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Page added on September 26, 2017

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The Great Energy Transition: The Years Just Ahead

Alternative Energy

As the global climate continues to deteriorate, consideration of where our civilization is heading becomes more critical with every passing day. The frequency and intensity of hurricanes and cyclones around the world are forcing many to reconsider just how disruptive global warming could become. While many in the U.S. still refuse to accept that the excessive combustion of fossil fuels is the primary cause of global warming, most of the world’s leaders are now in agreement that fossil fuels eventually must be phased out.

Another looming problem is how long plentiful supplies of affordable fossil fuels can last. Global oil consumption is now running close to 98 million barrels per day, and the U.S. Department of Energy predicts that global oil consumption will continue to grow for the next 25 years although not quite as fast as the 1.5 million barrels per day annual increase we have seen lately.

A little multiplication shows that the world now is burning through 36 billion barrels of oil each year and soon will be around 40 billion if consumption keeps growing. This, of course, adds up to 400 billion barrels of oil each decade or circa 1 trillion barrels of oil consumption in the next 25 years. Although nobody likes to talk about it, consuming this much oil by the early 2040s is not likely to happen. Either the climate is going to get too bad to continue, or the costs of extracting each additional barrel of oil will get too high in comparison to other alternatives.

The combination of global warming and the depletion of affordable fossil fuels suggests that somewhere ahead, possibly as soon as five to 10 years from now, global civilization is going to be in big trouble unless we can find a viable alternative to fossil fuels as our primary source of energy. The use of solar, wind and maybe even biofuels will grow rapidly and new techniques for storing electrical energy from intermittent sources are likely to come into widespread use in the decade ahead. However, current projections say that renewable fuels will only amount to some 15 percent of our needs 25 years from now. If, as seems likely, consumption of fossil fuels is constrained for one reason or another, the global economy is going to change, perhaps rapidly.

Another and more interesting alternative, however, is whether there are completely new technologies in the offing that could be used as a substitute for fossil fuels — possibly even in time to mitigate the effects of climate change and eventual fossil fuel depletion. Although it may sound far-fetched to many, from time to time, new technologies are discovered and developed which change civilization — think steam, electricity, internal combustion, or electronics.

Currently there are two alternative technologies which seem viable and could be on the market in the next few years. These are Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) and Brilliant Light Power’s (BrLP) SunCell. Both of these technologies have been under development for years, but are based on scientific principles not as yet well understood and controversial. Despite the lack of a well understood scientific basis, both seem to work as has been verified by experiments going back many years. The controversy surrounding these technologies accounts for the lack of publicity in the mainstream media.

Although numerous scientists and organizations around the world are working on LENR, only two currently are saying they are close to launching commercial products. Unfortunately, neither of these entities are very forthcoming about the details of their devices. The Italian, Andrea Rossi, who seems to be as far ahead in developing the LENR technology as anyone, says he is finishing up testing, will be ready for a public demonstration later this year, and start selling heat generated by his devices next year.

BrLP Power and its CEO Randell Mills, however, have always been quite open about the progress they are making and even the difficulties they are encountering. From BrLP’s recent presentation we learned that they will not meet their goal of having working prototypes ready for external testing this year. As could be expected from a radically new technology operating at extreme temperatures they have encountered numerous difficulties in turning a laboratory prototype into an automated and reliable device that can be put into commercial service.

At the presentation in Denver, last week Mills released a new schedule which now envisions field testing of his SunCell in the second half of 2018 and a commercial launch in the second half of 2019. This announcement sets the projects commercial launch back by about a year.

Mills, however, outlined several new developments which could turn out to be good news for the SunCell project and speed with which it can be turned into a commercial product. He reports that in the past year, BrLP has overcome a series of “key engineering challenges” in automating the device and that the engineering is far enough along to turn the project over to their partner, Columbia Tech of Boston, MA, to finish the engineering and build the first automated prototypes. Reaching this goal would be a significant achievement, for an automated SunCell should be able to run for extended periods and develop information about its performance and reliability.

The current schedule allows another nine to 15 months to build and test the first prototypes in-house. Hopefully, during this period, there will be a public demonstration of a fully automated SunCell that can produce energy continuously. Such an achievement may be enough to convince the scientific community, the mainstream media, and governments around the world that an alternative to fossil fuels may be available soon.

During the past year, BrLP has rethought its plans and has decided to delay development of the complex concentrated photovoltaic subsystem that was to produce electrical energy directly from the luminescent sphere energized by the hydrino reaction. The company now is planning to develop a “thermal” version of the SunCell which would be capable of delivering 500kW of thermal energy for boiler, hot air or hot water systems. BrLP has contracted with a leading heat exchanger firm, TMI Climate Solutions, to develop the concepts leading to a commercial heat-producing SunCell.

In comparison with concentrated photovoltaics, the design and construction of a thermal energy producing SunCell as opposed to an electricity producing one should be relatively easy. Heat exchangers are an old and well-understood technology even if extracting heat from a plasma glowing at 3,600K is unusual. BrLP likely hopes it can bring a product to market in less time than it takes to develop a concentrated photovoltaic version of the device.

To speed up the electricity-producing version of the SunCell, BrLP has decided to use readily available off-the-shelf photovoltaic cells that should get the device working much more quickly and with fewer development problems. This decision will result in a less efficient electricity-producing version of the SunCell which will only produce 120kW in its first iteration. For a second generation, BrLP now is considering attaching its device to a magnetohydrodynamic device. Such a device would pass the 3,500K plasma produced by the hydrino reaction between two magnets which will produce electricity. Such a device could in theory be very efficient and allow later versions of the SunCell to generate electrical power several times higher than the first generation will be able to do.

While many are frustrated at the seemingly endless delays in bring these new sources of energy to the place where they can produce useful energy, it should be remembered that we are dealing with technologies that are based on science somewhat beyond our knowledge and understanding of nature. Given the potential of Brilliant Light’s SunCell technology or various LENR project that are underway, they are well worth waiting for given the current outlook for the world’s climate and energy supply.

FCNP



23 Comments on "The Great Energy Transition: The Years Just Ahead"

  1. Cloggie on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 7:12 am 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b4tztjRJkA

    Hey, taxi!

    Maiden flight e-chopper Dubai.

    (Oh, it’s German)

    http://www.spiegel.de/auto/aktuell/dubai-volocopter-lufttaxi-meistert-jungfernflug-a-1169937.html

  2. CAM on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 7:39 am 

    Rossi again??

  3. dave thompson on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 9:34 am 

    Hey Cloggie how come nobody is flying in that taxi if it is so great?

  4. Cloggie on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 9:52 am 

    To make the point it is autonomous, perhaps? Go to youtube to find evidence that it can lift-off with passengers.

  5. GregT on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 10:23 am 

    Until somebody figures out a way to build e-copters out of naturally occurring renewable resources, without any inputs from fossil fuels, the problems of resource depletion, and adding even more CO2 into the environment, will not be addressed. Maybe the answer lies in genetics. GMO trees, that grow e-copters, that run entirely on photosynthesis? Or perhaps genetically modified hummingbirds?

  6. Cloggie on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 10:43 am 

    While Greg volunteers to work on a GMO plane… one complete turn of a 5 MW wind turbine is 10 kWh, typically in 6 seconds.

    Four complete turns of a rotor (24s) provides enough energy to bring two persons and a plane over the Alps, crossing a distance of 325 km at an altitude of 4000 meter…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr3dX2EClDg

    …”out of thin air” so to speak, to borrow a popular expression from the Federal Reserve.

  7. GregT on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 10:57 am 

    That 5MW wind turbine is manufactured, installed, and maintained with the burning of fossil fuels, as is the airplane. Even the two humans flying in that airplane are fed, clothed, and maintained with fossil fuels, unless they reside in one of the few remaining lost tribes, say in the Amazon.

    Out of CO2, so to speak, would be much more realistic.

  8. Cloggie on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 11:16 am 

    That 5MW wind turbine is manufactured, installed, and maintained with the burning of fossil fuels, as is the airplane. Even the two humans flying in that airplane are fed, clothed, and maintained with fossil fuels, unless they reside in one of the few remaining lost tribes, say in the Amazon.

    Now perhaps.

    In 30 years time however fossil fuel will be gone and everything fed, manufactured and transported with renewable energy.

    No worries.

  9. Cloggie on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 11:59 am 

    LNG is (slowly) replacing heavy fuel oil in shipping.

    Shell introduces floating gas station to support the trend:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/shell-introduces-cardissa-floating-gas-station/

  10. dave thompson on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 12:52 pm 

    Cloggie read this and tell us all how the current state of affairs in our throw away world will change in 30 years to accommodate the so called energy transition. http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2989314/our_obsolescent_economy_modern_capitalism_and_throwaway_culture.html

  11. Anonymouse1 on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 1:23 pm 

    You are wasting your time with robo-cars, E-planes, and now, this week, apparently, its robo E helicopters, there cloggen-fraud.

    Matter teleportation is where the ‘future’ is clogtard. Robo-E-copters?, horse and buggy. Shows how far behind the times you are dumbass. And if it makes you feel better, you can even have your clogporter powered by solar, or wind, instead of coal.
    A zero emission teleporter to whisk you back and forth to your mental-health clinic. What’s not to like?

    OR, you could just get Scotty to beam you someplace, without an internet connection, that would be a great start too.

    Maiden Flight:TBA

  12. Cloggie on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 1:26 pm 

    Link is dead.

  13. Boat on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 1:37 pm 

    clog,

    IMO commissioned a review of the availability of low sulphur fuel oil for use by ships, to help
    Member States determine whether a new lower global cap on sulphur emissions from
    international shipping shall come into effect on 1 January 2020 or be deferred until 1 January
    2025.
    The current global limit for sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil is 3.50% m/m (mass by mass).
    The new global cap will be 0.50% m/m will apply on and after 1 January 2020 or 1 January
    2025, depending on the outcome of the review.

    http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/GHG/Documents/sulphur%20limits%20FAQ_20-09-2016.pdf

    The date for much cleaner fuels for ships is creeping closer.

  14. dave thompson on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 1:43 pm 

    LOL Cloggie you come up with the dumbest excuses. Anyone else find the link “dead”?

  15. Cloggie on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 1:45 pm 

    You are wasting your time with robo-cars, E-planes, and now, this week, apparently, its robo E helicopters, there cloggen-fraud.
    Matter teleportation is where the ‘future’ is clogtard. Robo-E-copters?, horse and buggy. Shows how far behind the times you are dumbass. And if it makes you feel better, you can even have your clogporter powered by solar, or wind, instead of coal.
    A zero emission teleporter to whisk you back and forth to your mental-health clinic. What’s not to like?

    Don’t worry about my time.

    Isn’t it time for you to go to the Toronto BLM chapter?

    But nevertheless I have a weak spot for our local Uncle Tom diesel trucker here. He is just good enough to completely destroy North-America for us Europeans. Go for it, Tommy-boy. Building a new world is out of your reach.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zti_508FRrE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO1agIlLlhg

    http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/1024/cpsprodpb/0D52/production/_90801430_7d6a27b1-542b-4c10-acc0-7adaec10c198.jpg

  16. Cloggie on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 1:48 pm 

    Deze site is niet bereikbaar

    Het duurt te lang voordat http://www.theecologist.org reageert.

    Zoek op Google naar ecologist org News news analysis 2989314 our obsolescent economy modern capitalism throwaway culture

    ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT

    After three attempts every time the same.

    These ecologists are more interested in drinking nettle tea than getting a site working properly.

  17. Hello on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 1:54 pm 

    There’s no problem reaching the page, Clog.

    Maybe the NL gov has it’s hands in this? Blocking all content that does not convery an utopian energy future? 🙂

  18. Cloggie on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 2:06 pm 

    Maybe the NL gov has it’s hands in this? Blocking all content that does not convery an utopian energy future?

    Holland is almost the worst in Europe concerning renewable energy:

    https://edmhdotme.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/r-e-head-2015-01-21.png

    Reason: largest gas field in Europe. Need to finish that first, with the advantage that we could wait for the prices to come down, which has now happened.

    Expect rapid UK and NL development of offshore wind in the coming years.

    4.5 GW before 2023 (tenders already given) and 15 GW later in the twenties.

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/07/07/contracts-signed-for-752-mw-offshore-wind-of-dutch-coast/

  19. Mick on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 3:25 pm 

    There will be a great transition all right ! Back to the Stone Age

  20. rockman on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 4:34 pm 

    Speculation: “…numerous scientists and organizations around the world are working on LENR, only two currently are saying they are close to launching commercial products.”

    Fact: No one is ready to launch such commercial products.

    IOW “close” = 6 months, or 3 years, or 10 years, etc. All depends on one’s perspective. We can readdress those systems was deployed and after a period of time proven themselves as economically viable.

  21. makati1 on Tue, 26th Sep 2017 5:50 pm 

    “Once upon a time….and they lived happily ever after!”

    LMAO

  22. Cloggie on Fri, 29th Sep 2017 4:52 pm 

    Wood you buy a car like this?

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/wood-you-buy-a-car-like-this/

  23. markogts on Sat, 14th Oct 2017 12:27 am 

    “While many are frustrated at the seemingly endless delays… ”

    Well actually I’m amused. Everything follows the forecast made by skeptics and established science. Cognitive dissonance of the believers included.

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