Electrical Energy

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Energy Transmission ( Is AC really better) - Is alternating current really better than direct current.  AC electrical power won out over DC power distribution systems early in early 1900's.  The chief advantage alternating current is that its voltage can be stepped up and down efficiently using transformers.  Transmitting power for long distances at high voltage (over 110,000  volts) is relatively efficient.  Losses in the transmission of power are only about 7%.  Direct Current High voltage transmission is inherently more efficient than AC transmission at the same voltage, because AC generates  Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radiation, and  DC systems do not generate ELF.

The pros and cons of each system are discussed in the link below.  One point I would  add  in favor of DC is that the losses incurred during the conversion of DC to AC could be recovered.  If the heat sinks off the electronic components were water cooled,  the hot water could be used to supply nearby buildings with heat and hot water.  

High Voltage Direct Current

DC Grid for Distributed Generation


Burn wood rather coal to reduce greenhouse gases:  Burning wood contributes no carbon dioxide to atmosphere.  Now, your probably thinking that I need retake chemistry 101. So I will rephrase that statement.  Wood produces no net increase in carbon dioxide, since it is part of the carbon cycle.  Burning Coal on the other hand oxidizes carbon locked in the ground for thousands of centuries.  The heat produced could be used to produce electricity or to supply heat and hot water to nearby buildings.  Hot water could also be used to drive absorption type heat pumps for cooling buildings.


Transporting Heat and Power Using Steam

Less than 1% of US electric power comes from renewable sources other than hydroelectric



The Coal fired steam cycle uses about 10,000 BTU to produce 1 kilo-watt hour of electricity. Let us assume this particular kilowatt hour is used by an electric hot water heater.  How many Btu are delivered to the hot water heater?  The answer is 3412 BTU.  Some of the remaining 6588 Btu's were lost out the smoke stack or by power lines. The majority of the heat is typically dumped into the rivers used to cool the condensers of the turbine heat engines.  Central heating systems using cogeneration would require lots of insulated pipes.  I am only suggestion that there is no energy shortage, but  a pipe shortage, resulting in the dumping of the majority of our energy.  More about Cogeneration














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