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Thread: A Modest Proposal for Generating the Nation's Power

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    A Modest Proposal for Generating the Nation's Power

    The problem with solar power is two-fold, the lack of storage between sunny days and the lack of available sites to locate solar farms.

    The French, I think, are reported to have piloted a trial of surfacing roads with solar panel material in a sufficiently skid-proof and toughened substrate. We could see where that might take us.

    By my calculations, this nation averages from North to South sufficient sunlight to bring in 2.3 kWh/day/sq.m across the entire year, with practically none of that during the least sunny 4 months. If the summer excess is fed as generated methane into the old North Sea gas fields and then extracted during the winter to regenerate electricity then the storage problem is sorted. If we allocate 10% for wastage in that cycle we can rely on the remainder for the National Grid.

    So, to match the current need for 400 TWh/year, I think we might have to resurface a mere 10% (25,000km) of the national roads, choosing from those which are rural and with a usable minimum 30m width across all carriageways. No land at all need be set aside, it's already allocated, owned by the nation and in need of constant resurfacing anyway. The National Grid is always close enough to the major transport arteries to transport the harvested power to storage units.

    One would imagine that using this form of solar paneling in such volume would reduce the cost to an affordable rate and no doubt save on all that nasty tar demand Mr Macadam bequeathed to us.
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    Re: A Modest Proposal for Generating the Nation's Power

    What about putting them in the sea ? Floating panels.
    Any road can only be efficient when it's not busy with traffic. The M25 would be in permanent shade for much of the day, as would most roads within its confines.

    If we are to have road panels, maybe there is a way of vehicles "picking up" energy as they drive to power electric motors, along with any information they might need to be "driverless"
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    Re: A Modest Proposal for Generating the Nation's Power

    The world's first solar road has opened in France - ScienceAlert


    The Wattway is projected to produce 280 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy annually, with an estimated electrical output of 767 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day.
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    Re: A Modest Proposal for Generating the Nation's Power

    That's the one - I didn't have a link to hand, but it shows it's being looked at. I was interested in extrapolating the figures and seeing how much of the nation's demand it could supply. There's around 250,000 miles of adopted road in the UK ranging from 1 lane wide (the Devon Standard A-Road) to 17.

    Tailgating is, I had thought, something the British public had been inoculated against decades since. On these roads with a minimum 30 metre width I'd expect at least 80% of the road surface to be visible unless there's a delay. Rural British roads are very rarely subject to delays? I speak from ignorance, that's just a guess. One can exclude the M25 as a special case and not panel it.

    As for picking up power, traffic and steering information from the road itself, that sounds excellent. Perhaps we could make the power and information free at the point of delivery and get away from this nonsense of paying for essentials.
    Last edited by spot; 12-28-2016 at 07:24 AM. Reason: grammar
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    Re: A Modest Proposal for Generating the Nation's Power

    I would still like to see a lot more research on using wave power to generate electricity. I would think that the UK would be a great location for this with the power of north Atlantic waves day and night. For California, I would like to see wave powered generation combined with desalination at the end of the piers. I don't think enough research has yet been done on this method.

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    Re: A Modest Proposal for Generating the Nation's Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandrin View Post
    I would still like to see a lot more research on using wave power to generate electricity. I would think that the UK would be a great location for this with the power of north Atlantic waves day and night. For California, I would like to see wave powered generation combined with desalination at the end of the piers. I don't think enough research has yet been done on this method.
    Tidal power with a barrage across some of the major estuaries?

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    Re: A Modest Proposal for Generating the Nation's Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryn Mawr View Post
    Tidal power with a barrage across some of the major estuaries?
    I'm not sure I understand the question. Perhaps you have a different definition of "barrage" there?

    I was thinking of a pier going out a mile or two to where the heavy wave action is and having the mechanism under water. It would have no impact on estuaries, as far as I know.

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    Re: A Modest Proposal for Generating the Nation's Power

    There's two sorts of tidal power generation. There's the submerged buoy which goes up and down in ellipses pumping an arm to a generator and you can have a lot of those and the more wavy it gets the more power you can extract. Then there's the barrage, where you trap all the incoming water into an estuary using the incoming tide to drive turbine generators, and then let the outgoing tide out through turbine generators and get double your money. The UK, Nova Scotia and Japan are good for those because they get up to 30 foot tides.
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    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Re: A Modest Proposal for Generating the Nation's Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandrin View Post
    I'm not sure I understand the question. Perhaps you have a different definition of "barrage" there?

    I was thinking of a pier going out a mile or two to where the heavy wave action is and having the mechanism under water. It would have no impact on estuaries, as far as I know.
    The question was what do you think of the suggestion :-)

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    Re: A Modest Proposal for Generating the Nation's Power

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryn Mawr View Post
    The question was what do you think of the suggestion :-)
    Wandrin thinks barrage is something to do with gunfire.
    I thought I knew more than this until I opened my mouth

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