ENERGY IS SCIENCE
We know the direction our energy system must go: the fuel-demanding model must be replaced by fuel-less/free model. An on fuel based energy system will not bring the world sustainable prosperity in the 21st century, contrary: it will bring the world economic decline and huge geopolitical and regional tensions. As energy transition towards an fuel-less energy model is about energy harvesting and energy transport technology, we need to focus our physical/chemical research on these two. This message has Steven Chu, Nobel Price Winner for Physics in 1997 and the current US Secretary of Energy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Chu) also has delivered to the world. Wide (blind) research is not needed on the facets where technology is cheap and abundant available right now. It's needed on the missing facets. There are on white spots on the map to cheap fuel-less (renewable) energy regarding storage (hydrogen or batteries), one white spot regarding transport (superconducting) and there's one possible total new direction (nuclear fusion). Regarding storage: we need an energy storage medium for free moving objects in mobility and transport that are not online in any power distribution infrastructure. Trains, trams, trolley buses and the subway are examples of moving objects that are during operation are online is a dedicated power distribution infrastructure. There are plans to make an induction based trail on public roads (starting with the intercity roads), but these plans doesn't understand both the massive energy use of mobility and transport (as in: the future will have less mobility and transport due to higher energy prices), nor the concept op PeakEnergy (we will have less and it will be more expensive, and by this mobility and transport will decline), nor the funding perspectives for governments (very difficult), nor the funding perspectives for private huge investments based on energy use (contrary to perspectives of private investments for energy generation). For all this we need hydrogen. Hydrogen is gas we get as we divide water (H20) in 2 x H1 and 1 x 02 by energy input. Energy is needed for this process, so hydrogen is not a source of energy, but a way to store/mobilize energy. A process that generates warmth as side product (which can be considered as energy waste). Are batteries no valid alternative? No, there's not enough needed material (currently: lithium) on the world to build a huge capacity battery for each car/truck of the world. Furthermore: planes and batteries are not a right combination due to the extra weight batteries would add to the body weight. But certainly there's also research needed for new battery energy storing material. The beauty of hydrogen is that is needs no specific material as it is a physical and not chemical based storage process (power as molecules versus power as electrons). Hydrogen needs micro production scale technology. Not only in volume (besides giant industrial installations there will be home devices using cartridge technology), but also in technology process (the micro process approach convert less energy in warmth and give a higher hydrogen output per kWh). The holy grail is besides micro sized core water technology (less resistance so less warmth, so more efficient) are also physical catalysts (reducing the resistance, speeding up the process) in the form of metals, but maybe also in the form of sound/wave vibrancy/frequencies, or light colors or magnets. A quick cold electrolytic process is the holy grail of hydrogen. Besides for powering mobile offline grid solutions, we need hydrogen technology also for power storage. Everywhere where there's a power surplus (as in: a temperately lower power price for buying or selling) hydrogen could be made, that could be used for mobile use of for converting back to power when there's a power deficit and prices will be high. Power prices will become dynamic in the near future, made out a compilation of supply and demand for each moment of the day, each grid will have its own price xml feed. Each power consumer (household of corporate) will a have digital management unit, that decides to buy, to sell, to use or to store. Offline and stored energy will always give less energy efficiency, but that's something everybody knows and the price of the benefits of both. Second: We need superconducting science. This because we need very much more power lines than we have today and this would drive the copper and aluminium (the two elements HVAC and HVDC power transmission lines currently are made of) to never seen levels. Superconducting has two mayor advantages: it lowers the pressure on the world demand for copper and aluminium and it reduces the power lost during transmission. Power transmission is just ROI economics: a calculation with lost, investment, interest rate, maintenance and years of operation. Like in any area of science: huge steps forward in one area is not done by tuning the current technologies, but by revolutionary new concepts. For superconducting the eyes of science current are a lot at graphene (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphene) which has so resistance at all. Also HTS (High Temperature Superconducting) are explored. They use a cooled down very thin iron cable, cooling delivers a extra energy lost calculation facet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_temperature_superconductivity). There are small projects operational (http://www.oe.energy.gov/DocumentsandMedia/cable_overview2.pdf). Third: Nuclear Fusion. Nuclear fission is just garbage science (delivering waste and operating by a privatizing profits and socializing loses business model). Fusion is the better/smarter brother of fission. The current fusion research is already decades just on the wrong road: the try to find materials that can resist super high temperature without to get burned in the process. The should start over again: based on a virtual electro/magnetic 'building' concept and research laser path steering by magnetics, to get a technology that bundles the power of cheap lasers into one intensive light path or by mirrors to one very intensive crosspoint. By these two technologies low cost fusion will will possible. The model is more extended described in the Global Future Analysis of Planck Foundation (http://www.planck.org/downloads/Global-Future-Analysis-Version-2009.pdf). But the current fusion technology community is as flexible as the Communistic Party of the DDR. An perfect example of science that's turned into a believe. Open questioning (the key facet of science) is replaced by continuation of narrow/mono sighted visions. The international ITER Organization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER) will stay burning money in well paid jobs to the funding will be cut of, not considering the virtual building concept as they should do. The three above mentioned science fields are crucial. They need all new approaches. New approaches are the key. Out of the box thinking will deliver the solutions. Are solutions made on universities and in labs? No, this is one big huge misunderstanding. These sectors has claimed monopolies towards invention and innovation, but they are just institutionalized organization, where the organization has replace the purpose as main target. Universities and labs are important. We must cherish them: they can be birth places of new developments. But we can't outsource science completely to them. That's contra-productive, that over valuates organization over innovation. Innovation is done by free minds. People not happy in organizations. Freedom = Innovation. The DDR has a lack of innovative characteristics. See essay on the Future of Science by Planck Foundation: innovation comes from unique people. The best example of this is the theory of the drifting tectonic plates. Made by a biologist (who saw the biological similarity on both sides of disconnected plates). Geologists named his work a fraud, till they saw it also. Innovation and organization are contrary issues. Solutions comes from Blue Ocean thinking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Ocean_Strategy). Just for science reasons is why we at Planck Foundation advocates that only the bachelor years of universities should be fully paid for by states (or families). The master years should be done always in corporation with universities and corporations. Half paid for by the corporations. We at Planck Foundation don't like the corporate funding of professors or even whole faculties very much (it pollutes science and its headings), but financial support of students (university/corporate symbiosis) during the master period certainly will speed up both science and innovation, they will merge together and than have both better innovation and more science as result. When the universities starts to understand that the climate road is dead ended in terms of funding, the will switch massively to energy research. Energy is Science is very valid statement.
Author: Gijs Graafland
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