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View Full Version : A Solution for the Coming Energy Crisis?



Meerkat
01-23-2006, 10:10 PM
Miniscule Motor Runs on Sunlight (http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20060124/sc_space/minisculemotorrunsonsunlight;_ylt=AtfwHXCASHz0pf_P ekVqBBFxieAA;_yl u=X3oDMTA4NmhocGZ1BHNlYwMxNzAw)

Katherine
01-23-2006, 10:10 PM
Bad link.

Meerkat
01-23-2006, 10:18 PM
Can't seem to make the link work. I wonder if yahoo isn't putting a cookie crumb in the url such that it can only be viewed by the machine that has the cookie...? :confused:

Anyway, it's on Yahoo News in the science section.

George Roberts
01-24-2006, 09:51 AM
this works (http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20060124/sc_space/minisculemotorrunsonsunlight)

Victor
01-24-2006, 09:59 AM
A solution to whose energy crisis? Besides, is that the right word? Bombs falling are a a crisis. People dying are a crisis. Crisis implies suddenness. Rising prices are not a crisis, they're inflation, and they're not even going up very fast.

We've all had plenty of warning. It's only a crisis for someone who bought a 10-mpg gallon POS and thought gas would be cheap forever. That's not a crisis, that's a fool and his money.

[ 01-24-2006, 10:24 AM: Message edited by: Victor ]

Garrett Lowell
01-24-2006, 10:02 AM
http://www.livescience.com/images/060123_solar_motor_02.jpg

Dan McCosh
01-24-2006, 10:13 AM
Rising prices are not a crisis, they're inflation, and they're not even going up very fast. In my world, prices doubling in 12 months is pretty fast.

High C
01-24-2006, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by Dan McCosh:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> Rising prices are not a crisis, they're inflation, and they're not even going up very fast. In my world, prices doubling in 12 months is pretty fast.</font>[/QUOTE]After a decade or more of price stability, it averages out. Oil and gas are still quite a bit cheaper than in the early 80s.

Dan McCosh
01-24-2006, 10:32 AM
Natural gas is up about 400% in the last 10 years. That's about 10x the rate of inflation.

Victor
01-24-2006, 10:34 AM
Our illustrious VP wants it to be $3/gallon retail and is working hard toward that goal, but barring a crisis with Iran or something I don't see supply/demand driving it much higher. NG consumption is down 40% from last year, according to one of the business channels.

And IMHO this is the Enron business model at work. Supply is in the control of a very small number of people who are manipulating it for their own profit. Don't like the prices you're getting? Well then, find a reason to shut down the refinery for a few weeks. If you don't like it, go build your own.

[ 01-24-2006, 10:37 AM: Message edited by: Victor ]

Dan McCosh
01-24-2006, 10:42 AM
The form the energy crisis will (is) taking is steeply rising prices, greatly affecting those most dependent on energy. Living in a cold climate, and looking at a heating bill that equals the mortgage, is only one example.

Gary E
01-24-2006, 10:43 AM
Become Amish...

carioca1232001
01-24-2006, 10:48 AM
Living in a cold climate, and looking at a heating bill that equals the mortgage, is only one example .

Had no idea that it was that bad.

High C
01-24-2006, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by Dan McCosh:
Natural gas is up about 400% in the last 10 years. That's about 10x the rate of inflation.Sorry, I meant gasoline, not natural gas. Natural gas was practically free for a long time. That party is over.

Victor
01-24-2006, 12:04 PM
I cut my NG usage in half this winter.

ljb5
01-24-2006, 12:30 PM
No, this isn't an answer to any energy crisis.

It's a clever new form of solar power, but it's still just solar power.

Bruce Hooke
01-24-2006, 01:07 PM
For whatever it is worth...even for those who do not need a car, or drive a fuel efficient car, and for whom heating bills are not a big concern because they live in Florida, heat with wood, or whatever, rapidly rising energy prices should be a concern.

I recall hearing a report recently which noted that there is a VERY strong correlation between significant increases in energy prices and economic downturns. If you are a hermit living off the land in Alaska shifts in the economy may not matter that much. For the rest of us an economic downturn is not a good thing.

It is, as I understand it, a "relative" situation, by which I mean that it is the price change that matters more than the actual price a lot of the time. If gas sits at $4/gallon for a few years people will adjust by buying more efficient cars and so on. However, during the adjustment process things are likely to be tight for a while as people put more money into energy and thus have less to spend on other goods and services.

Matt J.
01-24-2006, 01:15 PM
In the interim, perhaps something already widely available would make more sense?
http://www.motorcycle.com/mo/mcyossef/04_Ducati_ST3/.full/Ducati_ST3_3twoup.jpg

Motorcycles, my friends. Better efficiency in fuel, emissions, materials, space... think of the problems that could be eased greatly by simply learning to ride on 2 rather than 4!

LeeG
01-24-2006, 01:36 PM
I don't get it,,reading the link it says it'll stay stable for 1000cycles,,at 100microseconds/cycle it'll last a second?

LeeG
01-24-2006, 01:53 PM
Matt, nahh,,walking and bicycles. Motorcycles are for fun.

Garrett Lowell
01-24-2006, 02:03 PM
Telecommuting. All of the work I do is implemented in any country but the USA (another team handles 'domestic' chores). I could just as easily do this at home than drive to work. My company could save alot of money and energy by not having to illuminate, heat, cool, and maintain this campus.

DJM
01-24-2006, 02:07 PM
No waste?
The engine wears out after only 1000 cycles then the whole engine is waste!

Matt J.
01-24-2006, 02:08 PM
Walking and bicycles are good but within their limits. Riding a century is for fun, but not for commuting. Lotsa people travel 15-20 + miles for work... beyond that (15-20) cycling is no longer practical.

Motorcycles can be an instant and seemless improvement while folks realize (incl me) that 50 mile commutes each way are inefficient.

By the time the topic technology really runs a machine, 'puter and related technologies will have removed the need for most long distance commutes.

Motorcycles need no "development" for implementation and would solve myriad problems immediately.

Meerkat
01-24-2006, 02:25 PM
Just read in "The Economist" that oil demand is predicted to be 120 million barrels/day in 10 years and production will be about 60 million barrels/day. That will push prices up bigtime. try $10/gallon. :eek:

George Roberts
01-24-2006, 02:34 PM
My wife was commenting on (nagging about) our electric bills this week.

She was right in 1998 we were paying $67/month. Now we are paying $120/month. Turns out we use the same amount of electric power now as then: 1500kwh/month peak.

Of course my shop now uses 150kwh ($12)/month now vs. 20 ($1) then.

Refrigerator 75kwh ($6)/month. 3 computers at 110kwh ($9)/month each. 2 computers at 10wkh ($1)/month each.

Now, we have A/C and heat pump. Then we had electric heat and warm waterbeds.

Now, we have at least twice the income as then.

I could look up our gas usage, but I expect the pricing is reasonable.