Why free energy when you can get free work?

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,522
We all know and... err... love the free energy questions.

But I was thinking about another class of perennial head desk questions and I realized the questioners are much more clever than the free energy "researchers".

They know that free energy is bunk. They aren't stupid. They take a different approach: free work.

"I want to run an LED from a solar cell with no battery."
"I want a 5W amplifier, and it has to run from a coin cell for 8 hours, but if I can only get 4 that's OK."
"I am designing a solar powered helicopter and I need some information on boost converters, I don't care if it 'won't work'."

I mean it's brilliant! Free energy is obviously nonsense but you don't need if you use free work instead. Clearly free work is the future... unless the corporations suppress it!
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,153
I don't know why but this made me think of waves on the beach. I'm always in awe at how much mechanical energy is being dissipated ... lost forever ... during a day at the beach. Capturing all that free mechanical energy is "just" an engineering project. You don't even have to violate any laws of thermodynamics. Surf boards are probably the best engineering solution but I know people are working on other more versatile devices.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,642
They have always talked about harnessing the tides in the Bay of Fundy, the largest tides in the world, due to the shape of the bay causing resonance or seiche' ing.
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,522
I don't know why but this made me think of waves on the beach. I'm always in awe at how much mechanical energy is being dissipated ... lost forever ... during a day at the beach. Capturing all that free mechanical energy is "just" an engineering project. You don't even have to violate any laws of thermodynamics. Surf boards are probably the best engineering solution but I know people are working on other more versatile devices.
Scotland has a very large tide energy infrastructure.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,642
I don't know why but this made me think of waves on the beach. I'm always in awe at how much mechanical energy is being dissipated ... lost forever ...
That the thing with renewable energy, we have 15 Hydro-electric dams in the province here, they are generating 24hrs a day, whether it is all used at max potential or not! :(
But there is always water in the lake!:D
 

xox

Joined Sep 8, 2017
580
We all know and... err... love the free energy questions.

But I was thinking about another class of perennial head desk questions and I realized the questioners are much more clever than the free energy "researchers".

They know that free energy is bunk. They aren't stupid. They take a different approach: free work.

"I want to run an LED from a solar cell with no battery."
"I want a 5W amplifier, and it has to run from a coin cell for 8 hours, but if I can only get 4 that's OK."
"I am designing a solar powered helicopter and I need some information on boost converters, I don't care if it 'won't work'."

I mean it's brilliant! Free energy is obviously nonsense but you don't need if you use free work instead. Clearly free work is the future... unless the corporations suppress it!
A couple years back I made an experimental solar-energy powered single-LED setup that switches on at dusk, then off at dawn. And it still works to this very day. The charge was stored in 2.7V Supercaps of several hundred farads.

One of my favorite examples of "free work" though is the humble gravity assist. The energy saved is truly mind-boggling...
 
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