Questions tagged [energy]

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

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1answer
70 views

What would we see driving through a country or coastline of a distributed and hardened Hydrogen energy infrastructure?

I could describe the energy infrastructure of 15th century Holland by describing colorful windmills set up to drain swamps, saw wood, power woodworking mills, and process food. Dutch carpenters busily ...
3
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9answers
1k views

What would be the most practical raw fuel for a hydrogen economy?

In a near-future world we have stopped directly fueling private, public, and mass transit and we have migrated to a hydrogen economy as the standard energy carrier. Consider the following factors: ...
4
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2answers
103 views

How can I meaningfully define the energy cost of magical levitation?

In the world I'm building, there is a form of "magic"¹ that effectively amounts to metabolism-powered telekinesis. In particular, there is a maximum power limit of approximately 20 W/kg relative to a ...
5
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5answers
183 views

Generation ship “stealing” resources without acceleration or deceleration

How could a generation ship "steal" energy or resources from star systems which it passed without changing velocity?
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5answers
419 views

Would a magic-using society create living batteries?

Postulate My world has functioning magic which is capable of exerting kinetic effect. (That is, move objects, or generate heat, since "heat" after all is just motion at the atomic level.) It can't ...
5
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0answers
60 views

How much energy do plants produce?

Consider a magic system that follows the Eragon model; "doing it by magic takes just as much (biological) energy as doing it the mundane way". In Eragon, magical energy can be drawn from other living ...
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2answers
82 views

Collect lightning energy [duplicate]

Lightning is an abundant source of energy.It is clean,huge and renewable.Is there any way to collect the energy from lighting,store it and reuse later?
19
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5answers
5k views

What would a life-form be like if it's antimatter-based

I've been thinking of the idea of creating and adding an alien species that's antimatter-based (being from a universe where antimatter became the majority instead of "normal matter"). However, I'm ...
2
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3answers
98 views

Viability of using temperature difference to generate energy on a tidally-locked planet

In Larry Niven's Ringworld, the Outsiders lie with one half of their body in the shade and one half of their body in direct sunlight and use the temperature difference to generate energy. Would this ...
10
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4answers
1k views

Would that heat-engine provide power to the colony on Titan?

I have an idea for an energy source for a colony on a cold world with not enough solar power. Is my idea workable, or is it debunked as perpetual motion machine? Here is the set-up and my plan: ...
3
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2answers
96 views

How much energy could be stored in an average human body using electric organs?

I have been playing with the ideas of electricity generating/attacks for my characters using either electric organs similar to electric eels or some sort of bio battery using bacteria that produce ...
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1answer
89 views

How much energy would a character need to disassemble and reassemble thier matter?

I wanted to have characters that can control energy and matter, so Dr Manhattan came to mind as a great example of a character that does that. Information on him says that he has complete awareness ...
4
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3answers
164 views

Unpredictable reactors which like to explode by default

In my world, alien 'reactors' are discovered that are very efficient at creating power (around 1000x better than fission), as well as requiring little fuel, making them the perfect power source. ...
3
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3answers
223 views

How powerful does a chainsaw engine need to be to cut cloth and bone?

Chainsaws in games and films are an epitome of gruesome dismemberment. In Zombie attacks they are used to cut through cloth and flesh while in games they can dismember if not cut from skull to groin ...
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2answers
101 views

Can a turbine mechanism work to generate energy from a lightsaber/beam saber? [closed]

The turbine mechanism is surrounding a lightsaber or beamsaber like a sheath or scabbard on a sword, or like a cylinder tube. The turbine is inside the sheath and looks like a blade ring facing the ...
2
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2answers
61 views

Transmitting energy from the upper part of a space fountain using the stream of rotating masses

Imagine we have a sufficiently tall space fountain positioned at either of the Earth's poles, such that the upper station is permanently within view of the sun. A large array of solar panels could be ...
4
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4answers
151 views

Could two separate creatures' health, or life, be dependent on each other?

This is a question for an alien species. Is there anyway to scientifically justify having two separate beings/creatures that depend on each other for life? In other words, two separate bodies that ...
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4answers
145 views

Drawbacks of my Catastrophe Inhibitor

Warning lots of text ahead. The fluff: The story uses a Catastrophe Inhibitor (CatIn) to stop nukes, orbital bombardment and other such weapons from being the go-to method of defeating everything on ...
2
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2answers
167 views

A Magic System Based on Einstein's e=mc² Equation

I have been thinking about a magic system that is about "e=mc²". Main concept is it transforms certain kind of ink to energy it does this via runes and tattoos.(They could extract this ink from a ...
2
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1answer
127 views

Does a life form not using a food-based metabolism still need to saturate its cells with respiratory gases?

I've quite a few alien species that utilize a non-food-based metabolism (one of them being nuclear power). Does a species that has a metabolism not based-on plants or meat (such as using nuclear ...
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2answers
75 views

What could be a plausible scientific explanation for a man who can transform different parts of his body into different parts of reptiles?

Laws that must not be broken and/or worked around: Conservation of energy Conservation of mass Square cube law Thermodynamics No FTL Essentially, I'm trying to make a character with similar abilities ...
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4answers
156 views

Human colonies beyond Pluto (on a potential ninth planet)

To be able to colonize another world, there are some requirements; the harvesting of energy, enough recourses, handling of the environment (pressure, temperature and gravity and so on) and ...
3
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3answers
186 views

How could a creature derive energy from radioactive elements?

Have a creature that doesn't really need vitamins or minerals, it only requires energy which goes through a energy-matter conversion to build what it needs. Radioactive materials would be great ...
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2answers
87 views

Sewer gas energy?

The Wikipedia page on sewer gas states that Sewer gas can be used as a power source, thus reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. However, no references or ...
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1answer
4k views

How do I feed my black hole?

Strange title I know, but you'll understand why quickly. I wanted to use a black hole to create absurd amounts of power for hopefully obvious reasons (kind of useful). The problem with natural large ...
24
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13answers
5k views

Justifying the use of directed energy weapons

In my scifi setting I want a broad range of slugthrowers (bullets, smart ammo, grenades,...), exotic weapons (flame/chemthrowers, high tech blades, nano-bots,...), and directed energy weapons (heat ...
4
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3answers
233 views

What would it look like if a portal opened to a dimension with drastically less energy?

Imagine the other dimension is much much colder. Very little light/heat/etc. Suppose the portal only allows energy transfer, so matter can't pass through. What would the consequences be? Would it ...
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3answers
175 views

What energy sources could exist beyond fusion? [closed]

I'm looking for possible sources of energy that could one day replace fusion. I'm not necessarily looking for cool sounding names, as I'm trying to avoid technobabble, but ones that could somewhat ...
3
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2answers
217 views

Batteries for droids [closed]

In Star Wars (again), one of the most recurring characters is R2-D2. Even though he's in most of the movies, I (personally) have never seen him charging. I've seen him do a lot of power consuming ...
10
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2answers
192 views

Realistic Interstellar Energy Transfer

I've been reading some of the excellent answers on this question about galactic empires and it led me to imagine a reasonably realistic multi-system 'empire' might keep most or all of its population ...
6
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6answers
330 views

Can a machine benefit from stored heat energy?

Setting Overview My world suffers from an abundance of a particular type of energy. This energy can be safely absorbed and utilized by living cells, enabling, for example, a dragon's flight and fiery ...
2
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0answers
104 views

Is Santa taking off risk creating a black hole, and will the good kids receive presents survive it? [closed]

Santa has to visit roughly 822 houses a second on Christmas day. At each house he has to stop, go down the chimney to deliver toys, then take off for the next home in a millisecond's time. As the ...
3
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10answers
8k views

Would using carbon dioxide as fuel work to reduce the greenhouse effect?

I'm trying to find a plausible way to reduce global warming in a world past the tipping point. I recently read this article : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171127173225.htm. It ...
2
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3answers
273 views

Infinite energy, helicopters and world-wide attention

Story is set in our days, modern Earth with all it's current problems and conflicts. Let's say someone had secretly found a way to produce almost infinite (reasonably infinite, of course) amount of ...
5
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3answers
267 views

Can you prevent a star from dying with infinite energy?

In my story, an advanced alien civilization that can travel to other universes has created an infinite energy source, named "an amvelian core". This core resembles a small sphere in appearance (about ...
13
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2answers
628 views

How Efficient Could Anaerobic Megafauna Be?

Obviously, if available, atmospheric oxygen is a great source of energy. However, I'm surely not the first worldbuilder who wants an alien species which doesn't depend on it (whether due to having ...
5
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5answers
136 views

How can having multiple casters for a spell create excess heat?

Magic works through transmutation circles infused with sigils that both manifest from a person's mind. The individual focuses their Anima, or life force, through these circles in order to create ...
2
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3answers
224 views

Is it plausible to to cover a desert in self-replicating solar panels, using only the materials found in the desert?

Silicon is the main material used in both computers and solar panels. Sand is silicon. Deserts have a lot of sand and sun. This may be an oversimplified way of looking at things, but could we ...
1
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1answer
73 views

Energy Transfer in Telekinesis [closed]

This specific type of telekinesis is constrained in that the telekinetic can only lift what they would physically be able to lift. Somehow, they are transferring energy from their body across space, ...
1
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1answer
215 views

Can human remains be turned into crude oil?

I have a potential sub-plot in a story that takes place in the not too distant future where most of the world's fossil fuels are exhausted or contaminated (war reasons more than environmental) and ...
1
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3answers
153 views

Harvesting carbon free electricity from a field of plants [duplicate]

In the Matrix the movie machines used fields of humans to efficiently harvest electricity from them. In the endeavor to find a renewable carbon free energy source I can only see using plants this way. ...
25
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27answers
8k views

Is it possible to have battery technology that can't be duplicated?

I'm creating a near future world where one faction is using high energy density batteries that enable their vehicles to outperform gasoline based technology. Like cold and silent aircraft and ...
7
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1answer
188 views

How much energy can I produce per kg of hydrogen using this process?

In the far future the posthuman successors of mankind have disassembled the stars and live on ultra slow and ultra efficient solar system sized computers, Matrioshka Brains. The last enemy of ...
6
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7answers
802 views

Compact Mechanical Energy Source

In my late-Victorian world there are independently moving automata that may act as pets or servants to those that can afford them. They require a fair amount of energy to run at full capacity, enough ...
2
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4answers
201 views

Solar panels on rotating wheel space stations

What would be the best configuration of solar panels on a rotating wheel space station? I am thinking about Space Station V design and dimensions. Space Station V comes from 2001: A Space Odyssey. ...
3
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3answers
239 views

Solar cells in the Renaissance

An engineer goes back in time to attempt to rewrite history: since global warming has wiped out all but a few living species at his home timeline, he wants to prevent it without preventing an ...
39
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22answers
9k views

What would be the ideal power source for a cybernetic eye?

After nearly a decade of development and public prototypes, the Mizaru company is ready to unveil the cybereye. A fully cybernetic eye that provides its user/host with high definition vision, enhanced ...
10
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6answers
995 views

Feasability of miniature nuclear reactors for humanoid cyborgs

The idea is to build a cybernetic body for a human. Only the brain and a few glands related to emotions, like adrenal glands, will be kept. The brain and the glands will be in a closed, plug-and-play,...
41
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20answers
9k views

What could be the right powersource for 15 seconds lifespan disposable giant chainsaw?

Imagine when a jet fighter swoops in to drop a 400 pounds giant chainsaw to you just so that you can use it to grind down one problematic enemy into a pulp then discard it a foot away from you. What ...
2
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8answers
2k views

Ideas for 3rd eye abilities [closed]

I am creating a super villain that developed special abilities from a mutated pineal gland. For now i'm referring to it as the Enhanced 3rd eye or the 3rd Eye ability. From the research I've done, ...