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#551 2021-06-24 21:03:18

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 4,546

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

I like many paths.  We should not inhibit creativity at this point, in my opinion.

Here is something I really like.  I am not a run to Mars sort of person, thinking that the Earth will die.
I feel that we will make more than one world valuable, and will enhance the value of Earth in particular.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ho … &FORM=VIRE

Where these people want to generate chemical fuels, and pipe them off to areas without enough energy.  That is OK, but I want
to add water.  If we could bring and produce more water where so called "Green Energy" is, which are sometimes arid, then
enhance lifesupport/living standards can be enhanced in such places.

I have the American SW (Solar), and also the high plains (Wind and maybe solar),in mind.

Also we have costal wind in NA, and even so more clean water is to valued.  We will almost certainly get a gift from the UK
and Europe, as their necessity is causing them to pioneer advanced coastal wind power.

This is not to say that we would not continue to seek nuclear, and other methods.  We just nuture various things, and get
what is eventually demonstrated to work.

I do not thnk that we will willing give up a thirst for energy, so indeed, also we can consider space solar power.  Why think
small???  The future could be absolutely fabulous.


Done.


Done.

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#552 2021-06-25 18:04:55

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

My view is that green energy will eventually become extremely cheap. We are still seeing so many technical innovations that are driving down the price. Think about it logically: nature delivers the electrons and the powered air molecules to your generating system totally free of charge. So all you have to think about is cheaper and cheaper ways to use the fuel delivered to you free (and how to store the energy you produce).  The evidence of past decades is we are relentlessly clever in inventing new ways of exploiting this resource more efficiently and more cheaply.

Once we get down to a v. low price - below 2 cents per KwHe lots of things become possible. The water problem will be resolved through using dehumidifiers to extract water from the atmosphere. The technology is there already of course - it's just expensive to use. You can extract water from the atmosphere in even the driest of deserts.





Void wrote:

I like many paths.  We should not inhibit creativity at this point, in my opinion.

Here is something I really like.  I am not a run to Mars sort of person, thinking that the Earth will die.
I feel that we will make more than one world valuable, and will enhance the value of Earth in particular.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ho … &FORM=VIRE

Where these people want to generate chemical fuels, and pipe them off to areas without enough energy.  That is OK, but I want
to add water.  If we could bring and produce more water where so called "Green Energy" is, which are sometimes arid, then
enhance lifesupport/living standards can be enhanced in such places.

I have the American SW (Solar), and also the high plains (Wind and maybe solar),in mind.

Also we have costal wind in NA, and even so more clean water is to valued.  We will almost certainly get a gift from the UK
and Europe, as their necessity is causing them to pioneer advanced coastal wind power.

This is not to say that we would not continue to seek nuclear, and other methods.  We just nuture various things, and get
what is eventually demonstrated to work.

I do not thnk that we will willing give up a thirst for energy, so indeed, also we can consider space solar power.  Why think
small???  The future could be absolutely fabulous.


Done.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#553 2021-06-26 10:04:15

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 5,685

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

Louis,

What you're talking about doing is "air conditioning the planet".  There's probably an engineering reason why we don't typically obtain fresh water by "de-humidifying the atmosphere", it probably relates to energy consumption, no matter how cheap the energy is, and you will probably completely ignore that, but there it is.

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#554 2021-06-26 10:45:34

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 10,394

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

For kbd512 re #553

Louis ** does ** have a bit of real-world experience to draw upon, although I very much doubt he is aware of it....

There are arid regions of the world where folks have been driven to extremes to pull water from the atmosphere, little of it as there may be.

I'd have to look a while to find the specific reference I'm thinking of, but it was an article about a group of mountain dwellers collecting dew overnight by setting up cloth collecting surfaces and then (here I'm really stretching to try to recall the method) wringing the moisture in the morning.

That is a ** hard ** way to get drinking water, but (apparently) it works if the environment is favorable, with wide temperature swings and even a tiny bit of moisture in the atmosphere.

***
We're in Louis' Solar track, so I'll add that ** my ** preferred way to obtain fresh water is to enlist nature on our behalf.

After all, Nature provides ALL the fresh water that gets wafted around the planet, and it uses "solar power" to accomplish that.

Furthermore, Nature performs that service 24*7*365 without anyone charging a nickel for the benefit.

(th)

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#555 2021-06-26 15:12:50

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

This technology exists. Apparently it take 0.31 KwHes to make1 litre of water. So if your electricity costs 10 cents per KwHe that's about 3 cents per litre, leaving aside capital cost.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospher … _generator

Residential water use in North America is about 500 litres per household (maybe 2.5 people, so about 200 litres per person). So on that basis water would cost about $6 per day per person. If electricity costs 2 cents per KwHe, then that would be $1.2 per person per day.

I think the lower figure would probably be much cheaper than charges from water suppliers - no need to maintain all those dams. canals. aqueducts, pipes and reservoirs. In the UK households often pay over $1000 in water charges.


kbd512 wrote:

Louis,

What you're talking about doing is "air conditioning the planet".  There's probably an engineering reason why we don't typically obtain fresh water by "de-humidifying the atmosphere", it probably relates to energy consumption, no matter how cheap the energy is, and you will probably completely ignore that, but there it is.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#556 2021-06-26 16:05:50

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,668

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

Sure if we use a carbon free power creation but thats the problem.

Solar panel installation costs $10,626 to $17,640 on average. Solar panels cost $1.77 to $2.20 per watt and solar energy is $0.08 to $0.10 per kWh to produce.

https://homeguide.com/costs/solar-panel-cost

That appears low.

https://www.homedepot.com/c/cost_install_solar_panels

Solar power systems are very custom based on the home, roof type, shading, and utility. Installation of panels for the average 5kW system ranges from $11,100-22,400.

That means you need 3 of these the further north you are..

https://modernize.com/solar/panel-cost-calculator

Solar panel installation costs a national average of $18,500 for a 6kW solar panel system for a 1,500 square ft. home. The price per watt for solar panels can range from $2.50 to $3.50

https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/heatin … ar-panels/

Solar Panel Costs Installing a solar panel system costs an average of $24,281 and dropping. Most homeowners pay between $17,156 and $31,884. Expect to pay $2.50 to $3.50 per watt with most …

https://news.energysage.com/how-much-do … n-the-u-s/

Solar panel cost in 2021: the highlights. What range of costs should you expect to see in quotes for a solar panel system? Solar panel costs for a 10 kilowatt (kW) installation in the U.S. ranges from $17,760 to $23,828 after the federal solar tax credit

getting closer to the real number

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#557 2021-06-26 18:47:32

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 5,685

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

Louis,

Here in Texas water costs an average of $39.76 per 5,000 gallons, or $0.007952 per gallon, or $0.0021 per liter.  That equates to $0.42 for 200 liters of water.  Somehow I don't think we'll be switching over to your plan to triple the cost of potable water any time soon.

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#558 2021-06-26 19:32:54

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,668

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

I have a well and its is free but its not drinkable being so full of iron and more. It costs for 8 gallons of water per day $6 to have to drink, wash pots or pans ect

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#559 2021-07-14 17:37:22

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 10,394

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/singapore-un … 21443.html

This story is about solar panels floating on water ...

Reuters Videos
Singapore unveils huge solar panel farm
Wed, July 14, 2021, 10:23 AM
This is one of the world's largest floating solar farms

Location: Singapore

It’s made up of 122,000 solar panels

making it as big as 45 football fields

It produces enough electricity to power the island's five water treatment plants

The project is part of Singapore's plan to quadruple its solar energy production by 2025

to help tackle climate change

(th)

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#560 2021-07-14 18:39:26

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

That's fine. I never thought you'd need this technology in Texas. But in drought affected areas in Africa this might be the difference between life and death and in desert or arid areas this might allow cultivation of food that could not otherwise take place, especially if they use polytunnel systems that allow water to be retained in the structure.


kbd512 wrote:

Louis,

Here in Texas water costs an average of $39.76 per 5,000 gallons, or $0.007952 per gallon, or $0.0021 per liter.  That equates to $0.42 for 200 liters of water.  Somehow I don't think we'll be switching over to your plan to triple the cost of potable water any time soon.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#561 2021-07-14 18:40:32

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

Yes, this could become a big part of the PV story.  You don't have to sacrifice your farmland.

tahanson43206 wrote:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/singapore-un … 21443.html

This story is about solar panels floating on water ...

Reuters Videos
Singapore unveils huge solar panel farm
Wed, July 14, 2021, 10:23 AM
This is one of the world's largest floating solar farms

Location: Singapore

It’s made up of 122,000 solar panels

making it as big as 45 football fields

It produces enough electricity to power the island's five water treatment plants

The project is part of Singapore's plan to quadruple its solar energy production by 2025

to help tackle climate change

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#562 2021-07-14 21:57:21

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,668

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

I think we keep forgetting that here on earth we have the natural power of the suns contribution of that 1Kwatts for a all surfaces for the most part unobstructed and that we still as individuals consume on an order some where about the same every hour of the day when counting all energy needs from the car to getting the groceries.

Mars day is 25hrs x 2 kw = 50 kwhrs to meet minimal daily allowance per crewmen.

The catch 22 is we need more than that to do an EVA or build let alone do science exploration….then to top that off we need even more to make fuel and oxygen let alone find and keep our water for use.

Sure due to activities that are shared we get a lower number but we need to plan as if we were doing this for each person.

That said the KRUSTY units power test at 2 kw would be a minimal power source for just 1 or 2 people....

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#563 2021-07-15 13:50:18

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

We need to distinguish between the early colony and a mature city colony.

In the early colony the proportion of energy going to fuelling a return Starship will be huge - certainly at least 90% for Mission one. That will decline as people come to live on Mars for several years and, eventually permanently. Mining will be another significant energy item, proportionally, in the early years as the colony builds up stocks of materials like silica and iron ore.

There is currently no KRUSTY-style reactor available for deployment on Mars. NASA hope to complete a demonstration project on the Moon in the late 2020s. If all goes well, that will be after Space X land people on Mars.

https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/kilopower

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/demo … tion-power

They indicate 4 x 10Kw reactors could power an "outpost" on the Moon. A Wikipedia article suggests the lunar outpost would comprise 4 people - so that would be 10Kw per person or 250 Kwhs per person per sol for basic life support etc. if we are transferring that approach to Mars.

SpaceNut wrote:

I think we keep forgetting that here on earth we have the natural power of the suns contribution of that 1Kwatts for a all surfaces for the most part unobstructed and that we still as individuals consume on an order some where about the same every hour of the day when counting all energy needs from the car to getting the groceries.

Mars day is 25hrs x 2 kw = 50 kwhrs to meet minimal daily allowance per crewmen.

The catch 22 is we need more than that to do an EVA or build let alone do science exploration….then to top that off we need even more to make fuel and oxygen let alone find and keep our water for use.

Sure due to activities that are shared we get a lower number but we need to plan as if we were doing this for each person.

That said the KRUSTY units power test at 2 kw would be a minimal power source for just 1 or 2 people....

Last edited by louis (2021-07-15 18:32:00)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#564 2021-07-15 14:03:41

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 10,394

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

For Louis re above ...

compromise 4 people

I enjoyed reading that prose << grin >>

Thanks for the lift!

I have something to toss your way, in hopes it inspires you along solar power lines ....

I'm slow cooking a pot of broth on the stove, and when I looked at the clear glass lid, I saw beads of distilled water on the underside. The outside of the glass is exposed to room temperature, while the liquid below is simmering. 

The image that came to mind as i studied that lid was the MIT design for a remote wilderness solar fresh water distiller.  You (most likely) recall the image that SpaceNut showed us recently, with a clear glass frame set at an angle with respect to the surface of the Earth, so that as the Sun's rays pass through and heat the brine below, liberated water molecules rise and condense on the glass, from which they slowly descend to a catch trough, and from there to a catch basin.

So here is the challenge for your creative energies .... is there a way to redesign the basic MIT concept so that the water is collected without interfering with the flow of photons into the liquid?

Related ... is there a way to encourage water molecules to descend more rapidly under the influence of gravity toward the catch trough, spending less time on the condensing surface?

(th)

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#565 2021-07-15 18:35:51

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

Way beyond my pay grade on the technology front! lol If I could help I would.  Only to note in passing - I thought about this in relation to sublimation of ice in a vacuum - how do you collect the water molecules?



tahanson43206 wrote:

For Louis re above ...

compromise 4 people

I enjoyed reading that prose << grin >>

Thanks for the lift!

I have something to toss your way, in hopes it inspires you along solar power lines ....

I'm slow cooking a pot of broth on the stove, and when I looked at the clear glass lid, I saw beads of distilled water on the underside. The outside of the glass is exposed to room temperature, while the liquid below is simmering. 

The image that came to mind as i studied that lid was the MIT design for a remote wilderness solar fresh water distiller.  You (most likely) recall the image that SpaceNut showed us recently, with a clear glass frame set at an angle with respect to the surface of the Earth, so that as the Sun's rays pass through and heat the brine below, liberated water molecules rise and condense on the glass, from which they slowly descend to a catch trough, and from there to a catch basin.

So here is the challenge for your creative energies .... is there a way to redesign the basic MIT concept so that the water is collected without interfering with the flow of photons into the liquid?

Related ... is there a way to encourage water molecules to descend more rapidly under the influence of gravity toward the catch trough, spending less time on the condensing surface?

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#566 2021-07-15 19:45:06

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 4,546

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

I have struggled with the questions of distillation for many years.

I even attempted a patent at one point, but the stress of doing that while working
a job of up to 56 hours a week pushed me over the edge.  Had conversation with
not human beings.  At least if it was not temporary madness, that might be what it
was.  All clear for years after that up today.  Funny thing, one of them speaking
of me to others, said "He is superstitious but I like him.".  Ha Ha.  smile  I think
it is actually possible that someone slipped me some kind of drug.

FYI, I was also told that "I had been given something, better use it".

Anyway, that is not the topic.

Two thermal methods used on Earth are as you experienced, cooking water, and then
condensing the vapors thermally at ambient pressure.

Another one is forced distillation.  A machine with internal heat exchangers is
run by a motor.  In one section, raw water input is subjected to a greater partial
vacuum. The vapor output is compressed into the other chamber, where it heats up
and condenses due to the compression.  The internal heat exchangers, conduct the
heat from the compression chamber, into the vacuum chamber.  So, the heat is
re-used.  In a system like this you likely need to have a sort of baffel system
where mist of brines will be extracted from the fluid gas output from vacuum to
compression stage.

But now for Mars....I will intentionally keep this sketchy....Because without
more "Ground Truth", we could design a precision machine that would not work,
as it would be built on assumptions and not on a more complete data about the
environment of Mars.

So, a few things.  Don't bother with liquid water in the ambient environment
of Mars, as currently is, unless it is a brine.

If you can vaporize water that is in the soil, or in ice deposits, then you
can likely capture the vapor laden gasses of CO2..Ect., and compress that, and
then have condensed water.  You may need a dust filter.  Microwaving downward
into the soil and ice, might work, inside of a "Tent".  Some overburden is much
thinner than other, so that will be a factor.

So you work with sublimation if you are not involved with a brine.  It is possible
that a brine will develop, since the soil often has salts.

This that I have described, is basic for first arrival methods.  Later if you
have a city, you may want to try to melt a layer of liquid water under a layer of
ice.  And then consume the fluids by withdrawing some of them.  But it is likely
that in that situation you must remove some of the overburden of soil.

It's a start.

Last edited by Void (2021-07-15 19:46:22)


Done.

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#567 2021-07-15 20:01:11

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,668

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

So if we need 50 kw hrs for a crewman and we have a 3 hour window to collect in winter and store that value we need an array that produces 17 kws while at the summer we might get 6 hrs for an array of 8.5 kws. so design says you go with the larger array size to be able to make the winter covering the array in summer to reduce what needs to be stored. If thats surplus then power other storage method during the summer period of the year..

If we can get 30% efficient panels then we will need 56.666 meters of panels, which rounding up gets more power or about 240 x 240 meters to make a sustainable life condition on mars.

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#568 2021-07-15 20:53:41

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,300

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

There is already chemical process equipment commercially available to do this separation. Its called a "wiped film evaporator." Widely used in the food processing industry--making tomato puree from tomato sauce. Or many other processes involving water removal from a food product without adversely affecting the flavor of the concentrated foodstuff.

Reinventing the wheel seems to be pretty easy... wink

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2021-07-15 20:54:00)

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#569 2021-07-16 04:51:50

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 10,394

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

For OF10939 re #568 .... thanks for this hint of where to look for practical experience in water removal in industry!

I'll reserve this post for details later today (hopefully)

SearchTerm:water evaporation food industry
SearchTerm:evaporation wiped film evaporator

The MIT design has the distinct advantage of not consuming any power other than photons, and having no moving parts.

I'll be interested to see how the industrial process compares.

For Void ... your description of a machine for water recovery reminds me of the invention of Dean Kamen, reported previously in this forum.

(th)

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#570 2021-07-16 05:17:11

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

Does anyone know the answer to the following: is water ice at, say, -60 degrees celsius harder than at, say, -6 degrees celsius? Or is "ice" just "ice"? I'm thinking probably the latter.

Anyway, I imagine that we would mine water ice in the afternoon on Mars, preferably in summer though that might not always be an option, certainly on Mission One.

I imagine we would use diggers and that lasers or microwave beams would be used to create "cracks" in the ice that could then be worked on by robot mining devices, to break off chunks that can then be transported in sealed containers to a processing facility.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#571 2021-07-16 06:36:43

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,894

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

Hardness of ice increases as temperature declines.
http://www.minsocam.org/ammin/AM43/AM43_48.pdf

At -50°C it is as hard and strong as ordinary grade concrete.  You would need explosives to mine it.  Or lots of low grade heat.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-07-16 06:38:08)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#572 2021-07-16 06:38:47

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 10,394

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

For Louis re #570

Thank you for an interesting question!

I trust (hope) that there are ** qualified ** members with posting privileges who will offer a response cast in a form that Louis has a chance of understanding.

To save time, please do not post just for the sake of seeing your ID in the spotlight. 

SearchTerm:ice manner of breaking
SearchTerm:fracture of ice causes of
SearchTerm:melting of ice distribution of thermal energy in

Calliban was posting his reply as I was composing this one. 

My guess (pending clarification by others) is that the kinds of bonds holding molecules together in ice is a type of cohesive bond, and that thermal activity acts to weaken and ultimately overcome such bonds.  The detail provided by Calliban, that bonds are stronger when temperatures are low, would seem to support the proposition that (in general) materials held together by cohesive bonds are adversely affected by temperature.

However, fracture of ice can (and I believe ** does **) occur independently of temperature.  In the case of a fracture (and again pending clarification) I would deduce that the cohesive bonds along the line of fracture are unable to sustain the force of gravity exerted by a mass of the material which has lost footing.

I would expect to find that a laser beam could be used as an ice cutter, with the understanding that the ice melted by such a beam will be limited to the diameter of the beam, and that if the water molecules thus liberated are not removed, they could be expected to give up thermal energy to the mass nearby, and resume existence well bonded to neighbors.

(th)

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#573 2021-07-16 07:35:48

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,894

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

The colder and harder the ice is, the more brittle it becomes.  Cracks have critical lengths within materials, beyond which they will grow rapidly and catastrophically under tensile loads.  The more brittle the material is, the shorter the critical length and the less tensile load needed to produce failure.

A laser of microwave beam could cut through the ice by melting it.  However, microwaves would have poor beam coherence and would be scattered at increasing depth.  Lasers would only cut through a thin layer before boiling and evaporated materials blocked the beam.

I would propose instead, leaving the ice cold and using hydraulic fracturing to break it up.  Drill holes in the ice, insert a steel tube and then fill the hole with hypersaturated brine.  You then use a hydraulic ram to force brine into the hole in the ice cliff face, effectively overpressurising it.  This will result in fractures propagating through the ice.  Next, use a mechanical pecker to attack the cliff, dislodging the now loose ice chunks.  Use a digger to scoop them up into a truck.  The ice chunks could be loaded into a melting pot, which would by heated by either solar heating panels or low grade heat.  The water could then be pumped back to the base and stored in underground tanks.


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#574 2021-07-23 10:44:17

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 10,394

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

The company behind the technology described in the article at the link below would appear to be solidly in Louis' corner:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/07/ … renewable/

But Somerville, MA's Form Energy has built a battery powered by pellets of iron, one of the world's most common elements, which costs a mere $6 per kilowatt-hour of storage on individual cells. Packaged in a battery system, the cost comes squarely in line with experts' $20 per kilowatt-hour target.
Form Energy's battery functions by intaking and expelling oxygen, and using an electrical current to charge and discharge iron to rust and back again, charging the battery in the process.

I wonder what efficiency is possible with this curious mechanism.

The article reminds me of a discussion started by (I think Louis) when I first joined the forum.  It was about a company (or more likely a college) investigating combustion of iron power as a way to create steam.  The output of the process would have been clinkers of rust.

A battery based upon the principle of oxidation of iron would (presumably) not require high temperatures.

If someone with posting privileges is inspired to investigate this report, I'd be interested to learn more about the concept.

If the process has reached the press, it would (presumably) have patent applications on file, so there might be something available in US government files.

(th)

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#575 2021-07-23 11:45:32

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 5,685

Re: Going Solar...the best solution for Mars.

tahanson43206,

While very interesting from a cost and simplicity perspective, and I do like technology that is both simple and cheap because it means John Q. Public understands how to use and maintain it and can actually afford to do so (it looks stupidly simple to me, which is why it just might work), Form Energy says they can achieve a power storage density of around 3 MW / 450MWh PER ACRE of land surface area, and that each individual battery cell is approximately the size of a washing machine.  Their pilot project battery would then cover about 1/3rd of an acre of land, provide 1MWe of continuous power and store 150MWh of energy (1MWe for 150 hours).  For comparison purposes, a fossil fuel energy storage mechanism providing 150MWh of energy, at 50% thermodynamic efficiency, requires roughly 7,412 gallons of crude oil.  Current combined cycle gas turbines achieve 65% thermal efficiency and solid oxide fuel cells can achieve 80% thermal-to-electrical efficiency, so Form Energy's solution faces stiff competition wherever land area is at a premium.  Apart from that issue, which is significant in many places, I like every other aspect of what they did.  It's cheap, abundant, easily recyclable, and completely non-toxic (Iron / Oxygen / Salt / Water).  If we can obtain enough energy to mine the raw materials without falling into an energy trap, then it makes good sense to me.  They're claiming that their battery can also last for 20+ years, which is highly desirable and perhaps more important than all other considerations.  We need to start thinking about energy generating and storage technologies in terms of human lifetimes, and start building infrastructure that withstands the test of time, because renewable energy doesn't provide the same amount of surplus energy as coal / gas / oil or nuclear energy.

Large Scale, Long Duration Energy Storage, and the Future of Renewables Generation

Form Energy Announces Pilot with Great River Energy to Enable the Utility’s Transition to an Affordable, Reliable and Renewable Electricity Grid

As the above link indicates, Form Energy is demonstrating a 1MW / 150MWh capacity battery for Great River Energy.

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