Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Solving the World Energy Crisis

I was almost distracted and pushed into ranting about how much I hate math but I'll save that for another day. I want to stick with what my primary goal was. To solve the world's energy crisis.

Now, to be clear, I am not talking about solving the world's energy crisis. That would be ridiculous. Not only do I think it is too difficult to do in a single blog post, but it would put a lot of people out of work, and I just can't get behind that.

What I am talking about, though, is saving a bit of energy, and not just by my general sense of laziness. I created (in my mind) years ago, a system which would reclaim some small percentage of the energy used by a car. An internal combustion engine generates both heat (which I have heard, is unreclaimable) and exhaust. If the exhaust pipe were to pass across some fan which spun in response to the air pressure of the exhaust, it could spin and generate power somehow. I leave the details up to the scientists out there, but I have always thought it should work, even if just to help charge batteries in that car (in a hybrid system). I'm also talking about getting something to drink.

So did I mention that the family will be taking a vacation in a few weeks? We're going on a boat. Oh, I'm sorry, apparently, the proper term is "a mofo big boat." This boat has two qualities -- it floats in a saltwater ocean and it moves through some form of propulsion. I think back to my high school science class (I don't recall which one...chem, thaumaturgy, whatever) where we discussed how to survive on a desert island, and now I know why I did so poorly on the Regents. There wasn't a single question about being shipwrecked. We discussed water distillation and something like a "gooseneck" something or other. You boil water and then let the steam condense against a cooler surface, then collect the purified (desalinated) water and you drink it. Yay for hydration!

So if a big boat is floating on a saltwater ocean, and being propelled somehow, it must have an engine which is producing heat. If some sea water is subjected to that heat (instead of having heat energy dissipate into the already balmy air) and steam produced, not only could that steam be used to generate electricity, but then it could be condensed against the colder sea water and collected as usable unsalty water. H2O-my-gosh!

Now I'm sure all you Monday morning scientists are finding reasons that it can't work or that it isn't economically viable. But these are the same people who said that we couldn't cure Space Madness.

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