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September 08, 2006

Comments

Mick

It's very tempting to agree with Bradford's thesis that solar power will become the dominant energy source. But there may be another readily-available energy source: the hydrogen atom. Randy Mills and his startup company in New Jersey, Blacklight Power, claim there is about one million electron volts of (non-nuclear) energy available in every hydrogen atom. If this claim proves to be true, it will change the energy picture completely. See http://www.blacklightpower.com/

Josh

Blacklight Power claims to have developed new physics and has created a business plan that apparently bypasses the scientific process for economic gain. If Blacklight Power's is correct, they have likely stumbled on the most important scientific finding of mankind. We must be extremely skepticle of claims of this magnitude. Furthermore, we should be extremely weary of this company's financial motivations and its decision to sidestep the scientific process.

George

Re: blacklight power. Interesting claim here. Catalyze a transition from groundstate hydrogen to a hitherto unknown lower energy state of n=1/2, releasing massive amounts of energy. Turns quantum mechanics on its head... this should be fun. Lots of spectroscopy and other analytical physchem suggests they are on to "something". If true, Mills is the next Einstein. Odds of this happening??? (femto) If there is something real there, how much ya wanna bet it's fiendishly difficult to scale up? Considering the ramifications, you'd think that we'd have heard more about it by now if there was something to it. Interesting web site.

amazingdrx

The advent of 55% efficient full spectrum solar cells (set for manufacturing right about now?)boosted maybe 15% more with concentrating collectrors, plus cogeneration of heating/cooling power and recycled/desalinated water will probably make this prediction come true.

I think that large scale wind and wave power are a good low cost solution for the next few decades, maybe solar catching up in 15 years?

Melt the wind and wave systems down and recycle the metal in solar furnaces after their 30 to 40 year useful life span. Maybe drop those floating wind/wave power cement platforms in areas conducive to coral growth.

The Prairie National Park will be amazing especially once the wind towers are gone, and the coastal horizon will be free of wind towers, maybe they will have saved the life in the ocean from drift nets by then.

Plenty of healthy bison burgers and oysters and shrimp for all. That would be better than the doom we are headed for given the present political/industrial ignorance in the face of global climate disaster.

ota benga

Blacklight Power, claim


Yea, lots of claims. their battery was to see the light of day in 2007. Lots of press in 1999, and now nothing. No followup on thier promises of shipping product.

Not to mention that the laws of thermodyamics are violated. If you are shrinking the valence - releasing heat, to return the hydrogen to its normal state would absorb heat. Thus far this gets ignored.

Paul Dietz

This Blacklight power thing is just inane. What next, enthusiasm over perpetual motion machines? The whole thing stinks of scam.

disdaniel

Solar will become economical much faster than most people think. Bradford is spot on.

LANL just reported a significant lab result using a silicon crystalline film.

http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story;jsessionid=82F28748C708455935D6BC76755C4C14?id=45919

Thomas

I think the whole notion of abandoning the "aging and fragile" electricity grid is poisonous for renewable energy. Unless you are in the wilderness far away from anywhere, disconnecting from the electricity grid altogether or just in part is stupid!

Anything you can do disconnected, you can do better when connected. A large grid increases security of supply greatly. If the electricity grid is aging and fragile, then upgrade and reinforce it - don't build something completely new, i.e. personal electricity storage devices (fuel cells, batteries, etc.).

The electricity grid is a friend of renewable energy, not an opponenet!

amazingdrx

Sure Thomas, but with distributed generation and storage the grid is a lot more stable. Reliability will increase without huge new expenditures just to boost transmission capacity.

Maybe some new transmission will be required though, from wind on the great plains and wave/wind power installations offshore. A lot of new storage will be necessary.

Most distributed in cars, homes, and businesses, but some in devices maintained by utility companies like super conducting energy storage systems here is Wisconsin. And possibly flywheel storage mounted on large wind and wave systems.

Thomas

Sure, with storage you save money for power line upgrade, but you still have to pay for the storage.

I agree 100% that PHEV and BEV will be excellent storage devices and possible load balancing devices if made smart enough.

Still, my personal feeling is that transmission of power (renewable, of course) will be more economically efficienct than storing it locally.

I think the strongest card 'storage' holds in this context is the fact that is doesn't require massive federal (intergovernment in Europe) scale investment over several years before it starts working.

If storage can be made cheap, then I will definitely win because of its flexibility, both technically and financially.

Brad

I have met with Travis and he is a bright man that has put in a great deal of research to his position. Solar is a cultural application as much as scientific. What drives solar in Germany and Japan is not just financial, that is the sympton. It is a deeper, long-term perspective on a serious issue. When the traditional pay-back thinking is put on the back burner, solar instantly rises to the top of the alternative energies currently available on a broad scale.

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