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Old 2021-02-08, 16:40   #1
storm5510
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"Norman D. Powell"
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Default Thorium + Uranium Mix For Reactor Fuel

This is from last year, but I found it interesting. It's called ANEEL.

Quote:
The ANEEL fuel has a very high fuel burn-up rate, which means the fuel stays in the reactor longer and gets more energy out of the same amount of fuel. It’s prohibitively difficult to make into a weapon. ANEEL fuel will reduce the waste by over 80% and end up with much less Plutonium. Less spent fuel means less refueling, less cost, less fuel handling and less volume to dispose.
The entire article is here.
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Old 2021-02-08, 22:04   #2
chalsall
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There are many sane routes to using Nuclear energy.

Bill Gates et al are already heavily invested in this space. They don't tend to be idiots.

Personally, I love the idea of molten salts.

Makes non-weaponizable somewhat simplified, doesn't it?
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Old 2021-02-09, 03:57   #3
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I like the idea of small reactors, distributed around. Large businesses could maintain their own. House owner collectives could maintain their own. etc.

The centralised model only benefits the big players, and creates a single point of failure, and a juicy attack target.

I'm still looking for a away to become power independent at my lair. I have diesel gen-sets for backup, but even if I used them for primary they still need external supplies of fuel. I love the idea of solar but storage capacity for when the Sun isn't around is prohibitive.
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Old 2021-02-09, 04:07   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
I'm still looking for a away to become power independent at my lair. I have diesel gen-sets for backup, but even if I used them for primary they still need external supplies of fuel. I love the idea of solar but storage capacity for when the Sun isn't around is prohibitive.
Keep an eye on battery-backup-system prices; items akin to the Tesla powerwalls are getting quite reasonable. I have enough solar (7.3kW 26-panel array) to supply ~95% of my net power use; a battery system to unplug from the grid entirely would run me about $10k now. That price is dropping by 20-25% per year for materials. My region is close to the best in USA for solar efficiency, though; your mileage may vary. I suppose more weather-variance in solar production means a greater battery-reserve need, but Tesla's site suggested the battery size was more related to AC system size than number of days of desired reserve.
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Old 2021-02-09, 05:11   #5
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There are also aftermarket Prius and Volt batteries. Getting a second life out of them where the mass is relatively unimportant makes sense. Also, depending on the size of one's lair, pumped hydro or something like this could be a good option. Unless the lair is near a metropolis, I suspect that one of those two is an option.
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Old 2021-02-09, 11:10   #6
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How much of your power needs are for heating? Solar panels shut off when there's nothing to power, might as well dump that excess power into heat. One giant insulated tank and some immersion heaters later and you have the worlds cheapest energy store. It can be scaled to requirements, a bigger tank means a smaller delta for a given energy storage so slower heat loss, more insulation means slower heat loss but higher cost. A bigger tank means more capacity for longer heat storage. In winter other heat sources like a log burner or generator can be used to top the energy up when required. If building a custom tank is prohibitive you can use IBC tanks however that limits the max temperature of the water to something sub-60C, probably a sensible limit anyway.
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Old 2021-02-09, 13:31   #7
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Here in the good ol' USA, if you live "close enough" to a local utility's grid, you may be legally obligated to "tie in" (and pay for the service) even if you don't use any power. And utilities have fixed costs they need to recover (which is the reason for the tie-in rule). So they have a problem with customers who use solar panels and "net metering." Utilities are devising ways to make solar customers who don't use "enough" electricity pay more via "network use" or other charges. These charges undermine any economic incentive to install solar power systems in the first place.

I've heard of people living off the grid and are mainly solar, rigging up generators to stationary bicycles, so they can produce a bit of electricity by pedaling. This can only produce a small amount, though.

Back when Americans were living out in the wild frontier, they had no electrical needs, but they did need energy. I remember hearing about some man living in what is now Minnesota who noted in his journal that, in order to avoid freezing to death in the winter, he had to spend half his time cutting wood.

Nowadays, some localities look askance at wood burning stoves because of the air pollution caused by wood smoke.
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Old 2021-02-09, 14:05   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I've heard of people living off the grid and are mainly solar, rigging up generators to stationary bicycles, so they can produce a bit of electricity by pedaling. This can only produce a small amount, though.
We have had a mostly didactic children's' television show called "Löwenzahn" with Peter Lustig (who is interestingly also famous for being responsible for the recording of Kennedy's famous Ich bin ein Berliner speech).

In one episode, he looked for ways to create his own energy, so he tried exactly what Dr. Sardonicus stated above - he set up a bicycle and rode it. He was able to continuously output 100 W without getting too uncomfortable. He then went to a local power provider and wanted to sell his "product" (remember, this was a show for children, and I guess this part was more acting than reporting). They even accepted. To no surprise to anyone, he made less than 1 ct (or 1 Pf, I cannot remember) per hour, but off that they further deducted some fees for grid costs etc.

LinusTechTips made a video[1] about powering a computer by bicycle - a more reasonable version of the XKCD 1329 which itself is one-upping the standing desk.

[1]:
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Old 2021-02-09, 14:21   #9
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Trees have life cycles. If let lie where they fall after they die, the decomposition converts them to mostly CO2 and methane while something else is used for heating, mostly natural gas around here. The better wood stoves have post-flame air addition and catalysts. https://welovefire.com/stoves/introd...c-wood-stoves/
https://www.woodstovecombustors.com/...mbustor-works/

Firewood is stored solar. I suppose it's possible to generate a bit of power off a stovetop with thermoelectrics safely and simply, but they tend to be expensive. Mine doubles as a humidifier with the old tried and true pair of cast iron kettles. Running a Rankine cycle for power production would probably void the homeowner's insurance and be complex to construct and maintain. Nuclear plants under the control of numerous nontechnical businessmen and politically inclined locals is the stuff of nightmares.

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2021-02-09 at 14:27
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Old 2021-02-09, 14:54   #10
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Most people on earth live near a river or the sea.
Both can be used to generate power locally.
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Old 2021-02-09, 17:11   #11
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A long time ago, I used to stay in touch with a man living in Alaska. He lived in a small house not tied to an electrical grid. He had a battery array in this basement. He used two different ways of charging them. Solar panels on his roof was one. The other, he used automotive alternators. Essentially, he created his own little wind-farm by mounting the alternators on poles with some sort of propeller on them and set them up so they could rotate as the wind direction changed. I lost contact with him in the early 2000's. I suspect he passed away. He was in his mid 70's at the time.
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