Questions tagged [energy]

For questions about sources of power, generation, storage, how much is needed to perform different tasks, etc.

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Can moon people generate electricity using a gravity dynamo that is turned by the gravity of their host planet?

On Earth, we generate electricity from the Moon's orbit using tidal turbines. Would it be possible for denizens of the Moon to generate electricity using the Earth's gravity, using a windmill-sized ...
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5 votes
8 answers
621 views

How can farming be used to gain energy that powers a crystal?

This is for the video game I'm developing called Skullborn. In this game there are large crystals that have energy that the player can harness. Claiming a crystal is essentially how the player claims ...
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18 votes
13 answers
4k views

What would a spacefaring race use as fuel for their matter-to-energy reactors?

Imagine that we invent the technology to convert matter directly to energy, and capture most of the output for doing work. We can convert any matter to energy in this way, i.e. the matter does not ...
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3 votes
5 answers
274 views

Energy based economy

I am attempting to design an economy based around energy, namely, within a society possessing practical nuclear fusion. As I currently have it set up currency is backed by Hydrogen, meaning you could ...
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3 votes
1 answer
122 views

Does Catalyzing Quantum Tunneling Break the Universe?

Say that someone develops a technology that enables you to catalyze/accelerate quantum tunneling within the device, with the purpose of making the kind of quantum tunneling that enables hydrogen ...
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0 votes
2 answers
211 views

How big would a gravity storage need to be for a city’s electric needs?

An alien planet with gravitational acceleration of 8.9m/s$^2$ backs up its wind power with gravity storage on a hillside. The hill grade is a steep 65% and the hill is 450m at the peak. Consumption ...
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1 vote
1 answer
67 views

What kinds of things that aren't fire (but are related to fire) could cause fire damage in a world where elemental magic exists? [closed]

This question arose in the comments of a question about dragons and sunlight (How do migratory dragons avoid being blinded by sun?). The question is, what exactly is it that causes fire damage (in the ...
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6 votes
6 answers
2k views

Where could you store the energy from a tornado?

Assuming a very large device was constructed which could harvest up to 20% of the mechanical energy of a tornado. It is a mobile platform of some sort, and one or several of these are ready to deploy ...
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5 votes
1 answer
54 views

Best way to convert solar energy through a portal

Scientists have discovered a way to make wormhole-like portals. Here's how they work : Both sides have to be created in the same place, then moved to the desired location. The gates are created as a ...
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3 votes
2 answers
179 views

Metabolic cost of changing the chirality of amino acids and sugars

The aliens in my story have biochemistry that uses amino acids and sugars with chirality opposite to that of terrestrial life. The aliens also have nanites that are capable of changing the chirality ...
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5 votes
2 answers
805 views

What can run the condensers on this Hell Train?

Hell turns out to be a real, physical place. It’s a physical planet. I have most of the science figured out for this literal hades, except the heat engines used in here need a cold sink—a strong one ...
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5 votes
5 answers
277 views

What would it have taken for the world to skip fossil fuels?

I'm looking for a plausible way that humanity could have discovered, developed and then adopted renewable energy + storage instead of fossil fuels as the catalyst for industrialisation. To be clear ...
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3 votes
2 answers
118 views

Would it be possible to produce energy using copper coils on the moon interacting with the Earth's magnetosphere?

How possible is it to turn the Magnetosphere and our moon into a generator? Lets say we have all the materials and labor needed to perform the construction and that we have the delivery method for ...
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9 votes
2 answers
931 views

What speed could a Nicoll-Dyson beam propel a solar sail ship to?

So far In my research I have not found any estimates for the speed that a solar sail spaceship could be propelled to using a Dyson beam. I have not decided what mass the ships will be that I want ...
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9 votes
3 answers
291 views

Possible methods to convert gravitational waves into storable energy?

I had an idea for my story for an advanced civilization to capitalize on possibly the most energetic events in their universe which is the merger of supermassive blackholes. From current observations ...
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3 votes
4 answers
140 views

What are reasonable units of energy measurement for my sci-fi RPG?

I am currently creating my own custom sci-fi tabletop RPG system. While I'm willing to make concessions where necessary, my goal is to use plausible physics whenever possible, at least when it comes ...
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5 votes
2 answers
92 views

Could electric grids of the past have handled significant quantities of variable energy sources like wind and solar?

Would the technology for electricity grid load balance in the 1930’s allowed for the significant use of decentralized variable energy sources like wind or solar. Setting aside the plausibility of ...
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4 votes
4 answers
125 views

Energy generation via seismic activity

In my world, there are small, micro earthquakes that move through the landscape - the kind of thing that you can feel rumbling beneath your feet, but not much more severe - usually. In areas near ...
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11 votes
8 answers
5k views

How might nuclear power have never been developed?

I've been thinking about a world in which nuclear power and nuclear weapons were never developed. What kind of mechanism would allow this to be possible? Nuclear weapons seem the easiest option, with ...
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3 votes
1 answer
125 views

Is using tennis racket effect on O'Neill cylinder to create day night cycle cost efficient?

Imagine a diameter 1000km long O'Neill cylinder orbiting a dwarf star, it acquires most of its energy from the star directly. This space station is designed for research purpose but it has a ...
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  • 46k
2 votes
3 answers
163 views

What are the chances of finding uranium-238 ores on other planets?

I was thinking about aliens and space colonization and what the probability is of uranium ores being found on other planets. Would they be common? rare? medium? who knows? the cosmic abundance of ...
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6 votes
6 answers
2k views

Can mirrors on the moon allow solar panels to operate at night?

Solar panels cannot operate at night. If we put self-adjusting mirrors on the near side of the moon, they could reflect sunlight back to the dark Earth, allowing solar panels to operate at night. How ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
132 views

Where does mana come from? [closed]

I’m slowly developing a magic system loosely based on how magic is usually seen to appear in most fantasies, but with consistent rules. So far I’ve decided that mana exists in the world alongside ...
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5 votes
1 answer
74 views

Could this Asp-Turtle keep itself satiated?

The asp-turtle is a truly huge reptilian whale Its dimensions are 40m across and 200m long. To achieve this, its bones and tissues are very strong, strong enough to allow it to swim like a smaller ...
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6 votes
1 answer
247 views

Consequences of having a device that can transform heat back to stored energy in a limited way? [closed]

My setting uses reactors that work on a fictional gas-like inert substance that can safely store an impossibly high amount of energy in itself (breaking the e=mc^2 equation and causing Einstein to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
144 views

Throttling a black hole engine?

So, building artificial black holes is Really Hard. And when they get too small, they go out in a Really Big Dangerous Bang. Thus, if you manage to build, e.g., a kugelblitz factory that produces mini-...
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6 votes
4 answers
220 views

Can an average person's (2021 Earth) lifestyle requirements be satisfied with excess energy?

Assume we have a Dyson Sphere, ready to rumble. Also Assume that knowledge bearing robots are plentiful as well (apart from energy) who can do any task (from 3d printing a laptop to creating a house ...
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2 votes
0 answers
68 views

How fast can an alien laser cannon be charged with a magnetic field?

I have some alien laser cannons that I pulled out of a perpetual hurricane. They're cylinders that are two feet long and one foot across. They can only be charged by magnetodynamic coupling - that is, ...
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  • 9,628
0 votes
1 answer
161 views

How would a 21st-century war play out if every country had these alien directed-energy weapons?

Before we get into the gigantic wall of text, here's the question: what applications would the following device have in a 21st-century war - asymmetric, conventional, nuclear, etc. - if every country ...
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  • 9,628
9 votes
9 answers
2k views

Could a non-nuclear sub power itself by ocean energy?

The sub would be about the size of: the Sōryū class, which displaces 4200 tonnes (implying about 4200m³ volume) and has a 6000kW propulsion system the Oyashio class, which displaces 4000 tonnes (...
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  • 1,571
6 votes
4 answers
290 views

Are low-energy submarines possible?

I'm envisioning submarines just cruising around doing normal things, taking the role of cars, trucks, RVs. I'm trying to estimate how much energy they would need. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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  • 1,571
2 votes
1 answer
169 views

How efficient would it be for a magic system to be based on absorption of nearby kinetic energy?

The System in General So, the magic system involves mages being able to create semi-tangible, rope-like energy structures. I'm not gonna go into too much detail on it since this isn't the point of ...
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4 votes
4 answers
138 views

How would draw weight, range, and power of a bow be affected by a magic bowstring?

So in my world, there are magical artifacts and weaponry. One of which is the bow. It's bent like a strung bow, but without a string. And when you grab where the string would be and pull back an ...
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4 votes
1 answer
147 views

Thermal power sources - future tech alternative to steam

Nuclear power is perhaps the most "sci fi" source of electricity we have in our world today, and yet in the end the process still comes down to using steam power to drive a dynamo. It's ...
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2 votes
3 answers
354 views

Can unlimited kinetic energy be stored in superfluid helium?

Liquid helium can be in a state of superfluidity — meaning it can flow with zero internal friction. Let's assume that for whatever reason that this form of helium is present in large amounts. Could ...
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0 votes
1 answer
106 views

Can automatic semi-perpetual motion mechanical legs exist?

Related question >> A person has decided to mechanize themselves. Their spine was severed at the height of the L-1 vertebrae, legs and guts where removed. The leg prostheses come in many forms ...
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  • 435
2 votes
1 answer
114 views

Substitutes for lead-acid batteries

I'm writing about a setting which will be developing an industrial civilization on a planet similar to Earth in relevant ways, except that certain heavy metals such as lead, are much rarer. (Other ...
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2 votes
5 answers
408 views

What kind of rock could I use in my mountains?

in my world there is a mountain system where most of the rock is some kind of material or mineral that conducts heat very well. So much so that there is no snow on the peaks as it melts quite quickly ...
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  • 29
2 votes
1 answer
241 views

Energy-based magic system : will it work? [closed]

I'm currently working on a hard magic system in a high fantasy story and I have decided to base my magic system on physics, more precisely, on energy transfer. So, my mages can draw their powers from ...
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2 votes
2 answers
181 views

Can an accelerator ring be used for energy storage?

Let's imagine that in the future the technological improvements allow reduce dramatically the cost of mining rare earths and producing rare earth magnets. Thanks also to a drop in the cost of tunnel ...
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  • 2,379
4 votes
4 answers
536 views

Help with defining the extent of my character's ability

In the book I am writing, one of the main characters has the ability to convert their own energy (chemical or mechanical) into light/photonic energy, and only that form of energy. I know that this ...
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3 votes
4 answers
172 views

How can high PeV particles from galactic accelerators be used to propel a spaceship?

The Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory, or LHAASO, in China has just detected an extremely high energy particle from some unknown particle accelerator in the galaxy, 140 times more powerful ...
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5 votes
3 answers
115 views

Monoreactant pathway for electrical power and thrust using only hydrogen?

In Space Engineers, Hydrogen is employed as a fuel for both propulsion and for electrical power (via the Hydrogen Thruster and Hydrogen Engine, respectively). This feels unrealistic to me, and I am ...
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3 votes
1 answer
215 views

How much energy I would need to make a Meson particle rifle?

So, in this video (27:29) the guys says that "Mesons are short-lived particles that are more mundane and could pass through armour". However, I don't really know much how particles work, in ...
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  • 579
3 votes
2 answers
82 views

Feasibility of Capturing high energy atoms and energy in electromagnetic wave in cosmic rays, how to implement near planets?

I read this question about feasibility of capturing hydrogen from the Solar wind a while ago. Hydrogen in solar wind was exploited in that discussion. Here, does cosmic ray often close in towards a ...
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  • 305
16 votes
11 answers
3k views

What would the scientific explanation be for an energy source that can last 130,000 years?

I am playing with the idea of an alien ship landing on earth 130,000 years ago. Over time it's covered up with water and sediments and is eventually discovered in modern day. It contains numerous ...
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6 votes
2 answers
192 views

Energetics in a reducing atmosphere

I am working on a speculative evolution project, which takes place in a reducing atmosphere consisting mainly of methane, nitrogen gas, hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide, along with liquid ammonia as ...
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1 vote
1 answer
88 views

More power, more plasma?

So in looking into plasma tech for a book, I looked at plasma cutters. Multiple articles I read suggested that after inverting, the input power requires around 13.4kw at around 80 amps to turn an ...
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  • 19
2 votes
8 answers
465 views

How can technological advances in green energy be less efficient in mana extraction?

A war-mage named Alexander Oluchenko Cornelius has aspirations for ruling the multiverse, invading world after world to conquer territory and expand his empire. The technology of this vast army is ...
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  • 38.1k
2 votes
3 answers
585 views

There is a material that could be used like the Dune's Stillsuit to generate electricity by friction?

Well, even though I used Dune Stillsuit as an example, the idea I have is nothing related to the recycled water they need, just to generate electricity constantly through their journey to keep them ...
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