Description: We intend to implement multiple off-the-shelf proven solar-electricity technologies, and also provide a real-world test bed for technologies that will emerge as we complete our Emerald Eco-City construction project in the next few years.
Every hour of every day, more free, clean, zero-emission solar energy arrives on Earth than the sum total of all other forms of energy used by all humans in an entire year. The sun warms our land, air, and water, making Earth habitable by humans.
The sun supplies energy that makes plants and phytoplankton grow (the rock-solid foundation of our life-critical food chain).
Solar energy is the very essence of our Earthly existence. Our sun supplies the energy for all forms of plant and animal life (except for some extreme things that live next to deep-water geothermal vents, which are linked to the solar origin of the Earth 4.5 billion years ago). Life on Earth is not possible without the current form of the sun, and our orbit around it.
The sun evaporates water causing rain, which fills rivers and enables hydroelectric dams. It also drives ocean currents, which can be tapped in the future to provide 100 times more hydrokinetic electricity than all of the world's great rivers combined.
Uneven seasonal solar heating of the land, water, and air drives the wind, which has the realistic potential to deliver over
10 times more electricity than all other forms of energy being used by humans on Earth today. For centuries, humans have used solar-powered wind for sailboats and windmills that pump water, grind grain, compress gases, and generate abundant free electricity. We have not even begun to tap the highly-concentrated wind energy in Earth's upper-altitude jet streams.
Solar-powered wind energy is clean, green, zero-emissions, non-polluting, daily renewable, and FREE.
Enormous Solar Radiation from our sun is the foundation of many forms of Abundant Energy in Harmony with Nature ®
Thomas Edison told his friends Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone: “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
Sorry Tom - Non-learning humans still haven't figured out the obvious great value of sunlight for a century yet.
Nikola Tesla:“No matter what we attempt to do, no matter to what fields we turn our efforts, we are dependent on power. We have to evolve means of obtaining energy from stores which are forever inexhaustible, to perfect methods which do not imply consumption and waste of any material whatever. If we use fuel to get our power, we are living on our capital and exhausting it rapidly. This method is barbarous and wantonly wasteful, and will have to be stopped in the interest of coming generations.”
In the 1890’s, Tesla invented today’s pervasive alternating current electric motor and the specifications for America’s Electric Power Grid. Tesla / Westinghouse built the first A/C hydroelectric power plant at Niagara Falls to supply Buffalo New York, 20 miles away. It set critical precedents that we still follow to this very day. Very few modern technologies have lasted so long.
Nikola Tesla published plans to generate power from solar radiation and from geothermal wells. Some people argue that he was “The Man Who Invented the Modern World.” We agree. Tesla was deeply concerned when companies began using dirty unsustainable fossil fuels to generate electricity. Although some of his ideas seemed way beyond wacko, we are only recently rediscovering what an outstanding visionary his early work was.
There are many rapidly-expanding ways to generate electricity from the intense sunlight at Emerald Eco-City.
For specific details, see our 2,000-slide U.S. DOE / ORNL Workshop presentation titled "Superior Future Energy" on our Zero Energy Design CD ROM
We intend to implement multiple off-the-shelf proven solar-electricity technologies, and also to provide a real-world test bed for technologies that will emerge as we complete our Emerald Eco-City construction project in the next few years.
We will have side-by-side scientifically-documented performance evaluation monitoring, and worldwide unbiased Internet reporting, about
solar conversion efficiency (per square meter of solar collector and per capital-investment ROI), real estate footprint, long-term
reliability, up/down time, maintenance time-and-cost, support, and capital investment to manufacture each system type
IN AMERICA. It will be our goal to develop our own innovative technologies, or acquire the rights to the world's best,
and manufacture these systems as part of Emerald Eco-City ongoing revenue generation. We will most certainly invite
those with similar goals to locate their aggressive-growth businesses in our model city. We will be the world's best consumer and user of everything we produce. There will be no businesses allowed in Emerald Eco-City that are in conflict with our critical fundamental goal of Living in Harmony with Nature.
Solar Electricity generation technologies include: (1) Direct Conversion Photovoltaic Solar Cells / Panels, and (2) Concentrating Solar Power , such as: Heliostat-Reflector Solar Power Towers, Parabolic Troughs, Stirling Heat Engines and Hot-Air Solar-Chimney Convection Power Towers:
ZERO EMISSIONS - Never Burn Anything - Free-Fuel Electricity Economics
Let us begin by enumerating some of the basics that SHOULD be obvious to everyone, (BUT are rejected by non-learning, unscientific, myopic, mediocre minds that are easily deceived by greedy corporations, and especially by corrupt politicians).
(1) Electricity from expensive-fuel is expensive - It costs a lot to extract, transport, distribute, use, and clean up after. Expensive-fuel price is increasing as past-peak supply declines and demand increases. It is totally unsustainable for long. The farther the expensive-fuel source is from where it is needed, the more expensive it is to transport and use. Is it rational or reasonable to burn lots of diesel fuel to move expensive fuel hundreds or thousands of miles to power plants? What could possibly be dumber than the many U.S. petroleum-powered plants that still burn expensive foreign oil?
(2) Electricity from free-fuel is MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE in the long run - Sunshine is distributed around the world for free. Sunlight, wind, rain, ocean currents, tides and geothermal energy are very abundant with ZERO ONGOING FUEL COST.
There is essentially little difference between building free-fuel electricity generation facilities in "Excellent" locations, and the cost of building new similar-capacity expensive-fuel power plants that meet ever-tightening national emission standards.
As pollution standards are improved, and fines, penalties, sanctions, and (carbon) pollution taxes get worse in the future, highly-polluting expensive-fuel will become even LESS cost competitive with free-fuel systems, and eventually have to be written off as huge infrastructure losses for expensive-fuel investors, and foolish banks that loaned them money. Nuclear, coal, natural gas, petroleum, and biofuel power plants can NOT be easily converted to solar, wind, or hydroelectric free fuel. Would YOU loan your scarce dollars to anyone who proposes building another foolish expensive-fuel power plant?
Idiots who think they can amortize the cost of an expensive-fuel power plant over 50 years are spectacularly short sighted. The elimination of dirty, expensive-fuel power plants is 30 years overdue. WHEN it happens in the 2010's it will be a dramatic devastating disaster for the myopic mediocre mental morons who invested their careers and money in unsustainable suicide. They will of course do everything that they can to prevent Emerald Eco-City success, (just like Rush Limbaugh wants Obama to fail). BUT, free-fuel future energy is our ONLY viable sustainable simple solution, whose unstoppable time has finally come.
Spending one more penny on new expensive-fuel systems is nothing less than pouring money down the short-term toilet!
The major difference between sustainable free-fuel electricity generation, and unsustainable expensive-fuel electricity is the ongoing monthly operating cost. The difference between "FREE" and "EXPENSIVE" fuel should be obvious to open unbiased minds. But, in our non-learning nation, IT CLEARLY IS NOT.
The next consideration is the average monthly ongoing maintenance-and-operation cost, which both types of power plants will incur. The difference in monthly maintenance cost depends on the type of technology. The total costs are very-well documented for traditional expensive-fuel power plants, but less-well understood for leading-edge (and proposed) free-fuel electric-power-generation facilities.
The Universe of Energy exhibit in Walt Disney World EPCOT center opened in 1982. At 37-minutes, it is the longest ride at any Disney theme park. It is powered by 2,200 photovoltaic panels with 36 silicon solar cells each (two acres total area), producing 70,000 watts of free-fuel electricity. It has required very-little maintenance, despite having gone through 3 recent hurricanes - The PV's are still working fine three decades later. Today’s PV’s are much better and less expensive.
Many PV systems now come with 25 Year Warrantees. PV's do degrade slowly over decades, but no expensive-fuel power plant has such low ongoing monthly operating costs. The economic benefits increase every year.
Large-utility-scale (tens of megawatts) Parabolic Trough Solar-Thermal Electric Power Generation Systems have been operating profitably-and-cost-effectively since the first Mojave Dessert, Kramer Junction, LUZ installation in 1985. - Parabolic-trough electricity generation is off-the-shelf, reliable, proven technology - No new miracles are required - Parabolic troughs work very-well in "Excellent" dry-climate sunshine.
Robert Stirling patented his innovative " air engine " in 1816. If supplied with heat (from concentrated sunshine, etc.) it can produce rotational mechanical energy, which can power an electricity generator, run water pumps, mills, etc.) If supplied with mechanical energy (from a water wheel, etc.) it can produce heat or cold. For nearly two hundred years it has been used in a wide variety of small-scale off-the-grid mechanical and electrical applications.
Stirling Engine Electricity Generation is receiving elevated interest in the 21st century. It MAY become the most-cost-effective form of future solar-generated electricity. Two of the long-term operation cost issues are the very-high temperature, and the high 1,000+ psi piston pressure that they generate. What level of reliability and total maintenance costs can be expected over 25 years? The large-scale California demonstration project will soon give us more valuable insight to assist future solar electricity generation equipment decisions.
Zero Energy Design ® did not invent sunshine, but we are the world's foremost 3-decade experts at holistically integrating and cost-effectively optimizing free-fuel technology into Abundant Energy in Harmony with Nature ®
Hardening Clean Free-Fuel Energy Generation Systems
When the U.S. military indiscriminately (and foolishly) tested new hydrogen-bomb technology in the atmosphere after WW II, (Starfish Prime 1962) we found that a mid-Pacific bomb 250 miles high (orbital altitude) wiped out electric power systems in Hawaii 900 miles away. This well-understood concept is now called a High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse Bomb ( HEMP ).
The combination of orbital rocket technology plus atomic weapons mean that a single small orbiting nuclear device could wipe out everything electrical (motors, power, communications, computers, appliances, defense radar, and all spare parts) in the 48 United States. In an instant, without any warning whatsoever, our nation could be sent back to the pre-electricity mid 1800's. With no anufacturing, transportation, or coordination capacity, it could take decades to recover, during which time many would starve to death or die from no from no clean water or healthcare.
We know for certain that Pakistan and North Korea have HEMP potential. Many U.S. government officials believe that Iran either already has, or soon will have, nuclear bomb potential. February 2009, Iran orbited their first satellite (called Omid, meaning "Hope"). Since Iran has NOT signed a treaty banning nuclear weapons in space, America had no idea if Omid had a HEMP onboard. Iran or North Korea (who are not pleased with U.S. intervention) MAY orbit a HEMP very soon.
We may not know what is on a future enemy orbital rocket launch. They could detonate a HEMP at any time they choose.
HEMP is a very-real catastrophic threat to the entire world that depends on electricity. U.S. taxpayers have unknowingly spent billions of defense dollars hardening a few military locations, but our entire power gird is essentially unprotected. HEMP is perhaps the very-worst man-made suicide-of-humanity threat that the world faces today.
Emerald Eco-City wants to do what we can cost-effectively do to reduce our potential exposure to a terrorist's HEMP bomb. Passive Solar Technology and our solarium food-production greenhouse are NOT sensitive to HEMP, but electrical systems are sensitive to HEMP. Emerald Eco-City may be the ONLY city in the 48 United States to survive and thrive after a catastrophic terrorist HEMP bomb, to coordinate rebuilding the devastated entire American electrical infrastructure. How much is that worth?
Our integrated ecocity shell will have a huge " Faraday Cage " designed to harmlessly conduct a HEMP bomb attack to the ground, without damaging any of our sensitive electrical equipment inside the cage. It will also protect against natural lightening damage. Some of our outer-most electrical systems will be vulnerable, but most of our life-critical electrical central systems will have robust HEMP protection. Our internal communication will not be damaged by terrorists or lightening.
Photovoltaic (PV) direct-conversion sun-to-electricity systems cannot be cost-effectively protected by a Faraday Cage without reducing their power output by about 3/4. We may use a few PV systems for non-critical power, but Emerald Eco-City will NOT rely exclusively on PV for most of our free-fuel energy needs, since PV cannot be protected from HEMP, and other technologies are currently more cost-effective at producing electricity from sunshine than PV's are. Spare parts will be protected deep within our ecocity Faraday Cage. We expect that a HEMP will likely be a one-time event, but we will survive and thrive even in the event of multiple HEMPs separated by time.
Generating electricity from solar-thermal concentrating systems (like parabolic troughs, solar power towers, Stirling engines, mirrors or lenses) CAN have their electrical components protected with a Faraday Cage, without reducing output potential at all.
Likewise, windmills can have their electrical components protected with a Faraday Cage.
Our power transmission facilities can be hardened underground. We will NOT use any above-ground power transmission facilities - NO power towers at all. Underground is weatherproof, lower maintenance cost, plus it provides HEMP protection.
Reliability, durability, and maintainability are critical Emerald Eco-City design objectives - more than any city in the world today.
We are far more concerned about occupant security and lower total cost of ownership than in the required initial investment. Failure to protect a city against terrorist HEMP, is like driving a car without insurance. Only Fools Fall For False Economy. The catastrophe of HEMP on 300,000,000 North Americans would be 10,000+ times greater than 9/11/2001 on 3,000 Americans.
We HOPE that HEMP never happens anywhere on Earth, BUT sadly sometimes reality falls far short of our hopes and dreams. After the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, we hoped nothing like that would ever happen again (but clearly it did on 9/11).
HOPE has great value, but we have been given intellectual capacity to predict the future and plan to mitigate bad scenarios. As terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferate to our many enemies, we must plan for more-chaotic worst case scenarios. The possibilities are more frightening than when nuclear-armed USSR sent Sputnik into orbit.
Emerald Eco-City's Solar Energy Plan Offers Hope of a More-Secure Sustainable World
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
MORE TO COME
Emerald EcoCity will be a happy, cost-effective, prosperous place for our posterity
Lifelong Learning In An Ever-Expanding Universe Of Endless Possibilities TM
We invite constructive suggestions and collaboration from others
E-Mail To: ZEDmaster@ZeroEnergyDesign.com