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Power Idle Technology

Scott Adams's Plan For Building Giant Energy-Generating Pyramids 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the pyramid-power dept.
LoLobey (1932986) writes "Scott Adams has proposed a pyramid project to save the world via energy generation and tourism. Basically build giant pyramids, miles wide and high, in the desert to generate power via chimney effect and photo voltaics with added features for tourism (he's planning ahead for when robots take over all the work and we'll need something to do). He's had a few "Big Ideas" lately (canals, ice bergs, ion energy)."
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Scott Adams's Plan For Building Giant Energy-Generating Pyramids

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:39PM (#47125691)

    Rainwater can be collected and recycled fairly easily. Crops of hydroponic vegetable gardens can be grown using robots. One level could be set aside for chicken and cows. Wind power can be generated on the top levels. A few levels can be set aside for humans. I would think that making the base with steel and upper levels with aluminum beams would be the most practical. It would have the best balconies ever! I can't wait to move in!!

  • Re:Qualifications? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:50PM (#47125761)
    I've never seen an example of him telling the engineers of the world that they're doing it all wrong where he hasn't been right.
  • Re:But (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:25PM (#47125933)

    He doesn't have the pointy hair necessary to manage the project

    And I, a DBA who took a little extra math in college wonder why people don't take me seriously when I pontificate about World Affairs.

    You know, it's the same thing with rock stars and famous actors, they start thinking that they are the smartest people in the world who can bring civilization into a uniform fold of unbridled love...

    Johnny Depp, "Bono", many others with way too much money and platoons of Latino housekeepers...

  • by muhula (621678) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:26PM (#47125941)

    (sorry, lost formatting)

    Let's math:

    Assuming that the miles high pyramid uses free sun power to melt sand and we only need PV to power lifting the glass blocks

    The great pyramid of giza is 455' tall and has 10^12 joules of potential energy (http://what-if.xkcd.com/95/)
    A 2 mile high pyramid with the same dimensions is about 12x taller
    If you scale up the pyramid by 12, that's 12^4x more energy (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=428636)
    12^4*10^12 joules=2e16 joules = 5e9 kWh
    Wholesale price of electricity is 5 cents per kWh
    5e9 kWh * .05 dollars/kWh = 250,000,000 dollars

    This could easily triple depending on motor losses and other energy costs. So you could make your giant pyramid with "free" energy or you could sell the energy on the open market for almost a billion dollars

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Friday May 30, 2014 @05:30AM (#47127431)

    The issue I see is not "Lifting the blocks is energy expensive, therefor wont work!", the issue I see is "Clearing the sand down to bedrock is expensive, and therefor wont work!"

    Here's the deal:

    Sand grains in the desert are small, and are carried by wind. Wind is powered by solar induced thermal exchanges. Wind energy routinely creates and moves humongous piles of sand around, and the formation of those piles of sand can be controlled by building or placing obstacles to redirect wind flow/speed/pressure. A nearly entirely passive process can be used to deposit the sand, even up on top of the pyramid while it is being built. The only thing you need to lift manually is the sintering system.

    However, by the same token, you MUST place the pyramid directly on bedrock to avoid having the sand get blown out from under the pyramid by said wind patterns.(Unless you WANT your pyramid to break in half!) Clearing out several feet of sand is a non-trivial task that is energy intensive. Getting the wind to do this for you is not very feasible.

    Once the pyramids(s) is (are) made however, you will have the undesirable consequence of their being made from glass, in an erosive sand environment featuring wind. Glass is substantively "softer" on the mohs hardness scale than is raw crystalline silicon dioxide-- the primary component of sand. The pyramid will get abraded HARD, and will require very aggressive maintenance.

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