h a l f b a k e r y
The embarrassing drunkard uncle of invention.
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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
An hour-glass-type contraption that uses
the power of the wind to capture and store
potential energy. Sand storms
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
Use gravity and elevation to store energy,
and use sand instead of water.
Prototype. (+) kidding.
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 02 2007]
"cactuses that look like they're being robbed." [BJS, Jun 03 2007]
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||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.
||I am bunning this even though most deserts are not sandy.
||Bah. All deserts have sand and those cactuses that look like they're being robbed.
||I don't know how this stuff really works, but it sure sounds good. +
||Most deserts don't have those cacti that look like they're being robbed.
||Hmmm... if you treat sandstorms like rain, you could treat shifting sand-dunes like waves and run a very slow wave-power generator...
||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.
||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.
||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.
||//An hour-glass-type contraption // Could also be used a backup clock. [+]