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Questions tagged [energy]

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

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Feasible compact fusion power source

Many questions here about power sources, not an exact fit and many are now years old and since we've reached fusion Q=1, perhaps some have better insight on future development. I need a generative non-...
Gillgamesh's user avatar
  • 6,089
5 votes
5 answers
1k views

Efficient method of storing energy in a near-future, semi-hard sci-fi game

I am creating a relatively hard sci-fi video game that takes place in the year 2147, and am trying to make it represent a future that might be completely realistic. There have not been that many ...
ACertainArchangel's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
100 views

What would be the most effective way for a humanoid species made of stone to generate energy to move around?

This is my first post on here, I've looked over all the tour and the help center things, so I hope this is formatted correctly.I've been working on a high fantasy world that includes a lot of the ...
riznow's user avatar
  • 43
9 votes
9 answers
5k views

Will nothing bad happen if I just create infinite energy?

My magic system introduces an additional energy form that one can convert at a rate leaving out surplus energy, thus generating more than what was initially utilized. For instance, using Arcana to ...
Xenophile's user avatar
  • 1,270
3 votes
1 answer
124 views

Could a biological organism power itself with electricity like a smartphone (or something similar)?

Imagine an alien world where there are are shallow lakes where electricity generating beings (like electric eels or whatever) would power many of the land dwelling creatures, including the dominant ...
Mishima's user avatar
  • 1,009
3 votes
7 answers
2k views

Is it possible to use thermal pumping for power generation in space? [closed]

There's this one component that exists in real life that uses the thermoelectric effect to pump heat, basically, by creating a temperature differential using voltage. Is it possible to use this in ...
Colonel Cabbages's user avatar
-5 votes
1 answer
97 views

How much energy would you need to open a portal and maintain it? [closed]

How much energy would you need to open a portal and maintain it? And more importantly, what would the infrastructure look like? For example: Would a single nuclear reactor be enough, or would you need ...
supremechad's user avatar
0 votes
5 answers
220 views

How do you establish commonly understood terms for "yes" and "no" with beings/aliens who communicate via a single medium/form of energy?

Their medium of communication could be any form of energy; the important point is that they only use one of these to communicate (not, like humans, both sound, sight, touch, etc). If it's not possible,...
Life5ign's user avatar
  • 117
3 votes
4 answers
361 views

Do humans have sufficient internal energy for the power of flight? [closed]

A meta-human, let's call him "Arnim", possesses the power of flight. In accordance with Einstein's law of conservation of energy, this superpower does not draw power from nothing or some ...
LiveInAmbeR's user avatar
  • 10.6k
5 votes
1 answer
163 views

Burning Steel as Firewood

On Planet FeC, residents commonly burn naturally occurring steel ingots as what we would call firewood. As with actual firewood on Earth, these ingots vary in fireworthiness: a large, "green"...
Ray Woodcock's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
4k views

How much energy would this robot need?

Please forgive me if this isn't the right part of Stack Exchange or if my knowledge is poor. If you need to tell me about anything scientifically I encourage you to simplify it so me and other laymen ...
Terra's user avatar
  • 151
0 votes
2 answers
256 views

A creature gaining Energie through Movement [closed]

I basically have a Facultative anaerobic organism that lives in space (not from another planet but the vacuum of space) and the creature needs to travel to survive. It's not just movement that keeps ...
Lumi's user avatar
  • 19
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

What powers a shellworld?

There are many futuristic megastructures that get called shellworlds. In this case, I am referring to the concept of a hollow sphere which encloses a gas-giant or other massive planet; suspended at ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,625
1 vote
2 answers
139 views

Energy storage for sci-fi machines [closed]

I need a good energy source that isn't biological (e.g, biobattery, or making extra-nutritious food and better organs) Conventional batteries... you need too many of them Nuclear isomer will leak ...
Terra's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
1 answer
308 views

How many zombies does it take to cause an ice age?

Let's start with how necromancy works in this setting. A magic-user grabs a corpse, shoves magical energy inside, and gets to boss it around until the magic runs out. The efficiency that a corpse ...
IVIX's user avatar
  • 79
-1 votes
2 answers
87 views

Collectible energy resources in sci-fi world [closed]

I am exploring a post-apo sci-fi world TTRPG game where the PCs need to collect some kind of treasure. Unlike fantasy games, gold doesn't seem adequate. I thought collecting energy sources would be ...
gruszczy's user avatar
  • 857
4 votes
2 answers
202 views

Solar Flare/CME Range Limits

The Setting: A binary solar system comprised of a KV-class Orange Dwarf, and an M-Class Red Dwarf which orbits roughly 600AU away. The Orange Dwarf has 4 planets orbiting around it, including one ...
Atlas the Worldbuilder's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
183 views

Keeping tech at 1890s levels without fossil fuels [duplicate]

How can I explain the technological stagnation at a level roughly equivalent to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The world is Earth-like and has the following characteristics: Absence of ...
The_Kaptain's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is it possible to store the gravitational energy between planets somewhere in space? [closed]

Say I have a space station operating between Mars and earth. Can it somehow steal energy from Mars- Earth Earth - Sun Sun - Mars Combinations of gravitational pulls? Would it distort he orbits?
user1194497's user avatar
12 votes
12 answers
5k views

How would perpetual motion technology (and "free" energy) affect poverty?

I'm writing a near-future story in which a form of teleportation has been invented. It's only been around for few decades, and is still very complicated (and expensive) to build, so it's only used for ...
eyelash's user avatar
  • 401
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

Potential problems with magic creating energy

Context When hit by sun rays, the moon creates excess energy, it increases the energy & reflects it back to earth as mana rays to make magic possible (the exact process is not important). Most of ...
GermanPotatoe's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
153 views

How much smaller would the industrial revolution been if it had relied on wood/biomass? [closed]

Terra: People burned mostly wood for their heating/fuel needs. Then they figured out steam engines. Their fuel needs exploded. They could have kept burning biomass, and they did a little bit, but the ...
wokopa's user avatar
  • 4,735
32 votes
23 answers
10k views

If magic is programming, then what is mana supposed to be?

So it turns out the universe is a computer. Or at-least that is how it can be analogized to our puny mortal minds. Human souls/consciousness are simultaneously the equivalent of emergent AI, players, ...
AllSeeingEye33's user avatar
18 votes
13 answers
11k views

How do I store enormous amounts of mechanical energy?

Imagine a typical steampunk setting. Now, let's make two grand assumptions about it: Steam engines here are MUCH more efficient than those in our world. Yep, we have to violate laws of physics for ...
Elvagyodas's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
430 views

Would a diamond mountain floating in the mantle cause a supervolcano or lava pool in the crust above it?

I was looking for ways to make gigantic mountains, and found Willk's answer to such a quandary, where a giant diamondberg forms in an ice giant and is incorporated into a terrestrial planet's crust, ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
2 votes
3 answers
688 views

Frozen Stars - Alternate sources of electricity

As in my previous question, I was talking about survival, when the parent star of a planet, Eridanus, froze due to some unknown cause. So the residents of this planet Taurus, the Villagers, have done ...
Alastor's user avatar
  • 3,402
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Energy consumption of magnetic levitation train compared with ordinary train

I'm refining my previous question about magnetic levitation trains on Mars. In my story, set on Mars, two settlements are connected by a railway line. Currently, it is an ordinary train of the type ...
Krišjānis Liepiņš's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Could a subterranean river or aquifer generate enough continuous momentum to power a waterwheel for the purpose of producing electricity?

The imagined scenario is of a small city built inside of a chasm that draws most of its water from an aquifer or underground river. The place and time in which the scenario takes place is Earth and ...
Sky Dixon's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
11 answers
3k views

How to move a large amount of energy being generated as electricity in a situation where a powerline isn't a usable option?

There is a very very large dam in the middle of a desert; it operates similarly to the Qattara Depression Project, and was constructed both to power the areas south of it, but primarily for political ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,496
9 votes
8 answers
6k views

How can I heat my buildings without fire in a low-fantasy setting?

In my low-fantasy setting there is a civilization of blind people living in a very safe and isolated region of the world. Thinking about how this civilization could have developed throughout the ...
Soel's user avatar
  • 909
6 votes
3 answers
448 views

Weaponizing the return-energy channel of a one-way portal

In my world, portals are magical devices that, when activated by some command, create a connection to a linked portal device. Portals allow objects to pass from the source (the portal device that was ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 61.8k
1 vote
2 answers
153 views

Engineering considerations for a hand-held railgun carbine [closed]

The Design The R-10 (1-2 decades pre-fall) The SRDA's Terraforming and Colony-building Prospect is phase 2 of The Plan, started by the Theia, Tanu and the Aurea long-haul ships, which gave us access ...
Sam Kitsune's user avatar
  • 1,994
4 votes
2 answers
176 views

How large of a magma chamber do I need to geothermally power a small city?

I have a fictional civilization that lives on a continent (or world) with a perpetually cold, wintry climate. The continent does have a large number of volcanoes of varying sizes and levels of ...
AustinZ's user avatar
  • 216
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

Can gravitational waves generate matter?

I am thinking about what would happen in a very-very distant future when most of the stars have already died out into black holes or other catastrophic events, leading to severe lack of light in the ...
Vesper's user avatar
  • 7,922
7 votes
12 answers
3k views

How could magic slowly be destroying the world? [closed]

Hypothesis: A world with magic users is (unbeknownst to them) slowly dying because of magic usage Question: What would be the underlying cause of this slow decay? Conditions: The magic in this world ...
GilouLeFou's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
205 views

How to store and release vast amounts of electricity for industrial processes?

What Is It For? (skip if desired) It's been less than a decades since the Ilus system was cut off at its interstellar phase-gate, a few short years after the keidran were created and a disaster forced ...
Sam Kitsune's user avatar
  • 1,994
13 votes
11 answers
4k views

How can a magic civilization stop their sun from dying?

Hypothesis: In application of the laws of thermodynamics (conservation of energy) it could be that the sun's energy was (almost) depleted to perform feats of magic (energy was taken from the sun). ...
GilouLeFou's user avatar
5 votes
7 answers
3k views

If the laws of conservation of energy remain the same, can I change everything else? [closed]

This universe is boooring. I don't care that today's science is basically magic, and being a programmer is the equivalent of a fantasy ''rune shaman''. I want actual magic, the type of magic people ...
user avatar
9 votes
8 answers
3k views

Renewables on rail, balloons, ships etc.: science fiction or fantasy?

I was wondering whether it could be technically and economically sound to put renewable energy plants on rail wagons to deal with the intermittency of the sun and/or wind and/or... or to deal with ...
5th decile's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

How could my solar-powered fairies exist in outer space?

There have been instances of flashes in space that were attributed to sprites and fairies. Now, I know these phenomena can be explained by natural means such as blue/purple lightning. But the concept ...
Theresa Kay's user avatar
  • 2,167
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

Fuel for vehicles in an abruptly abandoned world

The scenario: in September 1985, almost everyone abruptly disappears. Humans, domestic animals, carried/worn possessions, and vehicles currently in motion, vanish, while everything else stays as it ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 4,907
6 votes
5 answers
429 views

How could a 1 TW power plant be built?

As of 2021, global electrical production was about 7 TW. And the largest single power plant is the Three Gorges Dam at a capacity of 22.5 GW. My hero needs a single power plant with 50 times more ...
Doug's user avatar
  • 169
0 votes
4 answers
351 views

Fire Planet as a light/heat source for my planets

So, basically, I was looking for a alternate light/heat source for my science-fiction novel which I am planning to write. I didn't rely on stars due to some reasons that I omitted from the original ...
Alastor's user avatar
  • 3,402
13 votes
9 answers
4k views

Could a moon made of fissile uranium produce enough heat to replace the sun?

This was my answer to this question: Retrofitting geocentrism - what replaces the star? I spent long enough on it and got an interesting enough result that I wanted to share, so that it might be a ...
user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
820 views

How much electric power would instantly kill a person (volts, amps, etc.)?

Context: It is a near-future sci-fi and they adopted electrolasers as main weapons, because you wouldn't need to worry about propellant, ammo etc. "Just" battery and fuel. An electrolaser is ...
Fulano's user avatar
  • 209
9 votes
5 answers
781 views

How can I hit a planet with an energy beam from ten lightyears away?

My interstellar empire is powered by a quasar. Or at least it will be once I finish my scheme. See that cloud of glowing dust? That's called the quasar's accretion disc. When stuff falls into the ...
Daron's user avatar
  • 66.2k
8 votes
6 answers
1k views

What is the most biological energy-dense fuel for a giant unicellular organism?

Jimmy Hopkins (yes, that's his name) is a extremely weird organism. For one thing he is extremely large, but on the other hand, he is extremely weird, because of one thing- He is an unicellular ...
Alastor's user avatar
  • 3,402
0 votes
6 answers
543 views

What are the most compact batteries to store energy from my quazar power plant?

In my previous question, I dealt with the possibility of harvesting the energy of the accretion disk and jets of a quasar Milky Way, by the use of multiple mirrors and panels that are orbiting around ...
Alastor's user avatar
  • 3,402
4 votes
1 answer
154 views

How much energy would flashtubes/rods need to receive to emit a pulsed laser strong enough to kill a human at 300 yards in less than a second?

Context: It is a military sci-fi story where they use technologies that are expensive today because they already became common place. For example, laser-induced-graphene supercapacitors, carbon ...
Fulano's user avatar
  • 209
1 vote
2 answers
133 views

Could this automaton be powered with low-tech means?

The automaton is a human-sized machine made primarily of wood, clay, cork, wax, and plant cord. It is designed to move around and use tools, and has roughly the same physical abilities as a human. It ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 16.1k

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