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Thread: Breakthrough in solar efficiency by UNSW team ahead of its time

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    But then again...why is Venus have a higher surface temperature than Mercury even though its 31 million miles further away than Mercury is.
    Massive active volcanism leading to a dense atmosphere composed of 96.5% Carbon Dioxide.

    Earth has 0.039% Carbon Dioxide. To put it in simple terms, Venus is like having an entire planet made up of Mount Saint Helen's bigger cousins, the majority of whom are active.

    The fact Venus has no moon, and a retrograde rotation are also interesting differences.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnails View Post
    =============================================

    You all, as I understand do a lot of rain water recovery also.

    How is that working out, I live in a wet area and am doing a rain water recovery project for a commercial building and toying with promoting the idea and marketing my business in that direction.
    We do do a lot of rain water recovery out here, as you can probably work out the main reason for that is by necessity given we are the dryest continent. The southern half of the continent, where most of the people live, undergoes massive climatic shifts where for years and years the bottom western part of the country is wet, while the bottom eastern half is dry, then for years that flips over so that the western part undergoes drought and the eastern part is wet. So saving water is a huge issue here, and a lot of people get rainwater tanks put in just for that purpose. Obviously, also, a big driver of that is that water costs money, and the scarcer it is the more it costs, thus its not just homeowners looking to retain rain water, but businesses also. Not really sure how rain water retention would go in an area with high rainfall?

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Good.

    90% of our energy came from the sun originally. You'd have to be pretty ignorant to think that going straight to the source. You know. The giant orange ball in the sky that puts out more energy in the form of light every 10 seconds than mankind has used during their entire existence.
    Or perhaps instead of trying to catch the rays of this magnificent power source we ought pay closer attention to how it does what it does?

    Nuclear fission is significantly more reliable than solar power. It's clean. It's immensely powerful. Eventually fusion will supplant it, but currently to be concerned about the environment and against nuclear power is the height of ignorance.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    Or perhaps instead of trying to catch the rays of this magnificent power source we ought pay closer attention to how it does what it does?

    Nuclear fission is significantly more reliable than solar power. It's clean. It's immensely powerful. Eventually fusion will supplant it, but currently to be concerned about the environment and against nuclear power is the height of ignorance.
    Pretty much agree with this - only issue I have is that historically the structures put up to stop accidents at power plants are notoriously fragile, Japan being the most recent relevant example.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Could be.

    But then again...why is Venus have a higher surface temperature than Mercury even though its 31 million miles further away than Mercury is.

    Hmmmmm.
    Obviously man made global warming.


    Wait... what?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    Or perhaps instead of trying to catch the rays of this magnificent power source we ought pay closer attention to how it does what it does?

    Nuclear fission is significantly more reliable than solar power. It's clean. It's immensely powerful. Eventually fusion will supplant it, but currently to be concerned about the environment and against nuclear power is the height of ignorance.
    Eventually at some point....it would be cool if mankind moved pass the "lets figure out different ways to boil water to make power" thing. Fusion will be part of our technology in the future. But it would still seem silly when nature provides a fusion reactor for us that 850,000 miles across.

    Wireless energy transmission would be pretty helpful. Then you could put huge panels in orbit or at a nearby LaGrange point and never have to worry about a cloudy day.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Eventually at some point....it would be cool if mankind moved pass the "lets figure out different ways to boil water to make power" thing. Fusion will be part of our technology in the future. But it would still seem silly when nature provides a fusion reactor for us that 850,000 miles across.

    Wireless energy transmission would be pretty helpful. Then you could put huge panels in orbit or at a nearby LaGrange point and never have to worry about a cloudy day.
    All in due time. Think about the progress of the 20th century vs the rest of human history. Fission is in it's infancy when you really think about it. The first nuclear reactor was built in 1954! The latest plan I have seen is to get the first real fusion reactor online around 2040. Solar isn't efficient enough today but it is improving. Just because one of these technologies is your favorite doesn't mean that one should be favored over the others because you don't know where the next leap in efficiency could come from.

    One of the problems with the government throwing a ton of money at a particular solution is it takes away incentives from other areas and the government is the least qualified to make these decisions.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trades View Post
    Solar isn't efficient enough today but it is improving.
    Yah. I'm guessing that was the point of the article in the OP



    Just because one of these technologies is your favorite doesn't mean that one should be favored over the others because you don't know where the next leap in efficiency could come from.
    Not a favorite. Just logical.

    Every day, our Sun beats more energy into the world’s deserts than is used by the entire human race in a year. Every joule of energy in the world’s oil reserves was put there by the sun, millions of years ago. Even uranium was created in the death-rattle explosion of some ancient star.

    I could buy a 12oz beer from a stadium for $7

    or

    go to the bar and get one for $4

    or

    buy a keg and get 165 servings for less than $1 a drink




  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Could be.

    But then again...why is Venus have a higher surface temperature than Mercury even though its 31 million miles further away than Mercury is.

    Hmmmmm.
    Venusian carbon footprints way too big? If only they had an Al Gore...

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Yah. I'm guessing that was the point of the article in the OP





    Not a favorite. Just logical.

    Every day, our Sun beats more energy into the world’s deserts than is used by the entire human race in a year. Every joule of energy in the world’s oil reserves was put there by the sun, millions of years ago. Even uranium was created in the death-rattle explosion of some ancient star.

    I could buy a 12oz beer from a stadium for $7

    or

    go to the bar and get one for $4

    or

    buy a keg and get 165 servings for less than $1 a drink



    Only logical when the technology is there which it isn't. For example if you are doing laundary chances are you can't use your oven at the same time...... We are just not yet there.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Yah. I'm guessing that was the point of the article in the OP





    Not a favorite. Just logical.

    Every day, our Sun beats more energy into the world’s deserts than is used by the entire human race in a year. Every joule of energy in the world’s oil reserves was put there by the sun, millions of years ago. Even uranium was created in the death-rattle explosion of some ancient star.

    I could buy a 12oz beer from a stadium for $7

    or

    go to the bar and get one for $4

    or

    buy a keg and get 165 servings for less than $1 a drink



    Sure but in this analogy the government chooses to push the stadium beer and uses tax dollars that don't exist to subsidize only the stadium beer (Which is actually about $10/bottle) so that it costs about the same as the beer from the store and since you have to drive to the stadium to get it, it isn't anywhere near as efficient to use.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Eventually at some point....it would be cool if mankind moved pass the "lets figure out different ways to boil water to make power" thing.
    I guess. but it works and is very efficient.

    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Fusion will be part of our technology in the future. But it would still seem silly when nature provides a fusion reactor for us that 850,000 miles across.
    It's also 94,510,000 miles away, and has a habit of slipping below the horizon.

    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Wireless energy transmission would be pretty helpful. Then you could put huge panels in orbit or at a nearby LaGrange point and never have to worry about a cloudy day.
    Wireless energy transmission is still very much science fiction, at least on the scale that would allow energy to be beamed down from orbit. I also can't imagine that being at all safe, or good for the environment.

    Fission on the other hand works very well now. And fusion seems to be becoming more viable all the time.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    Or perhaps instead of trying to catch the rays of this magnificent power source we ought pay closer attention to how it does what it does?

    Nuclear fission is significantly more reliable than solar power. It's clean. It's immensely powerful. Eventually fusion will supplant it, but currently to be concerned about the environment and against nuclear power is the height of ignorance.

    The waste from nuclear power is deadly for tens of thousands of years. Deadly for longer than the lifetime of the machines the stuff was made with and buildings it was made in. It is EXTEMELY "messy" and it is EXTREMELY selfish to create waste that will last that long in order to have electricity for a couple of decades.

    Imagine if the Roman Empire had left behind piles of nuclear waste all over their former empire. The history books would make them out to be a$$h0les not the great civilization we currently do.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    The waste from nuclear power is deadly for tens of thousands of years. Deadly for longer than the lifetime of the machines the stuff was made with and buildings it was made in. It is EXTEMELY "messy" and it is EXTREMELY selfish to create waste that will last that long in order to have electricity for a couple of decades.

    Imagine if the Roman Empire had left behind piles of nuclear waste all over their former empire. The history books would make them out to be a$$h0les not the great civilization we currently do.
    I started to write a long post about this, but while doing some of my fact checking decided to be lazy and just post this from Wikipedia:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    [b]Comparing radioactive waste to industrial toxic waste[b/]

    In countries with nuclear power, radioactive wastes comprise less than 1% of total industrial toxic wastes, much of which remains hazardous for long periods.[86] Overall, nuclear power produces far less waste material by volume than fossil-fuel based power plants.[115] Coal-burning plants are particularly noted for producing large amounts of toxic and mildly radioactive ash due to concentrating naturally occurring metals and mildly radioactive material from the coal.[116] A 2008 report from Oak Ridge National Laboratory concluded that coal power actually results in more radioactivity being released into the environment than nuclear power operation, and that the population effective dose equivalent from radiation from coal plants is 100 times as much as from ideal operation of nuclear plants.[117] Indeed, coal ash is much less radioactive than nuclear waste, but ash is released directly into the environment, whereas nuclear plants use shielding to protect the environment from the irradiated reactor vessel, fuel rods, and keep any radioactive waste on site.[118]
    Also of interest is Obama's efforts to increase the volume of nuclear waste produced by nuclear power plants. I don't suppose that has anything to do with his interest in Solar power or other less efficient "green" sources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Reprocessing is not allowed in the U.S.[129] The Obama administration has disallowed reprocessing of nuclear waste, citing nuclear proliferation concerns.[130] In the U.S., spent nuclear fuel is currently all treated as waste.[131]

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    I started to write a long post about this, but while doing some of my fact checking decided to be lazy and just post this from Wikipedia:



    Also of interest is Obama's efforts to increase the volume of nuclear waste produced by nuclear power plants. I don't suppose that has anything to do with his interest in Solar power or other less efficient "green" sources.
    Your point was nuclear power is clean. It is not.

    The last I knew the Obama administration was in favor of nuclear power. Especially under Steven Chu.

  16. #36
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    Everyone is in favor of nuclear bc they know it will never come to fruition.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    Your point was nuclear power is clean. It is not.
    Clean is a relative term. The manufacturing of solar panels produces hazardous waste as well. For the amount of power generated, nuclear fission is in fact very clean compared to other power sources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    The last I knew the Obama administration was in favor of nuclear power. Especially under Steven Chu.
    The Obama administration claims to be ini favor of nuclear power, yet institutes policy that exaggerates the amount of nuclear waste produced by fission reactors, as well as making their operation more expensive.

    At the same time "renewable energy" is being subsidized at up to 5 times the rate of nuclear power.

  18. #38
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    If you could just keep the damn politics of of the solution we could make great strides in energy independence.
    What America and its allies need to do is focus the combined monies and best minds in the free world into a modern manhattan project. Figure out how to build fusion reactors on a massive scale,this will allow us to change the way civilization thinks about energy.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    The last I knew the Obama administration was in favor of nuclear power. Especially under Steven Chu.
    What actions has the Administration taken that would support that belief?

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    The waste from nuclear power is deadly for tens of thousands of years. Deadly for longer than the lifetime of the machines the stuff was made with and buildings it was made in. It is EXTEMELY "messy" and it is EXTREMELY selfish to create waste that will last that long in order to have electricity for a couple of decades.

    Imagine if the Roman Empire had left behind piles of nuclear waste all over their former empire. The history books would make them out to be a$$h0les not the great civilization we currently do.
    The Romans were pretty big a$$holez man. They conquered and enslaved anyone that tried to resist them. That said I agree on the nuclear stuff. The waste is problematic and the danger from meltdowns is legitimate. I don't see it as the best long term solution to the planet's energy needs.

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