all 26 comments

[–][deleted] 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (6 children)

The problem with Solar (and Wind) energy is that is creates a giant energy storage problem the grid is not equipped or designed to solve.

Problem: Energy usage spikes at 11PM. Standard power plant solution - increase production near 11PM. Renewable solution - store a shitload of energy at X loss rate so that you have enough to handle 11PM.

Trying to set up an offgrid solution even for your own home quickly makes it apparent that the most costly and difficult to maintain and continually replace parts are the immense battery arrays - and you can still expect to need a consumable powered generator for when the elements don't agree with you. I'm assuming in renewable world this would be coal plants since they are the easiest to "spin up" and "wind down"?

As a result of these infrastructure and logistical challenges thorium based nuclear has always looked like the most feasible and clean solution to me; but any solution is "cleaner" than ordering a gazillion rare earth batteries every year from China - which is what nationwide solar would look like unless we have some sort of clean energy storage breakthrough.

[–]JasonCarswell 10 insightful - 2 fun10 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

This is not really true, but a common excuse. Storage is not necessary, routing is. The "smart grid" was never built, other than to spy on us. They don't want solutions. Period.

There are an abundance of authentic solutions that could be implemented everywhere. Ireland is leading the way with some great submersible turbines that are nothing new except that they are implementing the old idea and refining, finessing and optimizing it.

The ocean currents are perpetual.

Every great river is perpetual.

Niagra Falls is just one location of many but that same St. Lawrence Seaway flows a long fucking way. The Detroit River wraps around Windsor, "Motor City Canada" and we could have countless turbines in the water - one for each person, much like automobiles - but "they" want the centralized power paradigm limited and under their full spectrum dominance.

IMO, everyone should have a turbine. And, everyone should have a home server, like any of the other home appliances. And, everyone should have a hydroponic garden. Done right they don't take much space at all. But our system is for creating obedient worker/servants, not independent individuals in strong communities.

And then there's thorium... Wherever there's mining there should be thorium extraction.

[–]now 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Hi! Great reply. I know this may be off topic from the OG post, but care to share some links (why/how) on a home server? Maybe a recommended subsaidit? I have a beautiful new Tomato Router with USB attached storage capabilities and have been thinking hard on how to set up NAS storage, etc. I'd love to kick the Google cloud to the curb, set up auto torrent downloads via Sonarr/Radarr, and more. Thanks!

[–]FormosaOolong 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

What if that huge array was actually the backup, and we allowed (subsidized, streamlined) energy independence to everyone with the capacity to have it. Solar panels, quiet turbines, ever-better batteries, and feed-backs to the grid. Wouldn't it be sensible to stop making this a for-profit but rather a for-humanity endeavor?

[–]JasonCarswell 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

As if "they" would allow that.

It's brilliant but challenges their full spectrum dominance.

[–]Horrux 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Well, Musk could put a huge parabolic mirror in orbit and always have the sun shining, 24/7, on the panels. It isn't entirely impossible at this point. It would also burn through any cloud cover. The only thing that would prevent this from working would be dust clouds, such as from volcano eruptions, or nuclear ashes.

Then you wouldn't need backups!

But then again, if your array is 100mi x 100mi, the mirror would have to be what, 400mi x 400mi? Even multiple ones would have to be incredibly huge.

[–]JasonCarswell 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Indeed.

For my /s/BittersweetSeeds project (barely started but will is my New Years resolution, and I rarely bother with resolutions) I was trying to conceptualize the industrialization of space and power. I had soooo many ideas, including giant mirrors, conversions, Microwave transmissions, etc etc etc. As I researched I realized many things were scientifically impossible, some pure fantasy, and many things were incredibly impractical at any scale. My process was to come up with ideas and determine how they wouldn't work, then build work arounds. And repeat. If I couldn't build a work around, then it would not be valid. The same is true for the related political and economic stuff.

Further, there are countless problems with the current efforts with space, including the re-usability, space debris, etc.

None of this is really touched on much until Act 3.

[–]Horrux 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–][deleted]  (13 children)

[deleted]

    [–]Horrux 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

    Hydroelectric is pretty reliable too, unless they are situated in areas particularly prone to long dry spells. And even then.

    [–]JasonCarswell 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (10 children)

    You should never centralize all your eggs or solar panels in one basket. You spread it out across several states. To do otherwise is folly.

    Also, West Texas alone has enough wind to power 1/2 of North America - but "they" don't want to build the connecting infrastructure. We can't be allowed too much security nor efficiency.

    [–]FormosaOolong 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (9 children)

    In fact, the solar roadway idea could collect and deliver all that energy along with internet and a bunch of other cool stuff. But we're not allowed to have nice things.

    [–]JasonCarswell 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (8 children)

    Paving the roads with solar panels is a TERRIBLE idea. See Thunderf00t's videos on all the ways it fails miserably. Ultimately all variants are scams.

    Putting solar panels beside roadways is as good an idea as anywhere, accessible to maintenance, raised high or on the ground, for shade in hot climates, etc. Really there's nowhere so short of land that we need to reclaim roads.

    [–]FormosaOolong 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (7 children)

    I know there has been a lot of negativity (propaganda? I dunno) regarding solar roadways. Even if the current proposals are terrible (again, I dunno either way) we are collectively clever enough to do it well. Here's why I like it: ending toxic asphalt, using the solar-exposed space that is already public, low-profile collection, the safety factor of snow/ice automatic melting, maybe finally having a way to have wired internet delivered to that last rural mile that always gets ignored. That it could be self-diagnosing as well as networked so that it functions around any given block that fails...so many potential positives. It's important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    [–]Horrux 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

    Possibly with some nanotechnology materials they could become doable. But right now, nothing is tough enough, transparent enough and water-resistant enough to make them worthwhile. Even their "demo" on which no cars ever drove failed miserably. And what about when they break? You know, crevices, sinkholes, big trucks exceeding weight limits, dropping steel beams on them, etc. Then it's not just "patch the hole", it's "rebuild this complex machinery"!

    Also, I think that in -40 degree weather, with blizzards going for days, the efficiency gets a little bit negated. Then at that point you have to use snow removal scrapers and calcium salts, which are corrosive at low temperatures... There are a whole slew of difficulties that aren't taken into account.

    To me, that "invention" is simply pot smokers' delusions: it seems fine until you have to actually build it.

    [–]JasonCarswell 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

    Exactly!

    [–]JasonCarswell 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

    It's not just propaganda. It's practicality.

    You can't expect fine electronics to be durable under perpetual long term abuse. And then when you have to replace or maintain sections it would hamper traffic.

    I agree with most of your points. But space is not at a premium - except in cities. You don't need to make your electricity or farm in your city (though I do like the idea of bringing nature in to cities). Also, there might be better alternatives to the endless sprawl of the suburban nightmare (not meaning Agenda 21).

    Roads and beneath them are for utilities that travel - water/sewage, electricity/communitcations, gas, subways, etc.

    Generating electricity is not about traveling. Solar roadways are dual purpose, so what if we build schools under all roadways to utilize the space. Nope. Well meaning but nope.

    I'm not saying give up development entirely but it's mostly very futile. Dealing with sensitive electronics plus high voltage systems plus perpetual weather and traffic and pounding issues...

    Start by making a glass or synthetic road that won't ever fog nor have potholes. Or make them less toxic.

    Thorium molten salt reactors in every neighbourhood would nullify any need for solar anything - but "they" want absolute centralized control.

    The baby drowned in that bad idea bathwater and there are far bigger fish to fry than solar roads.

    In my opinion.

    [–]FormosaOolong 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (3 children)

    The baby drowned in that bad idea bathwater and there are far bigger fish

    I love everything about this sentence! Plus, great points all around and I wish more people with such open minded solution-orientation were at the helm.

    [–]JasonCarswell 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

    Thanks. It wasn't my intention to impress. I bet you'd be a great first date.

    [–]FormosaOolong 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

    Haha! Just glad there are people thinking deeply about solutions in a practical and open-minded way. We need so many solutions to so many things.....

    [–]JasonCarswell 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

    Believe it or not, I actually think there's no shortage of fantastic solutions out there. Whether you're looking at the DIY and Maker communities, or the new clever invention videos, or new products, gadgets and gismos, etc.

    It's my opinion that humanity is full of creativity that is politically suppressed - in general and in media. Watching corporate media you see these glamourous lifestyles with expensive things and goals - but you don't see innovated things or solution based goals or alternatives - just the consumer products and consumption lifestyles we all know about. You never see people doing it or hacking for themselves in any detailed ways, if at all.

    Ultimately, IMO, it all comes down to politics and propaganda vs freedom of information including solutions and alternatives to the establishment. Years ago Cory Doctorow was saying freedoms of communication was the most important thing. I thought it was up there with other stuff, but now I'm inclined to almost agree it's the fundamental core for all of it. If it goes, it all goes.

    [–]Horrux 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

    What about the no-radioactive-waste nuclear reactor that's been shelved for decades now?

    Nah, not dangerous enough.

    [–]JasonCarswell 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

    Thorium molten salt reactors.

    [–]Horrux 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

    Yeah, that one!

    [–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

    doesn't have to just be in one place but he knows he has to propose it in a way that can be guarded and controlled by the rich, like an oil field or nuke plant

    [–]magnora7 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

    How much energy is required to mine the materials and manufacture that many solar panels? How long of a lifespan would they have?

    [–]JasonCarswell 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

    Thunderf00t debunked Elon's hyperloop scam.

    I suspect this might be more of the same somehow. "They" always manage to twist things.