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In my world, humans live on a moon of a gas giant that has extreme weather conditions. They also:

  • have crystals that can store energy.
  • possess the ability to make floating islands (on which they can sustain atmosphere)
  • can teleport via gates

Edit: the crystals work like batteries.

How would such a society harvest the storm and wind energy of a nearby gas giant?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you mean literally acquire it's substance for use? Your gates would seem to be the key. What conditions can they withstand and what are the conditions and what's it like in the gas giant at the point in it's depth you need access to to get the substances you're after? How do the crystals absorb energy? Can they absorb heat by conduction, radiation or how? At the moment you seem to be asking about two things: the substance of the gas giant and energy, what is your objective here? We would need to understand better what you are asking. $\endgroup$ – We are Monica. Sep 13 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking about more of wind and storm energy and crystals are for electrical energy like batteries. As for the gates they are purely for transportation of Cristals (batteries). $\endgroup$ – AIwithstick Sep 13 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ You are saying that you want to harvest the energy of a gas giant's atmosphere, but not it's matter (substance) is that right? You are also saying that the gates can transport crystals, but not floating-islands or other technology or people, is that right? $\endgroup$ – We are Monica. Sep 13 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ I realize that this is a flavour thing you're going for, but if you have below-cost teleportation (gates that move things from point A to point B for less energy than it'd cost to transport them the conventional way), that's an infinite energy machine and you don't need a gas giant. $\endgroup$ – jdunlop Sep 13 at 16:27
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    $\begingroup$ @AIwithstick the important question is whether teleporting, say, 1000km straight up requires less energy than the gravitational potential energy you'd have once you'd got there. If it does, then you've created an infinite energy source that is much safer and easier than visiting a gas giant. If you don't want perpetual motion machines, design your teleporters carefully. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Sep 13 at 16:57
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Moons of gas giants tend to be tidally locked. They are also tidally heated.

Tidal heating

So there you have it. Go for thermal energy.


Alternatively: if you can build teleporting gates, what is keeping you from building a Dyson sphere around your star? Ditch the gas giant and go for the mother lode.

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  • $\begingroup$ Teleportation is magic and they don't have crayz technology. That's one of the reasons they don't complex space craft $\endgroup$ – AIwithstick Sep 13 at 16:56
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    $\begingroup$ @AIwithstick making giant energy harvesting lighter-than-atmosphere structures on a gas giant is pretty crazy technology, you know. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Sep 13 at 18:21
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The obvious answer is you extract hydrogen. You can use it along with oxygen in fuel cells, or rocket fuel, or for fuel in a fusion reactor.

Fusion reactors make the most sense in my opinion. You need hydrogen-3, which is rare hydrogen isotope. You won't have to transport massive amounts of hydrogen, you'll get the most energy and since hydrogen-3 is rare, it's plausible you might need to "mine" a gas giant for it.

Of course nothing prevents you from also producing "byproducts" such as rocket fuel. At the very least you want to produce enough fuel to transport cargo to and from the gas mining station and since hydrogen is available, why not use it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting if bringing tritium out from the gravity well of a gas giant would cost less energy than using it as fusion fuel would yield? $\endgroup$ – Congenital Optimist Sep 13 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ @CongenitalOptimist making the tritium in the first place would be a massive hassle. You certainly won't be able to harvest a whole lot of it there (or indeed, anywhere). $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Sep 13 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ @CongenitalOptimist There is abundance of hydrogen so if your spacecraft is using a ramjet engine (sucking hydrogen straight out of the air), it only needs to bring oxidizer (O2). Given Jupiter's gravity is 2.5g, and that the payload will be fairly small (10s to 100s of kilos) you'll be able to do it with conventional rocket. I have no idea if that would be economical but it's not some exuberant cost. $\endgroup$ – ventsyv Sep 13 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime Apparently on Earth, tritium is a byproduct of nuclear fission. In deep space you won't have access to refined fuel and running a fission plant is complicated business. I don't know how much tritium can you get from a gas giant, but given technology level somewhat similar to ours, getting it from somewhere else does not sound plausible. $\endgroup$ – ventsyv Sep 13 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ @ventsyv I am not sure about the conventional rocket but the payload is of course very energy dense, in the order of 6 million times more so than gasoline: physics. As we harvest the tritium then we probably also have means to use it as rocket fuel. $\endgroup$ – Congenital Optimist Sep 14 at 10:18

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