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Old May 13 2009, 02:22 AM   #1
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Default Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

In post- AIVAS times, everybody's gone "power mad". Lessa, I think, says so in either SoP or ATWOP. Electric fans, lights, heat. . .

So where's all that energy come from? Dragons, or more specifically Weyrs. Many of the volcanic weyrs, by virtue of being extinct volcanoes, not only have a source for geothermal energy beneath them (which Weyrfolk are already using), but also have this nifty crater that's perfect for wind turbines and solar panels-not all over the mountain, only on the southern slopes. Also many weyrs are located in higher-altitude places where solar radiation is stronger.

Many souther weyrs are located near lakes and/or rivers that either could be or are already dammed for hydroelectricity and water storage. I' ve heard about a newer concept of using the power of ocean waves to make energy. Does anyone know more about that?

When the Weyrs make energy on their own land, they are not only self-sufficient, but then they can "sell" that energy to the Hold and Halls, who might not be able to make enough, and have a need for it. That way even the smallest cothold could have electric heating and cooling, and it wouldn't be a function of high rank anymore. These energy "customers" could "pay" for the energy by offering the Weyrs goods and services- so at least part of the tithe could still happen.

It's called "alternative energy" on this planet, but it wouldn't be on Pern! They never got into fossil fuels and coal-fired power plants.
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Old May 13 2009, 06:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

I know a bit, although using waves is not exactly new, in the same way that solar power is not new as such, it's just that technology needs to catch up with the ideas.
There was something on the news recently about a new generation.
They use a mechanism (which is why they have had to come up with a new generation, as this is not amazingly efficient) to convert bobbing into rotary motion to run the generator.

Its a good idea. Although, I think each hold would at least generate most of their own power as its easier than "piping" it across country and an advantage of the "alternatives" is that they can easily be scaled to suit need.
As far as solar goes though, it would be easier, given Pern's technology, to use solar heating rather than solar power generated electricity.
A solar heater can be remarkably simple, I've seen a very basic example that was a radiator painted black.
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Old May 13 2009, 06:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

Am I always accidently putting posts in the wrong places these days? I apologize!Thanks for straightening it out, though!

Quote:
There was something on the news recently about a new generation.
They use a mechanism (which is why they have had to come up with a new generation, as this is not amazingly efficient) to convert bobbing into rotary motion to run the generator.
Do you mean bobbing like a buoy, Edith? I like that idea. It's about time someone came up with something productive to do with all that motion.
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Old May 13 2009, 09:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

Solar power may be limited - do they have the power to produce new panels, or are they limited to whatever they dig up at Landing?
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Old May 14 2009, 12:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

They would also have the plans for hydroelectric generators to copy from the dam mentioned in the early chapters of AtWoP. They would certainly be more efficient than the c.e. generators (batteries) that Fandarel created in DQ
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Old May 14 2009, 05:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

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Am I always accidently putting posts in the wrong places these days? I apologize!Thanks for straightening it out, though!



Do you mean bobbing like a buoy, Edith? I like that idea. It's about time someone came up with something productive to do with all that motion.
Its like a long snake that bobs up and down a section at a time. (sorry I'm not good at explaining things).

Brenda, its not so much power as technology and science. You need to have a material which works in the right wavelength region for a start (which is actually quite tricky) and then there are other problems with lifetime and efficiency
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Old May 14 2009, 06:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

I believe that a form of "wave generator" works with the back and forth motion of the inshore water action: waves come in to shore (upper) and the undertow pulls back (lower). I forgot what mag I read it in but in principle it's a hanging paddle with one at the surface and one in the backwash zone.
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Old May 15 2009, 02:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

somebody postulated a generator that rocks back and forth in the waves. The practical problem is that it therefore generates an a.c. current at wave frequency which is, of course, variable.

If it is to be used locally it then needs changing to the frequency we need it at.

If it is to be used at a distance it needs changing to d.c. for transmission.
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Old May 15 2009, 10:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

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Am I always accidently putting posts in the wrong places these days? I apologize!Thanks for straightening it out, though!
Absolutely not! I just thought your post and idea warranted a thread of its own
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Old May 15 2009, 11:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

Definitely!

Energy generation is interesting

Old Hippie: There's a place "back home" which I went to when I was a kid that had a model generator like that.
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Old May 15 2009, 12:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

Try this ... http://www.gedwardcook.com/
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Old May 15 2009, 08:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
Solar power may be limited - do they have the power to produce new panels, or are they limited to whatever they dig up at Landing?
In SoP they had, for they were used to power things in Weyr and also in Weyrhold too. Pardise River Smithcrafter were working on it in DoP, they got the power running after the big storm in DoP.

Also upgrades to make "power weaving" Heating, lighting and computer crafting.

Just a few ideas I can recall.
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Old May 16 2009, 12:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

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Absolutely not! I just thought your post and idea warranted a thread of its own

Thanks, all!

I like to think about different ways of energy production. They're in the process of building slome wind energy 'farms' near where I live (we ought to do something with that wind!) and selling the energy to the more-populated southern part of the state. And I thought, "They have wind on Pern, they could do that, too!"

The only problem I could potentially think of with wind energy in particular is the wherries flying into the "pinwheels". Fire lizards and dragons could learn tto avoid them, and wherries probably eventually could too.

I'll have to check out that website you mentioned,P'ter.
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Old May 17 2009, 10:01 AM   #14
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

One form of wind generator not much investigated yet is to set to axle vertically like a giant version of those spinning signs you sometimes see outside tyre depots etc.

The advantages are that the bearings are simpler since the blades don't need to be turned into the wind and the wiring is also simpler. You can also use the same vertical axle to also run an extractor fan or belt driven machinery.
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Old May 17 2009, 11:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

My post had a typo - I simply meant would they have the ability to produce new solar panels? If they're limited to what they can find at Landing, they may not be able to put solar panels on every Hold and Weyr.
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Old May 18 2009, 09:18 AM   #16
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

Quote:
Originally Posted by P'ter View Post
One form of wind generator not much investigated yet is to set to axle vertically like a giant version of those spinning signs you sometimes see outside tyre depots etc.

The advantages are that the bearings are simpler since the blades don't need to be turned into the wind and the wiring is also simpler. You can also use the same vertical axle to also run an extractor fan or belt driven machinery.
They are better for pumping applications, they have a lot of torque, but the other type are more efficient for electricity generation
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Old May 18 2009, 10:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

Quote:
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My post had a typo - I simply meant would they have the ability to produce new solar panels? If they're limited to what they can find at Landing, they may not be able to put solar panels on every Hold and Weyr.
I think that's one of the things that was re-discovered through AIVAS- I could be wrong, though! Still it seems like there were enough solar panels around for the Pernese to get 'exposed' to the concept, and for an inquiring mind like Fandarel to figure out how they work.The AIVAS complex was powered by solar, and so were many things on the bridge of the Yokohama.
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Old May 18 2009, 11:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

What are solar panels made from? Is it something that could be made on Pern?
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Old May 19 2009, 02:43 AM   #19
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

I always thought solar cells could ony made by a high level tech society and wasn't that something Pern didn't aspire to, not even in the post AIVAS periode?

But maybe the cells of future millennia are better designed/easier to make than the ones we know now?
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Old May 19 2009, 03:55 AM   #20
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

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What are solar panels made from? Is it something that could be made on Pern?
These days they tend to be made of silicon, although Gallium Arsenide used to be used.
The material is very important in solar cell manufacture.

!Warning Solid State Physics!

OK...
Firstly, this is seriously simplified.

Electric current is the flow of electrons.

Atoms in a material have electron clouds

These electrons, due to a whole load of extremely fun physics that I am NOT going to explain here, can only have a certain amounts of energy. These amounts of energy are known as energy levels.
Only a certain amount of electrons can stay in each energy level. The last full level is known as the valance band, the level above that is known as the conduction band (again simplified- especially as I work with a material with energy levels between these!). Electrons are stuck (localised) in the valence band, but they can move about in the conduction band (and on a large scale- the movement in the conduction band is the electric current).

There are three types of materials (again- this is seriously simplified- there are more but these are the main three in this case):

metals: the valance band and conduction band are very close together and electrons can move freely

semiconductors: There is a gap (the bandgap) which means that electrons tend to be trapped in the valance band unless something gives them enough energy to jump into the conduction band (Silicon, germanium and Gallium Arsenide are all semiconductors)

insulators: There is a really big band gap and it is improbable (not impossible) that an electron can get enough energy to jump.

A solar cell is made up of a semiconductor that is treated in various ways.
Light of a certain colour range (including infrared and ultra violet) can excite an electron into the conduction band and you get a current. The colour of light that can do this, depends on the size of the band gap.
This means that the material you use depends on what colour light you want to use as the material is most efficient in this range.

!End of Solid State Physics!

Right, so the material is important. Silicon is available on Pern but you need to make it seriously pure (are there cleanrooms on Pern?). You can also use coatings to improve the efficiency and preserve the panels (I will not go into these as you really do not want to know some of the physics here), these would be far harder to make.
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Old May 19 2009, 07:16 AM   #21
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

Shouldn't this thread be relocated to the Science Forum?
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Old May 19 2009, 07:24 AM   #22
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Yeah, I'll do just that, P'ter.


Edith, thanks for the explanation but given the wish not to have a high tech society, what would your opinon be on new solar cells being made on post AIVAS Pern?
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Old May 19 2009, 07:32 AM   #23
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

Probably very unlikely as the technology needed to make them is quite advanced. You'd need clean rooms (which are not trivial), efficient thin film deposition techniques (very high in energy use themselves at smallish scales), lithographic techniques, someone who understands all the physics, and good supplies of high purity semiconductors and coating materials. You'd also need good microscopy (optical, electron, AFM etc) and characterisation techniques in order to develop the materials and monitor their quality etc, etc, etc.
The production would be polluting too.

I mentioned solar heating earlier, that would be the best thing for Pern as far as solar is concerned- cheap, clean, low tech, hot water
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Old May 19 2009, 10:32 PM   #24
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

So they'll scavenge everything they possibly can, but there's no way they can make more. I bet that'll drive Fandarel crazy.
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Old May 20 2009, 01:50 AM   #25
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Remember that even with all the r & d done and the production lines in place, they take so much energy to make that the payback time on photoelectric generators is around 15 years.
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Old May 26 2009, 01:25 AM   #26
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Default Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

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Remember that even with all the r & d done and the production lines in place, they take so much energy to make that the payback time on photoelectric generators os around 15 years.
Costs are merely related to the effort to manufacture them.

Even in our era, as P'ter points out, the costs are actually sufficient to put off many folk from commiting to the expense of converting to solar power. For a society that would have the technology to initially settle Pern, the cost to make the same solar pannels we use today would likely be miniscule--and they'd more likely have far more efficient examples than what we can dream to create.

However, to see the cost of making them in *9th Pass* Pern, you'd have to consider how a culture, who's technology effectively hovers somewhere between Medival and mid-19th or early 20th Century, could make such pannels.

I'm afraid that combinations of wind, hydroelectric, and even wave-driven generators would be BY FAR easier than creating clean-rooms, refining silicon to get the ultra-pure, developing the microphotography needed for lithographic plans, and training technicians in the techniques for proper doping of the silicon, etc and ALL of that from scratch, even with AIVAS to guide them.

Certainly, they'd have the know-how on using any such pre-existing pannels (once they experienced AIVAS), but to create replacements for broken units? Especially as such couldn't be done as early as the beginning of the 2nd Pass (as Anne wrote in Red Star Rising/Dragonseye)? No, I'm afraid that'd be out of the question.
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Old May 26 2009, 07:05 PM   #27
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2cent Re: Energy in post 9th Pass Pern [split]

Well here is a idea, there was hints in SoP, about different technology in the database. Weather and communication idea.

Which take power, also I was thinking of the power that was in DD the power plant. Which now is running the Weyrhold.

There are other tib in other books DoP, and a few more.
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