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Tesla: Our Future Motive Power

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by tonybelding, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I remember seeing this a long time ago, but lost the link to it until now. . .

    Our Future Motive Power

    I don't think this is the exact article I saw before, but it pretty closely parallels the one I remember. Dr. Tesla surveys the various alternative energy sources that were known in his time, finds most of them wanting, and then settles on geothermal energy as the most promising for future development.

    Today's scientists reach a similar conclusion: MIT-led panel backs 'heat mining' as key U.S. energy source - MIT News Office

    Brilliant though he was, even Dr. Tesla could blunder. In the article he describes "a peculiar radiation of great energy" coming from the sun. He completely misunderstood the nature of nuclear energy and radioactive decay.

    More of Tesla's writings can be found here: Selected Tesla Writings -- Table of Contents


    "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." -- Nikola Tesla
     
  2. graham

    graham Active Member

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    I have wondered why geothermal isn't a larger percentage of bulk power in the U.S, especially on the West Coast.

    Most of the power here is driven by natural gas. But it seems that from Rainier, through St. Helens, Hood, Lassen and Shasta - and down through the San Andreas fault to La Brea, the West Coast has enough thin crust areas to make drilling a hole and pumping in water to turn a steam engine a more obvious choice.

    Is it really that much more complex/expensive? or is it a political thing?
     
  3. lorencc

    lorencc Member

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    There are sticky maintenance issues with geothermal.

    Water passing through the hot rock picks up a lot of salts that dissolve at high temperatures.
    When the water comes to the surface and cools a bit the salts precipitate out and plug up the plumbing.
    Also many of the salts (especially at high temperature) corrode steel and other cheap materials.

    Building and operating an efficient geothermal power plant involves a lot of very difficult tradeoffs.
     
  4. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Ah, having it be easy would be too much to hope for, I suppose. Not that Nuclear, Coal, Natural Gas, Hydro, Solar, Oil and Wind don't have their own very difficult tradeoffs...
     
  5. graham

    graham Active Member

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    As an offshoot of the MIT study:

    Green Car Congress: US DOE to Provide Up to $43.1M Over 4 Years for Enhanced Geothermal Systems Research, Development and Demonstration

    $43 million seems like a very modest number to me... especially spread so far and wide. But it is better than nothing at all.
     
  6. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Green Car Congress: US DOE Announces Investment of up to $84 Million in Geothermal Energy

     

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