New energy

The world is increasingly becoming energy-aware today. It turns out that our survival on this planet depends on taking non-renewable and carbon-emitting fuels out of the picture. This has led to some really ‘out there’ ways of gathering energy. This includes the usuals like solar power, wind energy and some (IMO) wacky things like a soccer ball that conserves the energy you use to kick it (although in the Indian context I think a cricket ball would be better) and recharging your cell phone by your own pulse . So I too hit upon an idea. How about converting the heat in the atmosphere to energy? If solar power cells can transform sun light into usable energy,  is it not possible to use the rising temperatures as fuel. It does seem sci-fi but if made possible we could in fact be using global warming to decrease global warming. Heat and rising temperatures are not going anywhere for the next few years and if we can use this heat as fuel.. voila! we’ll have an abundant and renewable source of energy which will not give out emissions, and not add to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Any scientists listening?

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5 thoughts on “New energy

  1. Well, it doesn’t sound any more far fetched than covering glaciers with white tarps to reflect sunlight or putting chemicals in the atmosphere to reflect back solar radiation…

  2. That sounds like a cool idea! I’m not much of a science person, but I bet it’s possible in some manner or other and scientists will eventually figure out how to harness other energy on earth for our own uses.

    I’ve always thought of why not use air/oxygen as a source of energy? I mean, it’s everywhere and we don’t run out of it, so why not? But I know that’s not really plausible.

  3. Theoretically a Stirling Cycle Engine can do that. An SCE would take heat from some source, let’s say solar energy focused onto a heat coil and convert that heat energy to motion, which could drive an electrical generator to power society. The trouble is that all of that energy ends up back as heat anyway in the long run. For example, lets say the solar-driven SCE powers a generator which in turn powers your refrigerator at home. The chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (Homer Simpson voice : Mmmmmmmmmmm, ice cream!) is icy cold but in reality the fridge generates net heat from the whole process.

    We could collect incoming solar energy and beam it back into space with a big honking laser. Ultra cool but very pricey.

    I think the best thing to do is concentrate on fusion power and better batteries as well as solar panels and heat collectors on houses. The trouble is that at least in America we have one political party that sticks with only oil and the other pretends to be interested in alternative energy only to get votes and grab power & money. Cap and trade and BS like that is easy and worthless (Al Gore will get rich but worthless to the non-elite), developing fusion power will be very difficult and expensive in the short term and will freak out the Luddite environmentalists.

    Silencio – we actually do use Oxygen for energy – when oil, gas or coal is burned it combines with atmospheric Oxygen. Regretably that means less O2 and more CO2, although I think that the CO2 is an overrated contributor to the global warming stretch in the 90s and up to mid 2000’s that has turned around since then.

  4. Wow, I seem to have started quite a bit of a discussion! Just to be clear though, this is not a science blog and I am not very knowledgeable about science. However, this idea just came to me while reading something and I thought it would be interesting to share…

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