IBM Solar Collector Magnifies 2000x [Pic+]

Submitted by: 747Pilot 3 years ago in Tech

Lets get curb our apatite for oil already...
There are 20 comments:
Male 579
@danagamer, as a conservative myself, please know we are all for alternatives, as long as they make reasonable and economic sense to pursue. I am not a fan of spending endless tax dollars on research. Why? Because ever since I was in grade school in the 1970`s they`ve been wasting money on the next big thing that will solve all the worlds problems. All we`ve done is hurt people financially in the process and here I am four decades later and there`s little to show for it. That said, if IBM or whoever wants to pursue this then have at it! Good for you! Come up with ways to solve many of the problems other commenters have stated here. Just stop needlessly hurting people in the process!
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Male 213
"It would take only 2% of the Sahara Desert`s land (not sea?) area to produce all the world`s electricity needs." And one determined Al-Qaeda gang with a big bomb to cut off all the world`s electricity.
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Male 1,292
IBM helped the nazis
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Male 12,365
[quote]Well, as long as it made Germany feel better about itself, I guess.[/quote]

It was politically useful, which was of course the point. Lots of votes in "green" issues in Germany, even if it isn`t really green. As long as the pollution is somewhere else, it`s politically useful.
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Male 12,365
[quote]I wonder why people are so fascinated by solar power. It`s unreliable and high maintenance.

Tidal and/or wave power has so much potential.[/quote]

Solar has a lot of potential because it`s all over the place. It`s nowhere near practical and might never be, but it does have potential. Tidal and wave has more potential in some places, but not all. Neither actually works yet, though. Not for a national grid.

[quote]So does LFTR technology.[/quote]

True, but fusion has more. LFTR could probably be implemented before fusion, but not by more than a few decades at most. It might be a better idea to use existing fission until fusion is viable.
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Male 2,578
Well, as long as it made Germany feel better about itself, I guess.
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Male 12,365
Well, not really. It`s a combo of concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV), which is more complicated than either and more expensive than CSP.

So...what`s the benefit of this over CSP, which doesn`t require relatively expensive PV panels because it generates electricty from heat, not light?

Quick summary of CSP - you use curved shiny surfaces to concentrate solar heat onto a tank of stuff that will remain liquid to very high temperatures (~900C). You use the heat from that tank to boil water, which you use to power a steam turbine to generate electricity in the same way as a conventional power station.

CSP appears to be cheaper, use less rare materials and be able to generate electricity partially into the night as well (the very hot tank retains usable heat for a while after sunset).

But neither is much use without mass storage, which doesn`t yet exist in any practical form.
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Male 12,365
Germany provides a good example. They`re using renewables for 20% of electricity generation. It`s working, right? Well, not really. Poland is propping them up because Germany has destabilised their own national grid as a result of that policy. Germany is producing less pollution, but only on paper because Poland is producing more by using fossil fuel plants less efficiently in order to stabilise Germany`s unstable grid.

But hey, this is new solar, right?
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Male 12,365
[quote]They generate electricity. Just like a power plant. Power plants don`t store electricity, they produce it and put it on the grid. Hence no batteries there either.[/quote]

Power stations that feed directly to the grid must be completely reliable and controllable.

Solar power generators are neither.

This isn`t a minor issue. It`s absolutely crucial to having a grid because supply must be matched to demand at all times. That requires reliability and controllability.

The lack of both in almost all renewables (the sole exception is geothermal) means that they can`t practically be used for more than a few % of generation without mass storage. Any use of them has to be backed by *less efficient* use of controllable power stations, which increases pollution and reduces stability. A few % is manageable, but the impact climbs harshly after that.
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Male 4,891

Concetrated solar can be stored as liquid salt instead of using a battery.

I wonder why people are so fascinated by solar power. It`s unreliable and high maintenance.

Tidal and/or wave power has so much potential. So does LFTR technology.
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Male 1,057
"Wherever there is a solar panel, their must also be batteries. LARGE batteries. Where do we dump these toxic batteries once they are spent???"

Not true. Solar farms don`t use batteries. Neither do those panels that you may see on utility poles, or the rooftop versions on houses or other buildings. They connect right to the grid.

They generate electricity. Just like a power plant. Power plants don`t store electricity, they produce it and put it on the grid. Hence no batteries there either.
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Male 5,624
"AAARRGGHH!!! MY EYES!!!!!"
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Male 177
If governments can`t make money off it, it won`t get any backing.
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Male 892
@Rob:

You do need energy storage devices but these don`t have to be chemical batteries.
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Male 2,528
Wherever there is a solar panel, their must also be batteries. LARGE batteries. Where do we dump these toxic batteries once they are spent???

This idea that solar power is clean, isn`t accurate.
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Male 2,578
danagamer, why would they think additional energy production is bad? No, really, I want to know.
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Male 701
well? where are all the conservative republicans? Lets hear why you think this is bad:
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Male 39,619

If windmills take away the wind, then surely this device would leave us all in darkness!
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Male 550
Poorely written article on a highly interesting subject.
As solar panels (producing electricity from sunlight) are expensive and not running at full capacity under normal sunlight, focussing the sunlight will allow to reduce the panel surface and or using higher quality (multi layer) photocells
Their cost per area is higher but their efficiency is higher too and the combination with an optical concentrator reduces the costs.
As the photovoltaic panels heat up, they have to be cooled.
When cooling them with hot water, you can use the heat and electricity produced to desalinate the water.
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Male 1,454
Link: IBM Solar Collector Magnifies 2000x [Pic+] [Rate Link] - Lets get curb our apatite for oil already...
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