Description: Utility-scale (hundred megawatt) solar electricity power plants have been demonstrated in dry areas with “Excellent” solar radiation for only 3-cents per kilowatt hour amortized cost
There are now multiple ways to generate electricity from abundant FREE-FUEL sunshine and wind that COST LESS than building new oil, coal, natural gas, biofuels or nuclear energy power plants. Solar and wind power plants can be built faster than expensive-fuel power plants. They have reasonable monthly maintenance and operation costs, and NO ongoing fuel cost. Why would anyone ever build a new unsustainable expensive-fuel highly-polluting power plant ever again? They are a dead-end dirt road detour to disaster, based on rapidly-failing corrupt business-and-politics-as-usual.
Practical applications of free-fuel energy science should always be advancing over time. We would now like to find ways to generate electricity from clean, free-fuel sunshine and wind that require the minimum-possible amortized capital investment and monthly operating cost.
Having achieved 3-cents per kWh, our next goal is to drop below 2-cents per kWh, while conventional expensive-fuel electricity is INCREASING above 12 cents per kWh nationwide.
No one can predict future technology with certainty, but we do see superior sunlight and wind potential on tomorrow’s horizon. The more enlightened we become, the less money we’ll waste experimenting with less-cost-effective alternatives. The minimum we must do is STOP burning all carbon-based fuels, and producing deadly radioactive waste.
To the extent possible, we would like to be able to pick winners and losers – Invest in the ones with high potential, and STOP USING SCARCE TAXPAYER DOLLARS TO SUBSIDIZE EXPENSIVE-FUEL DEADLY ENERGY SOURCES THAT WE KNOW FOR SURE ARE UNSUSTAINABLE!
As soon as we see that a free-fuel technology will probably cost over 3-cents / kWh (especially one with unknown risks), we can rule it out as a reasonable future possibility (until a lower-cost technology breakthrough occurs).
Recently, we have seen solar-and-wind electric power generation equipment prices fall 4%-to-40% in one year. There is still room for significant future technology-and-price improvements. If downward trends in equipment cost and technology improvements continue at the current pace, we can be reasonably confident that 2-cent per kWh solar electricity is not far away (in only a few years). It is a price / performance goal that we may well achieve before we are ready to occupy Emerald Eco-City in the 2010’s.
100 Acre, Hilltop, Magnetic-Levitation, Vertical Axis Wind Turbine
With The potential To Provide All Power Needed By Emerald Eco-City
Will it become cost effective soon?
In locations where wind energy is abundant, the above MagLev VAWT system solution could be very cost effective for a million people in Emerald Eco-City.
In the U.S. "Wind Corridor" (shown on this map) conventional wind farms are already known to be very cost effective and economically profitable.
Billionaires like Warren Buffet and T. Boone Pickens are investing heavily in developing new wind farms. We do not need large-scale public funding. Private capital is more than willing to invest in free-fuel green energy systems, IF we merely convey a Shared Vision that green energy is our inevitable future (and carbon-based fuels are the declining burdensome past).
Conventional horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) wind farms are NOT as cost effective as the large-scale MWTT vertical axis 2-gigawatt MagLev system described in the above conceptual video clip.
HAWT conventional wind turbines are not scalable to gigawatt generation capacity. As their diameter increases to hundreds of feet, the velocity of the blade tips becomes too great, and high aerodynamic rotation resistance becomes a problem with current technology. This is not a problem with the proposed low-rotation-velocity, high-torque 2-GW MWTT 100-acre VAWT.
One 2-GW VAWT could replace 1,000 less-efficient, more-expensive conventional HAWT's, which could require thousands of acres to install. As America makes a clear commitment to clean, green, safe, free-fuel Abundant Energy In Harmony With Nature, cost-effective economy of super scale and high ROI will dominate our more-successful future.
Hot Air Solar Chimney Power Tower
The idea of using an innovative hot-air solar-chimney natural-convection system to spin a wind turbine is an interesting 100+ megawatt, 2-cent / kWh, near-future possibility. It is a hybrid solution that combines both solar-and-wind free-fuel energy technologies.
Natural Convection History: Humanoid understanding of warm-air rising by “natural convection” is ancient. Between 800,000 and a million years ago, pre-homo-sapiens ape men learned to make fire. They watched the smoke and soot rise, and at night, flames and glowing embers must have made quite an impressive light show for our small-brained ancestors. Eventually, early hominids began making cave paintings using campfire charcoal.
When cavemen brought fire inside, they immediately discovered the requirement for a path that allowed smoke and soot to escape, while fresh-air had to be supplied to the fire to prevent suffocation. The primitive ape-man-made “chimney” was born hundreds of thousands of years ago. The ruins from Greece and Rome thousands of years ago still have ancient indoor fireplaces with simple forms of natural convection chimneys.
2400 years ago, Greeks understood orienting their entire cities to take advantage of the low winter sun. When Romans built solar-heated bath houses two millennia ago, they designed-in central roof vents to allow excess solar heat to escape on warmer days – This was an early solar-powered chimney for fresh-air natural-convection ventilation.
In 1783, the first manned hot-air balloon was launched from the center of Paris, lifting hundreds of pounds into the air for 20 minutes. Science was progressively learning to harness natural convection. Warmer fluids are lighter than colder fluids, which has enormous potential. Hot air balloons do not defy gravity – They take advantage of the simple scientific principle of “buoyancy.”
Since Thomas Edison developed his 1879 incandescent electric light bulb, curious inventors have been experimenting with ways to use solar energy to generate electricity. Edison said: “I'd put my money on the Sun and Solar Energy. What A Source Of Power! I hope we don't have to wait 'till oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” – Sorry Tom, we are truly a non-learning nation that is STILL unsustainably addicted to oil and coal. We have lost the 2400-year old knowledge of how to use free sunshine.
Thomas Edison knew that concentrated solar energy (mirrors or lenses) can easily produce steam, which can spin electric generator turbines, the same way that a waterfall, coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear energy can. We are very sure that IF the spirit of Thomas Edison can see how very-badly addicted we still are to fossil fuels in 2010, he would surely be extremely disappointed at the non-learning stupidity of our fossil-fuel-addicted, unsustainable, suicidal society.
We have multiple free-fuel technologies that have been PROVEN to cost far less than any new unsustainable expensive-fuel system for generating electricity. BUT, greedy, profiteering, myopic corporations continue to badly corrupt our spectacularly-bad energy politics.
The Madrid Enviro Mission hot-air solar-chimney natural-convection system that spins a 60 kilowatt wind turbine is an interesting near-future possibility, which we MAY be able to scale up to hundreds of megawatts at less-than 2-cents per kWh, in the 2010’s. The Australian proposal calls for a giant 200-megawatt power plant. Both of these Enviro Mission projects suffer from significant design weaknesses. One of the most significant is winter performance when the days are short and the sun never gets higher than 30 degrees above the horizon in most locations where people chose to live.
The Enviro Mission horizontal solar collectors would work well near the equator, and in other locations when the sun is nearly overhead. BUT, the sun is 47 degrees lower during the winter solstice than during the summer solstice.
The horizontal Enviro Mission solar collector would be one of the least-efficient designs for winter operation (depending on the location’s latitude distance from the equator). Horizontal solar collectors minimize solar gain potential on the shortest days of the year – the exact opposite of good solar collection design.
Zero Energy Design® proposes a TOTAL REDESIGN of the solar-chimney natural-convection power generation system, using an unprecedented huge VERTICAL Solar Collector.
Decades ago, when American cars had 8 mpg V8 internal combustion engines and useless tail fins, drive-in movie theatres were popular across the USA. Many of them were built to cost-effectively withstand hurricane-force winds.
Imagine the space-frame structure that would be required to scale this simple concept up to support a half-mile-high vertical solar collector. It could easily be built cost-effectively today with existing materials such as steel or stronger-and-lighter modern off-the-shelf carbon-fiber composites.
As carbon nanotube materials become longer and less-expensive in the 2010’s, we MIGHT be able to eventually use them. Today’s nanotubes are 250 times stronger and 10 times lighter than steel. They MAY soon make a whole new world of unimagined structural projects feasible (including NASA’s proposed radical Space Elevator, etc.).
The equator-facing side of our unprecedented vertical solar collector could be covered with modern inexpensive state-of-the-art plastics (made from petroleum today, and from annually-renewable crop-based bioplastics in the 2010’s).
Polyethylene_terephthalate ( PET ) thermoplastic polymer resin is used for highly-recyclable very-clear beverage bottles today. PET bottles have the numeral “1” inside a triangle that is molded on PET plastic bottle bottoms.
PET is also the plastic in polyester synthetic fabrics, ® Registered Trademarks for PET products include: Arnite, Cleartuf, Dacron, Diolen, Eastman PET, Ertalyte, Hostaphan, Impet, Melinex, Mylar, Polyclear, Rynite, Tergal, Terylene, Trevira, and Valox.
PET is chemically resistant to acids, greases, oils, halogens and keytones (but not to alkalis). Any of the above PET products can be easily recycled with a simple chemical process.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 26.7 Million Tons of the annual American solid waste stream is DISPOSABLE PLASTICS – But, ONLY 1.4 million tons (5%) of plastic is ever recycled. The rest of our short-sighted, thoughtless, irresponsible, disposable plastic takes up about 25% of our overall environmentally-expensive landfill space.
Emerald Eco-City has a Zero Impact, Zero Disposables, Zero Landfill enforced policy.
PET (and many other plastics) do NOT biodegrade readily. Almost all of the disposable plastics that you have ever touched in your lifetime will still be taking up landfill space and damaging our delicate Earth hundreds of years from now. Landfill plastics will never return to the source for future plastics.
Our proposed huge vertical solar collector could be made from other people’s disposable plastic packaging, recycled beverage bottles, old discarded clothes, OR annually-renewable crops (grown in harmony with Nature from sunshine, not petroleum). Our clean, free-fuel, recycled-plastic solar chimney solution should put a smile on the face of most concerned environmentalists.
The chemical formula for PET is (C10H8O4)n – It is essentially a modified form of structured organic Carbon + Water (hydrocarbon). PET’s flammability is rated as “self-extinguishing” in many applications (such as ours).
The cost of PET so low, and PET is so abundantly available, that we could well afford to replace it periodically on our solar collector (perhaps every ten years or so). PET films can be made more durable in sunlight by adding glass crystals, or a mesh of clear glass fibers (similar to “fiberglass”) to significantly reduce the rate of aging in the sun, with no major reduction of vertical-solar-collector thermal-energy-gain capacity.
PET can be made into very-strong, wide-and-long, lightweight films. “Biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate” ( boPET ) is made by stretching PET. boPET has HIGH TENSILE STRENGTH, transparency, chemical-and-dimensional stability. It is used for durable magnetic tapes and photographic / movie films. A wide thin sheet of boPET can support the weight of a car. A variety of companies manufacture boPET and other polyester films under different trade names. The most well-known USA and UK boPET names are Mylar®, Melinex® and Hostaphan®. Their properties, wide-spread use, and cost-effectiveness are very-well documented – No new technology is required.
(Electrical Applications: PET is a non-conductive electrical insulator (used for electrical components, capacitors and magnetic recording tapes). For Electrical Engineers:
The PET Dielectric Constant @1MHz is 3.0, Dielectric Strength (kV.mm-1) is 300 @25µm thick, Dissipation Factor @ 1kHz is 0.002, Surface Resistivity (Ohm/sq) is 1013, and Volume Resistivity (Ohm.cm) is greater than 1014.)
Radio Mast Guy Wire Construction
For many decades, tall Radio Masts have used “guy wire” cables to minimize the structural cost of 1,000+ foot tall towers, and to strengthen them against potentially-violent windstorms. Today’s tallest is the 2,063-foot KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota.
Imagine a vertical solar collector that is at least that high, and just as wide. The equator-facing solar collector could have carefully-engineered guy wire cables running mostly north / south to give it strength in very-high winds.
Instead of running huge scaffolds thousands of feet high to assemble the solar collector, we could hinge the structure at the bottom, so the cables could gradually raise or lower the structure on an
“as needed” basis, for assembly, maintenance, replacing the boPET film, or when a violent windstorm
Helium buoyancy could be used to assist raising our huge relatively-lightweight solar collector and keeping it vertical. The upper air-flow portion of our solar-chimney structure might even be helium-filled inflatable to simplify raising it, keeping it upright, and lowering the overall total structural cost. The inflatable portion could be made of a strong Nylon synthetic polymer (or other) fabric that is coated to retain the helium indefinitely, and clear Mylar on the equator-facing side. It could be very-much-like a well-known “blimp” non-rigid airship or a “ tethered helium balloon ”
Existing low-cost inflatable helium-filled technology – No new structural inventions would be required. The economic-and-engineering-calculation cost / durability tradeoffs between rigid and non-rigid portions of our overall vertical solar chimney structure are fairly simple and straightforward to perform.
The entire scalable vertical solar collector structure could be a half-mile wide or more, BUT the individual solar-chimney columnar sections might be only 100-feet wide or so (based on engineering economic-calculation optimizations, and best-possible vertical wind-velocity electricity-generation performance).
Each of these independent solar-chimney vertical-wind columns could be raised or lowered individually. When in the vertical position, the columns may be attached together for added mutual structural support, or we may find it advisable to allow space between them to reduce resistance to high-velocity windstorms.
One of the characteristics of integrated solutions optimization is to cost-effectively use one design element for multiple purposes. Our 2,000-foot-plus-high vertical solar collector would be an excellent tower for wireless send / receive antennas (perhaps the tallest in the world), weather sensors, live webcams of Emerald Eco-City, etc. It would also be designed to harness higher-altitude wind energy:
Combined Bernoulli and Venturi Effect Solar Chimney System Enhancements
When wind blows perpendicular to the end of a tube, it creates a vacuum. The higher the wind velocity, the lower the pressure will be, and the more air will be drawn through an open-ended tube. You can easily see this effect by placing a clear tube (soda straw, etc.) vertically in a cup of water. Blow across the top of the tube, and the water will rise up the tube. It may create an oscillating air column and whistle like a flute. As the water rises, the pitch of the sound will get higher with the shorter column of air. Blow hard enough across the top of the tube and the water will spray out in a mist, like an artist’s air brush.
This is called “ Bernoulli's Principle .” It is also what makes bird-and-airplane wings provide vertical lift. At 160 mph, the Bernoulli Principle lifts a 1.2-million-pound Airbus A380 off of the ground. In a 120+ mph horizontal windstorm, the Bernoulli Principle can easily lift the roof off of a poorly-constructed house.
The Bernoulli Principle explains that the higher the velocity of the wind across the top of any chimney, the faster it will draw air up the chimney (which can generate even more electricity). The higher the top of a solar chimney, the faster the wind velocity at that elevation, the more electricity can be generated 24-hours a day – even when the sun is not shining.
The relatively-small diameter of most previous solar-chimney electricity generation systems means that most of the horizontal wind flows uselessly and unproductively around the sides, instead of over the top (where it would be much more beneficial).
In contrast, our wide, flat, solar chimney proposal will force a much-larger volume of horizontal air flow up and over the top of our chimney. This creates a powerful “ Venturi Effect ,” which greatly accelerates the wind velocity. This is what happens when horizontal wind is forced over the top of a mountain. Mountain climbers and snow skiers know it is often very windy on top. This is also why many wind generators are frequently located on hilltops and in mountain passes. The Venturi Effect can accelerate a low wind velocity to the level that it is cost-effective for a wind generation system (well above 9 mph). The Venturi Effect is conceptually similar to what a mirror or lens can do to concentrate solar energy to a higher, more-cost-effective “energy density.”
The Venturi and Bernoulli Effects will make our Emerald Eco-City solar chimney design generate electricity any time the wind
is blowing, night-or-day, sunny-or-cloudy skies. It will be as much a free-fuel wind generator, as it is a solar-energy electricity
generator. The huge solar plus Venturi Effect has the potential to make our solar chimney perform even BETTER than
conventional wind turbines in similar wind conditions.
This enhanced dual performance benefit will further lower our amortized cost per kWh, which will HOPEFULLY drop below
2-cents, with proper Zero Energy Design® Holistic Systems Engineering / Optimization (incomplete work in progress).
Wind Turbine Ventilation Updraft Enhancement
A “turbine vent” is a vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) that passively converts minimal horizontal air flow from any direction into an updraft vacuum – No electricity required.
The technology has seen widespread use for a century. An 18-inch-diameter turbine vent can draw 2400 cfm in a 12-mph horizontal wind, which is as much as much vertical air flow as a medium-size electric whole-house attic fan.
This concept can be scaled up and multiple vents could be used on our solar chimney.
Turbine vents rely on free horizontal wind from any direction to be the most effective at updraft ventilation.
In locations where there is a prevailing wind most of the time, updraft turbine vents could significantly enhance the performance of our solar-chimney-wall air flow rate. In the correct circumstances, turbine vents could synergistically improve the previously-discussed Bernoulli and Venturi effects, and electricity generation system productivity.
One of the issues with any VAWT is the mechanical friction of the axial bearings.
This can be greatly reduced by “floating” the rotating turbine above the same poles of powerful rare-earth permanent magnets.
This magnetic-bearing concept also introduces the cost-effective possibility of using the wind turbine for more than just producing an updraft vacuum. Coils of wire can be added that pass through the fields of the permanent magnet fields as the turbine rotates, efficiently producing electricity from the turbine vent itself.
When horizontal wind velocity is low, the load on the electricity-generation coils would be automatically switched OFF, to reduce rotation resistance and improve updraft air flow. When the turbine vent is rotating near-or-above its optimal rpm, the variable load on the electric coils would be gradually increased. In windstorms, the load would be increased to the maximum, which will act like a “regenerative braking system”, to limit rpm and prevent damage to the turbine vent from rotating too fast in 100+ mph gusty winds.
Properly designed, holistically-integrated and optimized synergistic turbine vents, plus Bernoulli and Venturi effects can more-than-double the output of a solar chimney electricity generator, which will greatly-reduce the cost per kWh, and increase our profitable Return On Investment.
Further System Performance Optimization Potential
By optimizing our vertical solar collector angle for superior winter performance when the sun is low and the days are short, it raises the question about summer performance.
A vertical equator-facing solar collector is suboptimal in the summer, when the sun rises in the northeast, is nearly overhead at solar noon, and sets in the northwest.
Summer sun is much-more intense than winter solar radiation potential. Our solar chimney (plus Bernoulli and Venturi) wind turbines will be designed to produce nearly 100% of their maximum capacity with limited winter solar radiation. With such an optimized solar + wind hybrid system, we can get by cost-effectively with suboptimal summer solar-energy collector angle.
Daily and Seasonal Solar Tracking
IF it is determined to be economically worth the added construction expense, we COULD rotate our solar-chimney columns to face the rising sun in the northeast, and then the setting sun in the northwest in the SUMMER, when days are much longer and our peak electricity requirement is higher. We have considered two possibilities:
(1) Each (roughly 100-foot-wide) column could be rotated independently. The guy wires would have to be attached at a triangle-shaped peak that would allow easy rotation.
Mid-morning and mid-afternoon, there would be a time when adjacent columns would shade each other. This would have to be included in the economic feasibility engineering calculations, but it appears that solar tracking could be cost-effective, depending on the availability of local wind, and the design of the turbine generators.
(2) Our entire (roughly half-mile-wide) bank of vertical solar collectors COULD be rotated as a single unit. It could be built as a large circular platform - floating on a half-mile-wide (shallow) circular lake - like a free-floating barge with a center axle. Minimal energy is required to slowly rotate a very-heavy floating platform.
This unprecedented large-scale solar electricity generator design would eliminate the mid-morning / mid-afternoon shading problem. The lake might also act as the long-term holding tank for reserve rain water (that only falls during the July-September North American monsoon). The floating-platform lake cover would limit evaporation and help reduce accumulation of dust, bugs, leaves, algae, mold, fungus, bacteria, viruses, and other microbes in the water reserve. The circular platform would prevent wind from forming harmful waves on the lake.
Our vertical solar collector would rise up like a drive-in movie screen in the center of the circular floating platform. In front of the solar collector, we could lay aluminized boPET (Mylar) film horizontally as a solar-radiation concentrator reflector, further enhancing year-round solar gain. Our guy wire design would be attached to cantilevered extensions of the circular platform, (without triangular attachment points at the top of our solar collection columns).
In a minor windstorm, we could merely rotate the solar collector to present minimum surface area to the wind (like feathering a variable-pitch propeller, or loosening the sheets on a sailboat). The circular platform center axle, and the weight of our huge “floating island”, could be designed to prevent it from tipping over in 250-mph winds.
Wind Turbine Blade Design
Since the Wright brothers invented the first “Wind Tunnel” in 1901 to evaluate alternative wing-and-propeller designs, a large industry of quantitative Aeronautical Engineering and Fluid Mechanics has emerged.
When President Carter created the U.S. Department Of Energy (DOE) in 1977, they collaborated with NASA on the design of exotic experimental wind turbine blades. Myopic mediocre Americans failed to pursue our discoveries, and now USA buys most of its wind turbine equipment from more-intelligent far-sighted overseas suppliers, who continued the work that Jimmie Carter set in motion (before Reagan cancelled it).
Most of today’s large-scale wind turbines use a computer-designed shape with three blades made of strong-and-lightweight carbon fiber composites. President Obama wants USA to catch up and become future leaders in this clean free-fuel wind-energy technology (as if).
How many blades should a wind turbine have, if a wind turbine does have blades?
Historically, large-capacity windmill water pumps in
the 1300’s had four canvas blades that looked a lot
like square-rigged sailboat sails.
Old Wild West American agriculture water pumps had many metal blades, long before Thomas Edison developed his 1879 incandescent electric light bulb.
NASA-and-DOE explained that the amount of wind energy captured is determined by the area swept (diameter), rather than by the number of blades, or the surface area of the blades. NASA built a large effective demonstration that only had ONE blade (with a counterweight). The old American farm water-pump windmills had many metal blades, to overcome inertia and start lifting their heavy column of water. Once a windmill is turning at full speed, extra blades cause unproductive “parasitic aerodynamic drag.” The first megawatt-scale wind power plant by Smith-Putnam in 1942 had only two blades on a 174-foot rotor. It delivered 1.25 megawatts to the AC power grid.
Throughout ancient history, windmill technology often incorporated the highest level of technology development in the technical fields that are now referred to as mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and aerodynamics. Key stages were defined by the technical development of windmills as prime movers - from antiquity thousands of years ago, to construction of the 1942 Smith-Putnam, which laid the foundation for our familiar modern wind turbines.
So, why are there so many blades on a 787 Dreamliner Turbofan Jet Engine?
Like water-pump windmills, turbofans must overcome significant inertia during takeoff. Extra blades “grab” more air at lower takeoff speeds. At higher altitude (above 30,000 feet), the air is very thin. Extra blades are more efficient in thin air, with less-dense air to pull-and-push-on. Thin air results in much-less parasitic aerodynamic drag.
State-of-the-art World War II airplane wings and propellers (which are rotating-wing airfoils) were very-inefficient compared to modern designs. Air slips off of wing tips and propeller tips creating an inefficient turbulent vortex. Most of the still-flying over-30-year-old military, commercial and private airplanes suffer large performance losses due to this often-repeated common design flaw. You can clearly see this expensive inefficiency in their familiar condensation trails.
Modern aircraft wings (like the A380) now have “vortex breaker” wing tips. I added 2-foot droop tips to my own airplane in 1995. They improved my cruise-speed efficiency, lowered long-distance fuel consumption, gave me added lift at low speed during takeoff and landing, and they greatly improved my airplane’s safety-and-stability in gusty crosswind landings.
Non-learning aircraft owners have not taken advantage of this 30-year-old technology - Just like non-learning architects & builders who have not applied Zero Energy Design®
Just because the vast majority ignores science and does stupid things, does NOT mean that their intransigent resistant-to-change behavior is either rational or sustainable.
The old 1940’s “tube-and-wing” jet aircraft design (that is still used in the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380) is terribly inefficient. The “blended wing” design (like the 1940 Northrop “flying wing” and the 1996 U.S. B2 Strategic Bomber) is 20% MORE EFFICIENT than the obsolete old tube-and-wing approach. Boeing and Airbus are just too set in their old-fashioned non-learning ways to embrace PROVEN SCIENTIFIC SUPERIORITY.
Boeing is America's largest exporter. They fell three years behind schedule in delivering a safe, reliable 787 Dreamliner. They are probably a decade away from delivering a 20%-more-efficient blended wing commercial airliner. When the price of jet fuel rises and stays above $4-or-$5 per gallon, Boeing will probably go bankrupt. What will that do to USA GDP and balance of trade?
As General Motors proved in 2008/9, being big-and-well-established does NOT mean that you are doing business correctly today, OR that your company is sustainable. Would anyone expect stogy old IBM to invent a major success like the iPhone? IBM has the capital, technology and engineers, but they lack enlightened effective management. It is a huge problem that plagues all deeply-entrenched wake-watching mismanagers.
When the pump price of petroleum rises and stays above $5 per gallon in the near future, all airlines will go bankrupt fairly soon. (Many went bankrupt in 2008 at $4.) Petroleum-addicted airlines are clearly on an unsustainable path to oblivion, as are ALL of today’s petroleum-based aircraft manufacturers. The future is low-cost 300 mph free-fuel electric trains – NOT extremely-expensive-fuel highly-polluting airplanes.
Resistance to long-overdue radical technology change is simply suicidal
All intransigent large corporations in a competitive marketplace will surely go bankrupt. The ONLY way to survive is continual change for the better. For a successful research scientist, “business as usual” is continual change. A “stable” situation periodically needs to be cleaned out with a large shovel. (Smile) So it is with all free-fuel energy technology.
More-Efficient High-Tech Turbine Blade Design
In recent decades, significant R&D has been invested in PhD-level aerodynamics and fluid mechanics to greatly enhance computer predictive models for improving design-speculation quantitative evaluation.
Consider the shape of recently-evolved aircraft propellers. Wind turbines still need similar advanced aerodynamic technology improvements.
Modern turbofan jet airplane engines are “ducted fans.” They also eliminate the inefficient vortex at the tips of turbine blades – Once air enters the turbine duct, it cannot inefficiently slip past the ducted-fan blades. Inefficient turbulence is reduced.
Blimps often use electric-motor-powered ducted fans.
The wind turbine in the million-dollar Enviro Mission 60-kilowatt Madrid solar chimney uses a 4-bladed ducted fan. It has variable-pitch blades, so they can experiment with various blade attack angles. They had little time or funding to evaluate turbine-blade efficiency. Before people try to imitate and scale-up the Enviro Mission low-tech 60kW prototype, we must ask: Was their preliminary design a good one, or is there still significant room for major improvements?
How many blades should a 35-mph (+/-) solar-chimney vertical-air-column wind turbine have for maximum overall electricity generation productivity efficiency? What shape should the blades be? What are the most-cost-effective optimum turbine and air-column diameters? What is the overall “best” solar chimney, Bernoulli-Venturi-effect column height, all things considered?
The optimal specific answers cannot be determined by simple intuition. It will take precise PhD-level aerodynamic and fluid mechanics computer modeling, with validation feedback from sensor-based wind tunnels, and practical field trials, BEFORE we should invest many millions of dollars in a large-scale facility. The potential availability of low-cost advanced nanotube structural materials may also play an important role in the economic viability of a future solar chimney solution below 2-cents per kWh.
Solar chimneys are not an off-the-shelf optimized technology today. We should not imitate the sub-optimal Enviro Mission prototype without further significant R&D. The solar chimney approach is NOT essential for Emerald Eco-City free-fuel energy success. But, it is an interesting potential technology that we need to investigate further for future usage optimization.
Most people would agree that solar-chimney electricity generation is a radical concept.
Fossil-fuel and nuclear power generation executives think it is a totally-Wacko idea.
They would rather kill all of humanity with their pollution than consider clean, free fuel.
Was Man On The Moon A Wacko Idea?
When John F. Kennedy announced in 1961 his goal to send men to the moon in only 8 years, millions of people were sure that the USA had just elected a Wacko President.
Kennedy committed 6% of the U.S. national budget (the equivalent of $125 Billion today – less than one third of our $454 Billion 2009 Wall Street bailout) to win the Space Race. Millions thought that it was a terrible waste of scarce taxpayer dollars.
In 2010, Barak Obama’s 2011 budget slashed $6.5 Billion from our back-to-the-moon project (AFTER we had spent $9 Billion and successfully tested one of the new Constellation mega-rockets). With the release of his fiscal year 2011 budget, President Obama dramatically broke one of his critical campaign promises. He BOLDLY LIED repeatedly when he said in 2008 that he would "endorse the goal of sending human missions to the moon by 2020, as a precursor in an orderly progression to missions to more-distant destinations, including Mars."
Unenlightened, uninsightful, forgetful people and non-learning deceitful politicians ignore the huge benefits that we have already received from NASA’s pioneering science-and-engineering advancements. For one obvious thing, we won the space race and the Soviet Union collapsed. IF we had lost the Space Race, we might all be Russian-speaking Communists today.
Who knows what might have been if President Kennedy had not allocated the money necessary to send men to the moon?
Who knows what will happen to the ailing USA economy as a result of Obama's setback to our laggardly space program today?
For every dollar America has spent on NASA R&D, we have received over $9 in directly-measurable economic, technical and societal benefits. In the 1960’s there were very-few computers. They were slow, stupid, and cost tens of million of dollars. They used vacuum tubes, magnetic core memory, and some discrete transistors.
The moon project set in motion the trend toward smaller-and-faster integrated circuits, which dominate our lives today, including the iPhone, which is so much more powerful than a 10,000-square-foot mainframe computer was not so long ago.
NASA satellites facilitate global telecommunications, weather-and-climate monitoring, Global Positioning System, surveillance systems (and many other valuable Top Secret Services ). Our society could NOT exist today without the major contributions that were set in motion by sending men to the moon in 1969.
A colony on the moon will teach us critical lessons about how we must Live Sustainably in Harmony with Nature on Earth tomorrow. Uninformed Obama has now caused a major setback in our science-and-technology critical learning curve. His Constellation cancellation wasted 9 Billion already-spent scarce taxpayer dollars. And yet it only saves 1.4% of the $454 Billion Wall Street Bailout, (so 700 greedy executives could receive $5-to-$20 million annual bonuses for nearly destroying the entire U.S. Economy in 2008).
Would YOU rather donate $454 Billion to Wall Street, or spend $6.5 Billion a year on moon technology that is guaranteed to give USA a 900+% Return On Investment?
We will stop flying our 1979-technology Space Shuttle in 2010 – leaving us with NO WAY TO GET TO OUR SPACE STATION, other than buying seats on Russian rockets, which provides significant funds to THEIR technology development. We ARE paying for space technology development, but not receiving the benefit, just like so many other technologies that we have insanely outsourced overseas.
If Russia gets mad at USA, they could deny us seats on their spacecraft, and take control of the $100 Billion Space Station. How spectacularly stupid is that? Is reducing NASA’s budget making USA more secure? Do any voters care about what is clearly happening? Do most of them think that moon technology development is worthless? Such insanity is making America RAPIDLY fall far behind the world’s technology leaders.
The 1960’s man on the moon project motivated many young scientists and engineers to get a superior education.
Now we have millions of unmotivated bored high-school dropouts who flip burgers and can’t calculate sales tax.
Many wind up in our growing, overcrowded, expensive prisons as a huge burden to society.
What exciting technology will motivate our young people in the 21ST century high-tech-race future?
Failure to powerfully educate and motivate is society-wide suicide. Man on the Moon had enormous benefits to us all.
Boulder-City Hoover Dam – Yet Another Wacko Idea?
It cost 49 million Great Depression dollars to build (nearly a billion of today’s worth less dollars). It provided jobs for 16,000 out-of-work people. Millions of Americans thought that Hoover Dam was nothing but a Wacko Make-Work Bureaucratic Boondoggle. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
Hoover Dam has 17 generators with peak-operational-capacity of 2.8 gigawatts of electricity. This clean, free-fuel power has been continually sold at a high profit. The total cost of the entire project was quickly paid back. Taxpayers and electricity consumers benefit greatly to this day. Hoover Dam power is still being sold for only 0.8 cents per kWh (less than a penny), while the national average rate is 11.6 cents per kWh. Investment in free-fuel energy is one of the smartest things we can do.
Hoover Dam has many additional benefits. It is one of the highest Return On Investments of any American-government-sponsored project ever. Was it really so Wacko after all? Does America have similar political investment opportunities today?
Is America ignoring the lessons that we previously learned, and still building on our addiction to expensive fossil fuel?
Wacko, Clean, Free-Fuel Economics
Is Emerald Eco-City worth an investment of $77 Billion for over 400,000 new green jobs?
ABSOLUTELY! It will help reverse the current unsustainable suicide of humanity.
How much is it worth to prevent the 21ST century death of every human on Earth?
Is it worth a few hundred million dollars to develop a Wacko clean, free-fuel, floating, rotating, solar chimney wall?
How much will it actually cost to generate 200 or 2,000 megawatts from free sunshine?
It is not worth doing if the total amortized cost is more than about 2.4-cents per kWh.
Intransigent, resistant-to-change mismanagers, who insanely use yesterday’s obsolete management
decision-making criteria, will ALWAYS think that all new ideas are Wacko.
“The thinking that created today’s problems is insufficient to solve them” – Albert Einstein
When a radical revolutionary idea that can cost-effectively solve many of our problems is presented, business-as-usual mismanagers label it "Wacko", and prevent progress until they die or retire. Very few CEO’s or politicians have sufficient “mental mobility.” Innovation often takes one-or-more 15-year generations – one retirement at a time.
“Every generation needs a new revolution” – Thomas Jefferson
The 2008 economic collapse that was triggered by $4 gasoline, PROVED beyond any shadow of doubt that WE CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT 15-YEARS FOR FREE-FUEL ENERGY SOLUTIONS. We MUST carefully and aggressively evaluate every clean-energy solution with the potential to produce electricity at less-than 2-cents per kWh. We must ignore all expensive fuels.
We must STOP Burning Anything Anywhere for Any Reason, and
NEVER SUBSIDIZE ANYTHING THAT IS UNSUSTAINABLE SUICIDE.
More research and optimization analysis will be required to decide the immediate
winners and losers. We certainly have many proven alternatives ready to scale up today,
and endless other wonderful potential solutions that will emerge in the 2010’s.
"Abundant Energy in Harmony with Nature" ®
We sincerely wish all of our readers an Abundant New Life In Harmony With Nature
"Lifelong Learning In An Ever-Expanding Universe Of Endless Possibilities" TM
We invite constructive suggestions and collaboration with others
E-Mail To: ZEDMaster@ZeroEnergyDesign.com