First! Fusion Net Energy Gain

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woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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From my point of view so much of this thread misses the point, left brain technical, engineer thinking verses right brain holistic, humanistic thinking.

It should have nothing to do with the risks of fossil fuels verses anything else. The point is that the burning of carbon based materials for energy production is bringing us closer and closer to a titanic climate disaster and we have very little time left to prevent it. It threatens civilization and possibly human survival. The burning of fossil fuels must stop so the only relevant question is how to replace the needed energy they now supply.

There are two main alternatives, nuclear and renewables and into which massive efforts must be poured. That only renewables can and must win that race could not be more obvious to me. It's where all the acceleration is to be found as well as decreasing costs across the board. It is where the investment, talent, and plans are most being made. It is already happening. It is something the public puts on their roofs when they can afford it. It appeals to the conscious of parents who think of the future of their children. It can't be turned easily into a weapon or sabotaged to produce an ecological disaster. It does not need to be built next to oceans and rivers or use pipe corroding molten salts for cooling. The area used can have multiple uses including water efficient greenhouse pesticide free organic food. No toxic waste to dream one can safely store for tens of thousands of thousands of years.

Oh OK, so we'll just stop using all fossil fuels tomorrow and then snap our fingers and install our choice of substitutes...also tomorrow.

Sorry, that is not how it works. In the real world, if we do not use nuclear it's going to slow reduction of carbon emissions. In fact, not commissioning new nuclear plants already has slowed it down.
 
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Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
31,552
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Oh OK, so we'll just stop using all fossil fuels tomorrow and then snap our fingers and install our choice of substitutes...also tomorrow.

Sorry, that is not how it works. In the real world, if we do not use nuclear it's going to slow reduction of carbon emissions. In fact, not commissioning new nuclear plants already has slowed it down.
At this point renewables are a better investment than nuclear.
The time and cost associated with an individual plant is just insane (10-20 years, $20B)
 
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Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
Moderator
Dec 11, 1999
16,247
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again


Plus there is not enough fission material to go around… If we go for the nuclear long term its really fusion or bust.
There's plenty of uranium around. It's almost, but not quite, cost-effective to extract it from seawater. It might make economic sense to extract lithium at the same time.

Also, breeder reactors can convert common but not fissionable materials, known as fertile material, into fissionable materials. This includes some materials in nuclear waste.

The number one problem I see with fission is the risk of a bad actor either stealing dangerous material or trying to blow up a plant.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
72,410
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Oh OK, so we'll just stop using all fossil fuels tomorrow and then snap our fingers and install our choice of substitutes...also tomorrow.

Sorry, that is not how it works. In the real world, if we do not use nuclear it's going to slow reduction of carbon emissions. In fact, not commissioning new nuclear plants already has slowed it down.
I didn't say anything about stopping using nuclear tomorrow. I said build more renewable plants and stop trying to build more nuclear. It takes too long and is to expensive in addition to a host of other negatives.
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
23,182
12,841
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Not gonna make another energy thread so gon spam this one.

Did we get an early Christmas present this year?

This sounds *AWESOME* (solar .. so guess its covered by the fusion headline).

 
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[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
14,088
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Not gonna make another energy thread so gon spam this one.

Did we get an early Christmas present this year?

This sounds *AWESOME* (solar .. so guess its covered by the fusion headline).

Sounds great, as long as there isn't a catch.
 
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Zorba

Lifer
Oct 22, 1999
14,526
9,899
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Sounds great, as long as there isn't a catch.
One catch: "They are one-hundredth the weight of conventional solar panels, generate 18 times more power-per-kilogram." I take that to mean they only produce about 18% as much power per unit area. Real world durability will be interesting to see as well. But then flexible solar panels would be a huge break through. Especially if they could provide their own conductors over a useful distance, like 50 feet, could dramatically reduce installation costs.
 
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Paratus

Lifer
Jun 4, 2004
16,672
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One catch: "They are one-hundredth the weight of conventional solar panels, generate 18 times more power-per-kilogram." I take that to mean they only produce about 18% as much power per unit area. Real world durability will be interesting to see as well. But then flexible solar panels would be a huge break through. Especially if they could provide their own conductors over a useful distance, like 50 feet, could dramatically reduce installation costs.
I agree, if there is a catch it’s the power per unit area. They avoided mentioning that metric. Still there’s going to be a some good use cases for lightweight flexible solar panels.
 

[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
14,088
12,180
146
One catch: "They are one-hundredth the weight of conventional solar panels, generate 18 times more power-per-kilogram." I take that to mean they only produce about 18% as much power per unit area. Real world durability will be interesting to see as well. But then flexible solar panels would be a huge break through. Especially if they could provide their own conductors over a useful distance, like 50 feet, could dramatically reduce installation costs.
I could see something like a wrap-around cheapo skin for electric vehicles, drones, etc, or like wearable electronics. Certainly not going to be roofing buildings with it though. Might be useful in space as well where weight is a premium.
 
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Zorba

Lifer
Oct 22, 1999
14,526
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I could see something like a wrap-around cheapo skin for electric vehicles, drones, etc, or like wearable electronics. Certainly not going to be roofing buildings with it though. Might be useful in space as well where weight is a premium.
Parking lot covers could be a good use for them, assuming that they are at least as durable as the baseline fabric. There are quite a few lots around here with that type of cover. Also might work for back packing to charge electronics.

Solar on cars themselves will never amount to much, just but enough surface area.

Covering the water canal in the west would be a good use case too.
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
72,410
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I agree, if there is a catch it’s the power per unit area. They avoided mentioning that metric. Still there’s going to be a some good use cases for lightweight flexible solar panels.
Indeed. What they do say is this:

“A typical rooftop solar installation in Massachusetts is about 8,000 watts. To generate that same amount of power, our fabric photovoltaics would only add about 20 kilograms (44 pounds) to the roof of a house,” he says.

This seems to imply that a typical roof has enough area to provide the same 8,000 watts but I wonder. Is the article there to stimulate investment, to generate hype concealing the watts per area factor, or the result of simply a lack of critical thinking on the part of the author?

What we know:

The average weight of a 365 watt monocrystalline solar panel is 45 pounds.

To establish a 10 kW system you will need a total of 28 solar panels mounted on top of your roof.

We know that one 365 watt solar panel weighs 45 pounds and takes up an area of 20,7 square feet.

Therefore, 28 solar panels will take up an area of 580 square feet and will weigh a total of 1260 pounds.

1260 pounds ÷ by 580 square feet = 2.17 pounds per square foot. When you take into account mounting equipment, you can raise the weight per square foot to about 3.5 pounds.

This means a 10 kW solar system (with mounting equipment) will weigh 3.5 pound per square feet.

8,000 watts would require approx. 477 sq feet of such panels or 1035 lbs.

I don't see anything about how much area 44 lbs of the photovoltaic fabric covers.

At 1lb a sq yard, like canvas sail of that weight 44 lb would require 406 Sq feet.

If these numbers are right or anything close looks like it could less area than a normal solar roof.

16 oz/sq.yd. is heavy cloth for a sail from my understanding of what I read.
 

Zorba

Lifer
Oct 22, 1999
14,526
9,899
136
Indeed. What they do say is this:

“A typical rooftop solar installation in Massachusetts is about 8,000 watts. To generate that same amount of power, our fabric photovoltaics would only add about 20 kilograms (44 pounds) to the roof of a house,” he says.

This seems to imply that a typical roof has enough area to provide the same 8,000 watts but I wonder. Is the article there to stimulate investment, to generate hype concealing the watts per area factor, or the result of simply a lack of critical thinking on the part of the author?

What we know:

The average weight of a 365 watt monocrystalline solar panel is 45 pounds.

To establish a 10 kW system you will need a total of 28 solar panels mounted on top of your roof.

We know that one 365 watt solar panel weighs 45 pounds and takes up an area of 20,7 square feet.

Therefore, 28 solar panels will take up an area of 580 square feet and will weigh a total of 1260 pounds.

1260 pounds ÷ by 580 square feet = 2.17 pounds per square foot. When you take into account mounting equipment, you can raise the weight per square foot to about 3.5 pounds.

This means a 10 kW solar system (with mounting equipment) will weigh 3.5 pound per square feet.

8,000 watts would require approx. 477 sq feet of such panels or 1035 lbs.

I don't see anything about how much area 44 lbs of the photovoltaic fabric covers.

At 1lb a sq yard, like canvas sail of that weight 44 lb would require 406 Sq feet.

If these numbers are right or anything close looks like it could less area than a normal solar roof.

16 oz/sq.yd. is heavy cloth for a sail from my understanding of what I read.
16 oz duck canvas is what you use for Cornhole bags. 15 or 16 oz vinyl coated nylon is what they use on bounce houses too. Pretty heavy fabric.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
72,410
6,080
126
16 oz duck canvas is what you use for Cornhole bags. 15 or 16 oz vinyl coated nylon is what they use on bounce houses too. Pretty heavy fabric.
16 oz duck canvas is what you use for Cornhole bags. 15 or 16 oz vinyl coated nylon is what they use on bounce houses too. Pretty heavy fabric.
Then a 16 oz photovoltaic solar fabric of the type described would produce 8000 watts with a smaller area than typical solar panels at a fraction of the weight. So it is a big deal. It would be fantastic for greenhouses to heat to cool and to shade.

Cooling a greenhouse in a hot climate you could even produce atmospheric water and recapture that produced by plant transpiration.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
72,410
6,080
126
Not gonna make another energy thread so gon spam this one.

Did we get an early Christmas present this year?

This sounds *AWESOME* (solar .. so guess its covered by the fusion headline).

OK: https://www.rechargenews.com/energy...-factory-to-reshape-energy-system/2-1-1379772
 
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Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
Moderator
Dec 11, 1999
16,247
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There's lots of battery development going on lately. Cheaper than lithium, sodium-ion batteries are in production, and should be in your next car whether it's an EV or a hybrid. (I don't know if they will be, but they should be.)

I also saw a story somewhere about someone trying molten sodium-sulfur batteries again for storage like the iron-air batteries above. They're cheap in theory, but you have to keep them hot.
 

Zorba

Lifer
Oct 22, 1999
14,526
9,899
136
Then a 16 oz photovoltaic solar fabric of the type described would produce 8000 watts with a smaller area than typical solar panels at a fraction of the weight. So it is a big deal. It would be fantastic for greenhouses to heat to cool and to shade.

Cooling a greenhouse in a hot climate you could even produce atmospheric water and recapture that produced by plant transpiration.
The fabric they were talking about though is specifically designed to be very strong and light, though.

Either way it be a cool technology, but I'm guessing if the efficiency was near typical panels they would've said that instead of dancing around the subject.
 
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hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
23,424
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There's lots of battery development going on lately. Cheaper than lithium, sodium-ion batteries are in production, and should be in your next car whether it's an EV or a hybrid. (I don't know if they will be, but they should be.)

I also saw a story somewhere about someone trying molten sodium-sulfur batteries again for storage like the iron-air batteries above. They're cheap in theory, but you have to keep them hot.
Hell, I remember reading about molten sodium-sulfur batteries almost sixty years ago in Popular Science. Stuff's hot!
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
16,188
14,091
136
There's lots of battery development going on lately. Cheaper than lithium, sodium-ion batteries are in production, and should be in your next car whether it's an EV or a hybrid. (I don't know if they will be, but they should be.)

I also saw a story somewhere about someone trying molten sodium-sulfur batteries again for storage like the iron-air batteries above. They're cheap in theory, but you have to keep them hot.

Solid state batteries as well.

 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
16,188
14,091
136
Evidently NG prices are through the roof, because the US has become the number 1 exporter of NG in the world these past 6 months. Poorer Americans are getting hit with huge energy bills. Some may lose heating during the winter.


Article doesn't mention the war in Ukraine but it is the reason we are suddently exporting so much NG.

Add that to the long list of reasons fossil fuels are unsustainable. Once solar panels and wind turbines are manufactured and installed, the price of energy they produce is stable and, of course, independent of foreign nations and activities beyond our borders. You'd think the MAGA isolationalist and "economic nationalist" types like Bannon would get on board with this, no?
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
72,410
6,080
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The fabric they were talking about though is specifically designed to be very strong and light, though.

Either way it be a cool technology, but I'm guessing if the efficiency was near typical panels they would've said that instead of dancing around the subject.
I agree with you here. I did the calculations myself from the information given using a fairly heavy weight for the cloth. Sail cloth can be rather lighter than the number I used. I made the assumption that one sq yard of cloth equals one sq yard of photovoltaic fabric and the ratio of weight to power but I could have made a math or a conceptual mistake in there somewhere. The only answer I can think of to explain the vagueness is that they don't really know because they have not made anything from fabric the size of a solar panel yet. I also don't think they have worked out how to protect the dyes from long term exposure to the elements.
 

KMFJD

Lifer
Aug 11, 2005
29,151
42,151
136
Regarding modular nuclear hope:


kind of related but they just certified the first Modular reactor
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
72,410
6,080
126

kind of related but they just certified the first Modular reactor
I saw that. Think I read one plant ready to go in 2029.

I also read that solar is getting so cheap it’s worth it to put it on the north facing portions of roofs when doing new installs in the past done only on southern facing roofs.

From CNBC: In its largest-ever upward revision to its renewable power forecast, the IEA now expects the world’s renewable capacity to surge by nearly 2,400 gigawatts between 2022 and 2027 — the same amount as the “entire installed power capacity of China today.”
 
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misuspita

Senior member
Jul 15, 2006
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438
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I think Romania is going to be a testing ground for the SMR. Hopefully it's a success
The VOYGR nuclear power plant projects that both Romania and Poland will develop, in cooperation with NuScale, will have six modules, each with an installed capacity of 77 MWe. NuScale's SMR technology is the first to have gained approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in August 2020

 

hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
23,424
10,317
136
I think Romania is going to be a testing ground for the SMR. Hopefully it's a success


All those lovely almost endless nucleotides.