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Net Energy and the Energy Cliff

Life requires energy. Less energy, less life.

Net Energy is the most important metric in energy:

  • Net Energy is to energy what Profit is to business.
  • Net Energy and Profit are what is left over after you have paid all expenses, jobs, interests, capital, taxes, shareholders, and all. 
  • Net Energy and Profit provide choice beyond subsistence.
  • Chris Martenson's Energy Economics provides an excellent summary of Net Energy.
  • Following is a graph of Net Energy and the Energy Cliff. Net Energy below 5:1 is where economies collapse.

Comparison:

  • Solar: 22:1 was effect enough for life to form on Earth. Food, wood, oil, natural gas, and coal are all stored solar energy. Nuclear energy is dust from super novas. We must live within a solar budget because, at root level, all energy we can access is solar:

Thomas Edison, 1910:

"Sunshine is spread out thin and so is electricity. Perhaps they are the same, Sunshine is a form of energy, and the winds and the tides are manifestations of energy.”

“Do we use them? Oh, no! We burn up wood and coal, as renters burn up the front fence for fuel. We live like squatters, not as if we owned the property.

“There must surely come a time when heat and power will be stored in unlimited quantities in every community, all gathered by natural forces. Electricity ought to be as cheap as oxygen...."

Thomas Edison, 1931 discussion with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone:

"I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait  'til oil and coal run out before we tackle that."--Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

Within a Solar Budget

My US Patent solves the problem Edison noted that "Sunshine is spread out thin and so is electricity". Grade separate and robotize the transportation network to cut energy needs by 95% and use the distriuted nature of that network to gather the energy to power it.

  • Networks of self-driving cars: “A method of controlling a transportation System for moving people, freight, and any combination whereof using a distributed network of intelligent devices without requiring the aid of a human driver”
  • Solar-powered mobility networks: “The method... providing... Solar and wind power generators integrated into the physical Structure of Said transportation System....”

On the left is an implementation of the Solar Collection System created by Swenson Solar, Santa Cruz, CA. Examples of solar collector systems designed for deployment over JPods rails applied to the parking lot at Plantronic's Headquarters in Santa Cruz, CA

Over the JPods rails, collectors will typically be 4 to 10 meters, this unit is 6.7 meters.

JPods solar collectors will typically be 4 to 10 meters wide, this unit is 10 meters.

 

The units are curved. There is a small sacrifice of efficiency for this curved shape but this is more the compensated for by the improved aestetics. Aestestics are critically important.

Solar collection applied to JPods networks produces about 50,000 vehicle-kilometers of power per kilometer per day. Following is a summary of the Production and Consumption to back these numbers:

Energy Production:

The following links and data update about every 15 minutes based on Plantronics 375 units:

Yearly kw-hr collections on this 240 meter long, 10 meter wide array averages 367,410 for the last five full years. This equates to 4.19 megawatt-hours per day per kilometer. The weather conditions in Santa Cruz include a heavy marine fog layer for several hours each morning in the summer. This results in a solar input of about 4 Peak Sun-Hours per day . 

1/1/12  381,393.09
1/1/13  390,195.19
1/1/14  355,894.66
1/1/15  367,895.4
1/1/16  341,675.91

Energy Consumption:

JPods vehicles require about 38.5 watt-hours to travel a kilometer. Here is a link to the Physics of JPods with associated calculations. This budget is increased to 79 watt-hours per kilometer to account for heating and airconditioning. 

By dividing the 4 megawatt-hours collected each day by the 79 watt-hours required to move, heat and cool a JPods vehicle per km, results in about 50,000 vehicle-km of power per km per day. 

Collection system by Frank Pao for over JPods stations. These systems are not designed to be as efficient as possible but to create "light play" in station areas.

Energy Resources:

Methane is the battery Edison was looking for. Personal Energy Servers combine into the Distributed GridGo to DistributedGrid.com.

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