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Sand Power

For people in the desert, preferably.
  (+15, -1)(+15, -1)
(+15, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

Lots of countries have dams, because lots of countries have large rivers and lakes, but what about the countries with lots of sand and desert? Here is a possible solution.

An hour-glass-type contraption that uses the power of the wind to capture and store potential energy. Sand storms are always shown on television as billowing lots and lots of sand and dust into the air. Sand has characteristics that make it ideal for power generation. It flows like water. It is, for the most part, consistant, which is probably why they used it to tell time. It is readily available in deserts.

A windmill runs a belt with scoops, that scoops sand, and puts it into the sand tower. When power is needed, and often this can be when the wind is not blowing, just uncap the sand tower and use a waterwheel, or sand wheel to generate your electricity.

Use gravity and elevation to store energy, and use sand instead of water.

twitch, Jun 02 2007

Prototype. (+) kidding. http://frn.sdstate....%20Wheel%202962.jpg
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 02 2007]

Saguaro cactus http://www.nacns.org/cacti.jpg
"cactuses that look like they're being robbed." [BJS, Jun 03 2007]

[link]






       Sandfall? Particle Power? Silica-Electric?   

       A number of industries have developed technology to help compensate for the abrasive nature of sand from sealed bearings to special tool steels to replaceble wear plates.   

       Nice ... [+] though it's probably far more efficient to use the mill to generate electricity directly.
nuclear hobo, Jun 02 2007
  

       I am bunning this even though most deserts are not sandy.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jun 03 2007
  

       Bah. All deserts have sand and those cactuses that look like they're being robbed.
nomocrow, Jun 03 2007
  

       I don't know how this stuff really works, but it sure sounds good. +
xandram, Jun 03 2007
  

       Most deserts don't have those cacti that look like they're being robbed.
BJS, Jun 03 2007
  

       Hmmm... if you treat sandstorms like rain, you could treat shifting sand-dunes like waves and run a very slow wave-power generator...
gtoal, Jun 04 2007
  

       I agree with [nuclear hobo], nice but clearly less efficient than just using the wind. More of an art project than a serious power producer.
marklar, Jun 04 2007
  

       SiloElectric Powder stations work by pumping sand up in off-peak periods, and releasing it during peak periods. Groups of these stations are known as Arenophilic fantasies.
Ling, Jun 04 2007
  

       It's not about energy efficiency. It's about having an energy buffer. A battery! You know, for when the wind doesn't blow! 'cause you know it really blows when it's not blowin'. Ha Ha Ha.
twitch, Jun 04 2007
  

       //An hour-glass-type contraption // Could also be used a backup clock. [+]
coprocephalous, Jun 04 2007
  
      
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