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Sci Tech    H3'ed 3/8/09

The Future of Energy

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There is plenty of energy for everyone.

Sure, I know all about peak oil and the dangers of nuclear energy and the high cost to produce solar and wind energy.

But those things are all trivial compared to the untapped energy sources we have all around us.

That's Hot

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For example, heat can be used to generate electricity. This is true not only on the industrial scale, but even on the level of your home faucet. Indeed, inventors have already built home faucet kits which turn the unused heat from your hot water into electricity.

In hot climates, black thermal-electric mats could be installed on roofs to generate electricity.

Heat is a byproduct of other processes, and so nothing special needs to be done to create it. Just about every human activity and many natural processes create heat, so we just have to utilize it.

Stomp

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Another use of a free, wasted byproduct to generate electricity is piezo-electric energy. "Piezo" means pressure. Anything that produces pressure can produce energy.

For example, a train station in Japan installed piezo-electric equipment in the ground, so that the foot traffic of those walking through the train station generates electricity (turnstiles at train, subway and ferry stations, ballparks and amusement parks can also generate electricity).

Similarly, all exercise machines at the gym or at home can be hooked up to produce electricity.

But perhaps the greatest untapped sources of piezo-electric energy are freeways and busy roads. If piezo-electric mats were installed under the busiest sections, the thousands of tons of vehicles passing over each day would generate massive amounts of electricity for the city's use.

Harvesting The Ocean of Energy

We are surrounded by an ocean of energy. While we can see light and feel heat, most electromagnetic energy is beyond our senses.

We are like a starving man who can't see or smell and is surrounded by food, but doesn't know it. We can learn how to cheaply "harvest" the energy that is all around us.

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How?

Well, scientists have figured out that solar collection is much more efficient if you focus the sunlight:

Image: Solar Collector.
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George Washington


As a political activist for decades, I have rejoiced in victories for the people and mourned in defeats. I chose the pen name "George Washington" because - as Washington's biographies show - he wasn't a (more...)
 
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