Energy

October 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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We can only get an amount of energy from a gallon of water that is equal to the amount of energy released when it falls the distance from the upper reservoir to the lower reservoir. The thing is, moving that gallon of water from the lower reservoir into the upper requires the exact same amount of energy as what was released when it fell. We might be able to make it work if the turbine and the pump were 100% efficient, but typically even our most efficient technologies are very far away from that. So ultimately the system stops, the pump requires more energy to run than the turbine gets from the falling water.

There are, IMO, ultimately three energy inputs to the planet. The first, is solar. Fossil fuels rely on this, as do wind farms, hydroelectric dams, and many other technologies. The second is from radioactive decay. Geothermal takes advantage of this, and nuclear fission takes advantage of something similar. The third are cosmic rays, and I’m not aware of any technology that takes advantage of that. Ultimately, no matter our future plans for energy, they will rely on one of these three energy inputs. The closer a system is to the original input, the more efficient it can be because we change the form of the energy fewer times.

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