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Power Science

Open Project to Develop Renewable Energy System 154

rohar writes "We have been working on a system that combines some existing indirect solar technologies to build a location independent, renewable, reliable and economically feasible indirect solar electrical power generation system. The idea is to 'roll-your-own' geothermal source by capturing heat from the ambient air with a solar powered absorption heat pump, store it underground and generate electricity from the air cooling convection. When the air is cooler the stored heat is then used in a reverse process to generate electricity by transferring the heat back to the air when it is cooler (at night or seasonal). There are many additional benefits including clean water capture from the "dehumidifier" effect of the air cooling, construction from common materials and thermal storage that may be incorporated into dwelling heat systems." After reading over their description, how likely do you think it is to work?
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Open Project to Develop Renewable Energy System

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  • by Knutsi ( 959723 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @04:40AM (#17505704)

    It may be that this particular case will not work, but the idea is great. Roll it yourself systems developed, improved, forked and tested online through an open source ideology... great stuff (: One has to admire the potential social consequences of the open source ideas, both in technology, law and governance.

    Sadly for some, this also applies to warfare [typepad.com].

    (this blog speaks of, amongst other things, how "open source warfare" (OSW) is the key behind the insurgency success in Iraq. The methods applied by what is essentially guerilla groups testing wildly different approaches across the nation, then learning from their success, contrary to a carefully planned and centralized military system)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 08, 2007 @05:15AM (#17505828)
    As far as the Zero Emission Solar Panels are concerned, in Germany there is a Zero Emission solar panel factory too, in Freiburg. The trick is that they use Rapeseed oil to power their plant.
  • by cheekyboy ( 598084 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @05:43AM (#17505942) Homepage Journal
    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=34076 62 [inist.fr]

    Sewage sludges from German municipal wastewater treatment plants possess high gold concentrations (280 to 56,000 g/kg in dry matter) similar to some ore deposits which are being mined for gold. In addition, the sludges exhibit elevated platinum (10 to 1,070 g/kg) and palladium values (38 to 4,700 g/kg), and low osmium (3 to 51 g/kg), iridium (0.6 to 26.5 g/kg), ruthenium (2 to 390 g/kg), and rhodium contents (2 to 352 g/kg Major amounts of these metals are already present within the wastewater solids before the raw sewage reaches the treatment works. Sludges from industrial areas tend to possess higher precious metal values than those from rural regions. Thus industrial discharges contribute significant quantities of precious metals to municipal wastewaters and sewage sludges. However, elevated precious metal contents in sludges from rural areas show that additional sources are present which remain to be determined by future studies
  • by abdulwahid ( 214915 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @05:53AM (#17505988) Homepage

    Well that sounds like a nice project, but still far from a 'zero' claim due to the supply chain issue. All this says is that the first level of the supply chain e.g. he panel factory uses a renewable source. However, at the end of the day the supply chain is still heavily relying on fossil fuels for agricutural equipment, distrubition, raw material extraction and other equipments and proceses.

    Anyway my point is not to be argumentative about the definition of 'zero' but rather to highlight that even with the most promising renewable sources we are still stuck relying on a supply chain and distrubution network that relies on fossil fuels. So the idea of a transistion to a complete reweable structure is a bit of a pipe dream at the moment and it is unclear weather with exisitng technology it can be carried out at mass scale with a positive EROEI.

  • Re:Geothermal.. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 08, 2007 @06:40AM (#17506210)
    I agree with the previous post about geothermal heat. It efficient and is already in real use in several locations, and very common for instance in Sweden. They actually save quite a lot of oil and are simple to install in single houses. The hole you drill is not that deep and not likely to cause earthquakes!!

    Have a look at these at wikipedia for more information:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_power [wikipedia.org]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_exchange_h eat_pump [wikipedia.org]
  • by Calinous ( 985536 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @07:05AM (#17506338)
    You might get some "energy capture" efficiency of 100% from solar energy into water - however, keep in mind that any thermal engine is restricted by the Carnot efficiency (1-Tcool/Thot, with temperatures in Kelvin). For a not-so-dangerous temperature differences (using a frozen pond in winter) of freezing-point - to boiling-point (273Kelvin to 373Kelvin), efficiency (max, theoretical, when using a gas) would be about 25%. This is where you start

          Photovoltaics have extraordinary efficiency, coupled with zero (close to zero) maintenance. They might cost (both in dollars and environmental impact), but are better than thermal anything in small scale electricity generation
  • Re:Wind turbine (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @08:06AM (#17506684)
    Getting the heat to provide the high pressure ammonia to feed the expansion valve is also a problem. Time to do the math.

    OK - I have not read the article but I will point out that a century old kerosene refrigerator uses a wick and not a great deal of fuel plus a bucked of water to handle expansion and condensation. Solar thermal has potential and scales up - things will be practical given a large enough size, and practical things become smaller given a larger heat differential.

  • Re:hmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PermanentMarker ( 916408 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @04:09PM (#17512894) Homepage Journal
    Wel simply why it doenst work good...
    why should warm ground air prefer to go trough a tube to cold areas?
    If it simply can bypass it and go from everywhere outside the tube up or down, with less friction. The same goes for the oposite direction.

    But no wories there is realy enough energy on this planet....
    you only have to dig a hole in the earth, as Lava is quite hot you know, and even without such deep holes, below earth there is enough heat energy stored which make oil and uranium look like a joke. Its only politics of some oil & electric companies who dont want the masses of people to know that. Whenever you go to iceland you see it can be done with not that much engineering (okay their place is ideal, but it can be done everywhere if you have some enginering skills, the start of such projects will cost something but he energy was never for free...) A bit strange we dig a hole from france to england but going down is momre difficult ????

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling