Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Some More "Green" Power

As much as I enjoyed the political environment of my Government class in High School, I've always been more for the progression of science as an answer to society's problems, and what frustrates me on this topic in particular is that the science is OUT THERE now.

Technology #1: The Electric Car. Also read the Follow-Up to My Electric Car Post.

Technology #2: Solar Power. Coal power costs around $1 per watt. Your typical solar cell costs $3 per watt. Now, however, Nanosolar has created solar "panels" that are actually a thin coating that you lay on any sun-exposed surface. The grand total here: 30 cents per watt by eliminating many of the wasteful components in the production process. It's as easy as printing out a big roll of clean energy. Now imagine that your electric car charging station was run on this. That, or your house.

Technology #3: Wind power. Not the strongest source, no, but not something to rule out either. Current wind turbines have too much friction in the gearbox and other components. Shawn Frayne, a 28-year-old California inventor, came up with the "Windbelt." Instead of a huge mill spinning around, it uses a membrane fitted with magnets that vibrates in the wind, causing the magnets to oscillate between the metal coils. The device is currently around 20 times as efficient as the windmills we use currently.

With these technologies combined, I can't see how we'd ever have an energy crisis again. The only reason these things haven't come into effect at all is because of profits. Companies see a HUGE loss in profits by developing energy sources that virtually sustain themselves and have so few components.