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Alternative Energies

  1. May 12, 2008 #1
    I think a sub-forum to discuss solar, wind, etc. may be interesting. I wouldn't know which category to place it in, though. Threads pop up in quite a few and seem scattered right now.
     
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  3. May 13, 2008 #2
    Other things that could be discussed could be insulation, building solar panels, energy efficient windows, light bulbs, water conservation and purification, recycling, etc. The careers and training others in 'green' technologies are becoming more important for many reasons right now.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2008
  4. May 13, 2008 #3

    Redbelly98

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    Sounds like Engineering would be the best place for this. I'd suggest not limiting it to alternative energies, but have a sub-forum to discuss all types of energy generation and conservation.

    People interested in this topic could benefit from discussion of how conventional energy production works.

    Perhaps the sub-forum could be titled "Energy generation and conservation"
     
  5. May 13, 2008 #4

    russ_watters

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    Most of that would be covered by the existing engineering disciplines, like mechanical (which includes thermodynamics) and electrical.
     
  6. May 13, 2008 #5
    yeah--that's why I'm suggesting a sub-forum of its own--instead of being scattered. It's a big viable industry that more people are becoming interested in all the time. And having a sub-forum with a place for people to ask questions specifically dealing with it all, I think may add to the PF.
     
  7. Jun 19, 2008 #6

    Redbelly98

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  8. Jun 19, 2008 #7

    Evo

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    Astronuc moved everything.
     
  9. Jun 19, 2008 #8
    I work in the solar industry......you convinced me. Let's get started.

    (No I can't get you a government subsidy for your roof-top installation)
     
  10. Jun 19, 2008 #9

    Astronuc

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    Well, we have the Engineering forums including:

    Engineering Systems & Design - integrated systems

    Mechanical & Aerospace - which would seem appropriate for discussing thermodynamic cycles, energy conversion (steam turbines, wind turbines, gas turbines, solar dynamic systems, . . . )

    Electrical Engineering - which would seem appropriate for PV, controls, electrical energy/power generation and distribution
     
  11. Jun 20, 2008 #10

    vanesch

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    I'm definitely against it, as "alternative energies" by themselves is (to me at least) a somewhat politically charged term (the "good new oppressed" against the "bad, old, traditional"). So in order to be classified as "alternative", you'd have to get a kind of grassroots approval or something, while in fact we are talking about different energy technologies. To see the silliness in this proposal, look at wind energy, it is one of the oldest forms of energy usage by humankind (sail boats, wind mills), but it is "alternative". Nuclear usually doesn't qualify for the grassroots label, although it is one of the newest forms of energy production by humankind.
    Usually it is understood to be essentially wind and solar and maybe biofuels, so as others pointed out, general engineering can be suited for that, unless the subject addressed is more specific, such as materials or mechanical engineering for instance in wind energy, or some or other aspect of solar or... If it gets down to the physical principles, the physics section can be used.
     
  12. Jun 21, 2008 #11
    so, do you want to name the new sub-forum:

    Wind and Solar and maybe Biofuels

    instead of "Alternative Energies"
     
  13. Jun 21, 2008 #12

    Redbelly98

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    If it were to happen I'd rather see some all-encompasing "energy technology" section, and not limit things to just certain types of energy sources. People could still discuss standard coal-produced energy, for example.

    But I'm also just fine with finding places in the current forums, depending on the specific topic.
     
  14. Jun 22, 2008 #13

    vanesch

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    And then we will get discussions if "fossil fuel with carbon sequestration" is to be discussed there ? Is hydrogen-related technology to be discussed there ? I'm afraid that this is just a "politically green approved" kind of energy technology. THAT's what "alternative energy" seems to stand for.

    One could think about an "energy engineering" subforum, considering all energy producing technology. I don't know if that makes sense, as this is mostly covered by the already existing engineering forums. That said, because energy is an important engineering question, it might eventually get its own forum. But I see a lot of double usage with the existing fora.
     
  15. Jun 22, 2008 #14
    that name may be not as specific as to let people know what its about.--

    'Alternative Energy ' was just a historic name to cover the spectra of topics---The 'name' of the forum should be such to be a 'common' area for such questions. It's just that it seems that they are just so scattered right now, as no one place is specific enough to be sought out for people to post in--so they seem to pop up everywhere.
     
  16. Jun 22, 2008 #15

    Astronuc

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    I would recommend just starting a thread on alternative energy, either in Mech & Aero Eng or Eng. Sys. & Des., and perhaps parallel threads on specific technologies that could be linked in the AE thread.
     
  17. Jun 22, 2008 #16

    Gokul43201

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    I was initially somewhat drawn towards the idea of an Energy Science and Technology forum, but I now think it will cause more classification problems than it alleviates. For instance, where does one pose a question on electric transmission line loss (in ES&T or in EE)? Or a question in control rod design (in ES&T or Nuke E)? Or one on solid electrolytes (in ES&T or Chem E)? Or one on direct bandgap photovoltaics (ES&T or EE/Materials)?
     
  18. Jun 22, 2008 #17

    Redbelly98

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    If I understand you, the actual discussions would be spread around among different subforums. The thread you speak of would just contain links to those (which people would have to post there).

    Or as J. R. R. Tolkien might put it:

    "One thread to rule them all, one thread to find them,
    One thread to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them."
     
  19. Jun 22, 2008 #18

    Astronuc

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    Energy conversion is a multi-disciplined field.

    It involves thermal (nuclear/solar/combustion) to mechanical to electrical as far as electrical generation goes.

    Wind if fluid/gas dynamics (mechanical) and most applications are related to electricity.


    PV conversion is strictly electrical, however the materials properties are under Mat Sci & Eng.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2008
  20. Jun 22, 2008 #19

    Astronuc

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    :rofl: :uhh:
     
  21. Jun 22, 2008 #20
    Well, whether its a sub-forum, or whatever, the whole 'energy conservation', 'green', 'alternative energy' and its relevance to global warming, etc. 'area' just seems to be one of the most pressing issues of our times, and I just thought it should be of interest to a lot of people. Who knows, maybe some connections can be made through the Physics Forum that couldn't be made other places due to the people that gather here.

    I was thinking it could be a sub-forum, under 'Other Sciences', along with and like Chemistry, Biology, Medical Sciences, Social Sciences, and Earth.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2008
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