[extropy-chat] Moving on (was CF research)

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Tue Feb 13 15:45:12 UTC 2007


There are critical industrial processes that just don't lend themselves to 
distributed solutions.

Consider aluminum as an example.  An aluminum pot line uses 250,000 amps at 
800 volts.  That's 0.2 Gw, if the plant has 5 pot lines, it eats a 
Gw.  (Metalic aluminum represents about 40 kwh/kg.)  Or consider 
cement.  Last time I looked, grinding clinker to dust was taking 1.5 to 2 
percent of the total US generation.

And when you are talking about solar cells, remember the cost of the 
support structures.  I have seen 100 nm films and let me assure you that 
one hail storm would be the end of them.

You also have the problem of collecting the current from solar 
cells.  That's something I have been concerned with recently.  There are 
also serious difficulties with storage.

Now, much of this goes away with nanotechnology, but if you are talking 
near term it's a hard problem.


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