas which are part of the Jet Stream/Gulf Stream complex.

In winter, I have the perfect amount of wind for generating energy but then we have to deal with the side issue of ice build-up. There is a lot of research in this area going on right now. Europe is way ahead of us when it comes to wind generating systems.

Big Al

There seems to be an oil field off the coast of Cuba, time to bring democracy (US variety, suitable for ignorant off-white people)in return for that oil.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Yes, and never forget Venezuela needs to be freed! And Nigeria: a place we have great influence, it is a powder keg.

Canuck

Alberta has a substaintial wind energy infrastructure in the Pincer Creek area. The Energy and utilities Board has recently announced a moritorium on additional wind energy systems being allowed on the distribution grid. It's too sporadic and we've met the limit with the havoc it creates to maintain the grid.

Some capacitance is going to be necessary.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

I am not surprised, Canuck. Wind is much more capricious than solar energy. This is why the only useful windmills are part of the Jet Stream/Gulf Stream complex. The Orkneys could easily produce lots of wind energy, heh.

blues

I sent the e-mail below to Elaine and some technophilic friends via e-mail, and it was generally well received. So maybe I should share it with the rest of you readers.

By the way, although I think wind harvesting (and aquatic wave harvesting) energy are the best energy sources, I am actually opposed to installing permanent wind turbines on mountain tops and coast lines. I worked in satellite communications, and am acutely aware of the aesthetic disaster of unsightly technology. I favor very small portable units, which could utilize used auto alternators, if only we had the sense to preserve them from being scavenged for copper! Note that if the small units are used to charge compressed air energy storage tanks, they will not be vulnerable to EMP.

And we really need to understand that we will be using only 10% of the energy we use now in the near future. I envision air passenger trains that haul air cars beneath the passenger compartments. When you get to town, you just hop in your air car and go.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

COMPRESSED AIR ENERGY STORAGE FOR ALL PURPOSES!!!!!

http://www.theaircar.com/thecar.html

«« In the single energy mode MDI cars consume less than one euro every 100Km. (around 0.75 Euros) that is to say, 10 time less than gasoline powered cars.

«« When there is no combustion, there is no pollution. The vehicle's driving range is close to twice that of the most advanced electric cars (from 200 to 300 km or 8 hours of circulation) This is exactly what the urban market needs where, as previously mentioned, 80% of the drivers move less than 60Km. a day.

«« The recharging of the car will be done at gas stations, once the market is developed. To fill the tanks it will take about to 2 to 3 minutes at a price of 1.5 euros. After refilling the car will be ready to driver 200 kilometres.

«« The car also has a small compressor that can be connected to an electrical network (220V or 380V) and will recharged the tanks completely in 3 or 4 minutes.

«« Because the engine does not burn any fuel the car's oil(a litre of vegetable) only needs to be changed every 50,000Km.

«« The temperature of the clean air expulsed form the exhaust pipe is between 0 and 15 degrees below zero and can be subsequently channelled and used for air conditioning in the interior of the car.»»

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