Thursday, December 1, 2011

The energy in profit

I've always been pissed off at the backwards way in which energy is generated and stored.

'Yeah. Let's burn some stuff, let the resulting expansion turn a piston to turn a crank to power a dynamo (or whatever)'

Even in the most advanced power plants like Nuclear, energy is still generated in the most elementary of ways; i.e. turn a crank and store the energy in a technology that was created over 150 years ago; commonly known as the battery. It's good to see someone actually thinking about energy in a way that is forward-thinking, rather than just changing the context of how the type of energy is sourced.

The video is compelling and covers some amazing things in the process. It sits on the border of magic, in relation to what carbon can do:
  • Form a transparent flexible film
  • Alternate between transparent and opaque through a small voltage pulse
  • Transform infra-red radiation into visible light
  • ..and finally, convert light into energy

His proposal is to extract the untapped energy inherent in the electrons that are contained in every element around us and agitated through sunlight. Just as I have believed for a long time, he believes in a 'grid-less power grid'. i.e. every household is its own energy generator and thereby avoids the large amount of energy lost in the process of travelling to your household. This has always horrified me and it should for you, too. Of course, this technology will never be used, because there's no profit to be gained from a market where the coal miners don't get their cut, the government don't get their cut and the power plants don't get their cut. It looks to be a solution; just not a solution that will ever see the light of day (get it). Of course, the best way of saving energy is to follow the doctrine set out by Mr Doug Stanhope - the sooner people realise they're destroying themselves, the sooner we'll see a real solution.