[extropy-chat] Nuke 'em

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Sun Oct 23 23:12:19 UTC 2005

On Sun, Oct 23, 2005 at 11:01:39PM +0200, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> I don't see why everyone is hypnotised by efficiency. It's just a yet

Because for the whole human population we're talking about coating much of the
planet with power collectors and while there may not be a huge difference
between .1 and 1% there's a big one between 10% and 100%.  Or 30% and 300% of
the planet...

> > And what are the thermodynamics of getting CO2 from 300 ppm to 100,000 ppm
> > or whatever the C concentration in biomass would be?
> Plants are nanotechnology, so it works for them. Unfortunately, trees have
> no power sockets in them, nor do they grow on demand whatever you just

Uh, hybrid system, Eugene.  Hydrocarbons were for transportation purposes.
Things which need power sockets would be fed directly from the photovolatic
grid, ideally, except of course that needs buffers of some sort for when the
sun don't shine.

> minimum. Can you imagine an evolutionary process resulting in nonprotic 
> photochemistry? Why are plants not velvet black in the first place?

Perhaps they're already using all the energy they can limited by other factors
and they don't want to cook?

> > Which is why a solar heat engine can produce electricity better than a
> > photovoltaic, at least in direct light.
> Uh, I'd like to see your Stirling beat 35% efficient (theoretical
> plateau around 55%) solar cell.

I'd heard 50% for heat engines and 30% for PV.  If it's the other way around,

-xx- Damien X-) 

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