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Hicel



Joined: 09 Sep 2004
Posts: 55
Hicel
Just a question. Why doesn't mankind put a giant electric generator into space. No gravity? You could use some force once to get it started and you would get infinity energy or at least much more than on earth?
Post 03 May 2008, 00:44
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mattst88



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 260
Location: South Carolina
mattst88
Basic physics tells us that Energy Input = Energy Output.

The act of removing energy from some spinning object for the purpose of electricity generation slows the spinning of the said object.

I assume you're thinking along the lines of hydroelectric generators. In this case, the energy from the falling water (potential energy) is converted into electric current by the rotating of a rotor in a magnetic field. The turbines/rotor/etc are just the mechanism for converting some type of energy into electric current, and not the actual source of energy.
Post 03 May 2008, 01:54
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Hicel



Joined: 09 Sep 2004
Posts: 55
Hicel
Yes that's right I am just thinking arround.. but am I wrong that the energy efficency is much better in space.. for example a turbine would spin much much longer even if it converts energy by friction to heat but you don't have the factor of gravity..?

I see it that way

In SPACE its:
Energy Input + Energy lost by factors on earth (like air,gravity..) = Energy Output

On EARTH its
Energy Input - Energy lost by factors on earth (like air,gravity..) = Energy Output

So energy efficiency
SPACE >= EARTH
Post 03 May 2008, 02:08
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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revolution
All the laws of thermodynamics still apply in space, generators don't suddenly become more efficient just because you put them in space. But more to the point is that although most people call them "energy generators" in fact a more technically correct term would be "energy converters", since energy cannot be created or destroyed, merely converted from one form to another. Besides the cost of sending a "generator" into space and the costs of maintaining it are enormous. You can't just simply send a tech with a bag of tools to fix a fuse. And how would you retrieve the energy from such a device?
Post 03 May 2008, 03:06
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Hicel



Joined: 09 Sep 2004
Posts: 55
Hicel
Laser? Smile Hmm well, guess I have to read more about physics before thinking about such stuff, thx for the answers.
Post 03 May 2008, 03:45
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DOS386



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 1901
DOS386
> Why doesn't mankind put a giant electric generator into space
> and you would get infinity energy

No need Laughing We already have something: the Sun Idea

Image

The power falling on the Earth is more than sufficient, is one just bothers to use it Wink

> guess I have to read more about physics before thinking about such stuff

YES.
Post 03 May 2008, 16:59
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
Quote:
The power falling on the Earth is more than sufficient, is one just bothers to use it

Not sure if it's really powerful enough to make up for all the gas we use. I'd bet more on nuclear power.
Post 03 May 2008, 17:33
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edfed



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 4237
Location: 2018
edfed
building a solar cell belt on the earth orbit.
http://www.hebergementimages.com/images/1209843409_sunbelt.bmp

earth - sun ~ 8 Light Minutes.
lengh of the belt ~ 2*PI*8 LM
one solar cell ( 12V@1A)is ~ 1 * 0.2 meters

How many GW an we produce with this system?
How many Atomic Reactors needed to obtain the same energy?
How many $$ to have this system?

solar paint??
Image
Post 03 May 2008, 19:29
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: usa
tom tobias
Post 03 May 2008, 20:30
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bitRAKE



Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 2915
Location: [RSP+8*5]
bitRAKE
It would be technologically interesting to create a space fly-wheel to convert solar energy into rotational force, and then to use the fly-wheel to power either space vehicles or transmit the power to terrestrial bodies (earth / moon / mars / etc.). Although the sun does radiate much energy, having a local cache of power would be very beneficial, IMHO.

Beaming solar power to earth seems scary to me - what are the long term effects of such a high-power conduit through the atmosphere - no one knows.

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Post 04 May 2008, 01:03
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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revolution
bitRAKE wrote:
Beaming solar power to earth seems scary to me - what are the long term effects of such a high-power conduit through the atmosphere - no one knows.
The sun currently beams solar energy to Earth continuously and it seems be okay so far. Razz But currently we are constantly beaming very high energies through the atmosphere in the form of radio waves and microwaves. That also seems to be okay so far.

But beaming energy is very wasteful and inefficient. The beam spreads and means the collector must be very large. The intensity of the beam is attenuated by the atmosphere. The on-Earth collector efficiency when converting to useful energy (like electricity) is very poor. The size of the in-space reflector surface area must also be huge to pass on any appreciable amount of energy.
Post 04 May 2008, 01:38
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bitRAKE



Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 2915
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bitRAKE
revolution wrote:
The sun currently beams solar energy to Earth continuously and it seems be okay so far. Razz But currently we are constantly beaming very high energies through the atmosphere in the form of radio waves and microwaves. That also seems to be okay so far.
I am not aware of any concentrated atmospheric energy work besides HAARP. If you have any information about such work in the concentrated magnitudes that power generation would require I'd love to read it.

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Post 04 May 2008, 02:34
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


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revolution
bitRAKE wrote:
I am not aware of any concentrated atmospheric energy work besides HAARP. If you have any information about such work in the concentrated magnitudes that power generation would require I'd love to read it.
Just turn on your AM/FM radio, you can here all the megawatt stations in many places around the planet.
Post 04 May 2008, 07:51
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