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For question about anything that can be used as a power source for a planet or civilization.

3
votes
2answers
83 views

Batteries and resource restrictions

I've prefigured a specific setting as being middling in technological progress when compared with its neighbors. This setting does not have access to hydrocarbons, has severe cultural and political ...
1
vote
5answers
112 views

Portable, high-output power generator?

Brief scenario: Evil Genius (EG) with a lot of money and lots of loyal henchman wants to take over the world by mass-producing vast quantities 2-3ft tall spider robots (SR). The plan would begin ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

How to process crystal based source of energy into liquid form? [closed]

I start to write sci-fi story and there's a chapter where a mining plant will work with this source of energy called Extrenum. This energy was taken out from crystal rocks material but I wonder if it ...
4
votes
4answers
125 views

Could charged plasma be used as a working fluid to spin a magnetic turbine to generate electricity?

As the title suggests, this is a conceptual physics kinda question. What is the feasibility of using an electrically charged (as in not neutral) plasma as the working fluid in a turbine where the ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

What is the smallest theoretical energy generator possible for generating huge amounts of energy? [closed]

There are the examples of the Dyson sphere or the black hole bomb but those are too big. Is there any other source of energy you could theoretically contain on earth that wouldn't crush it or us down ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Can an Earth like planet support life by building a Dyson Sphere across a White Dwarf or a Red Dwarf star? [closed]

Is it possible to depend on a white dwarf as our power source, provided that we harness 99% of energy? Can life be sustained? How it will change the climate and the seasons of earth if it is our ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Reducing power of magical substance [closed]

What would make a substance that powers magic less powerful when it is moved to a dimension where magic goes unacknowledged? I want the source - a mineral or chemical - to become something that is ...
4
votes
5answers
280 views

Electrical grid based on devices in series using constant currents, not devices in parallel using constant voltages

Mains power electrical systems on Earth supply a fixed standardized voltage to a number of devices, which are all wired in parallel with each other. However, on the planet I'm writng about, they do ...
2
votes
4answers
201 views

How to produce enough power to create a pair of proton-antiproton?

I've recently discovered something great: the Schwinger effect. It says that if you concentrate enough power thanks to laser into a single point in space, it will spawn a pair of proton and antiproton....
13
votes
3answers
309 views

How efficient can my neutrino detector be?

In a class discussion last week, someone pointed out that a typical core collapse supernova releases $\sim10^{46}\text{ J}$ of energy in the form of (anti-)neutrinos while only radiating $\sim10^{44}\...
1
vote
7answers
569 views

What is the best idea for an advanced type of battery for my future sci-fi world? [closed]

What kind of battery would an advanced sci-fi world use, that has basis in real science (something we only speculate about today)? When I say battery, I mean things that power devices not laser gun ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Is Friction charging or Tribostatic charging, futuristic?

The charging of devices or other electronics by friction, futuristic ,or has it been already realized? Also are solar and wind power charging more efficient? Should my civilization rely on those ...
-3
votes
1answer
115 views

Are these technologies futuristic or are they already being used in real life? [closed]

My world is strictly FUTURE, which means technologies that we humans on real- modern day Earth have achieved are not given the spotlight. They just blend into the background. However, I don't know ...
0
votes
3answers
398 views

Sky Train Blimp Plane?

Can using blimps to hold power lines and implement laser filamentation of ablout 7 meter span from the source of power for a contact free power supply to power an electric engine (designed to run on ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Fusion: Using a lens to focus the energy of a star

Is it possible to focus the energy of one star to a small enough point and high enough energy to provide the energy to start a fusion reactor? I'm imagining a large lens placed between the star and ...
13
votes
11answers
3k views

Off-planet energy production - what would be best way to supply this energy planetside?

What would be the best way to send energy that is generated outside the Earth's atmosphere, possibly in the asteroid belt (nevermind the means), so that it can be used on the surface of the planet? ...
4
votes
4answers
482 views

How would a large Space battleship be powered?

Ideas for a power source of the future This is quite a general question, so I suppose I should add some context; The ships that I have envisioned are pretty big. The flagship is about 1km long. They ...
27
votes
5answers
4k views

Practicality of a thorium-powered, superheated-steam car?

At the beginning of the 1900s, the Doble Steam Motors Company built steam cars. Their engineers solved many of the problems steam cars had until then by using superheated steam and a condenser to ...
6
votes
4answers
294 views

How to power thin contact lenses that let us browse the internet?

Immediate to near future, we are talking about single digit nanometer size transistor and light emitting diode. That's actually very small, you can't see it with a conventional microscope let alone ...
2
votes
2answers
357 views

Could an entire continent runs on a single fusion reactor plant by 2100?

Affected continent is Asia, the world is running out of coal and natural gas. A major mega structure project is underway, its goal is to provide electricity across the continent with a single fusion ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you power a cyborg?

In this answer about how to design the ideal cyborg, I said: ... Use electric tissue to power the machines. Cyborgs need some way to generate electricity when mechanical parts are involved. ...
6
votes
4answers
191 views

How could a mammalian body provide substantial electrical power through non-harmful, “passive” means?

I've seen some articles about biologically powering devices through a glucose fuel cell, but from what I can tell this would only provide power on the order of a few tenths of a watt. While it's ...
3
votes
6answers
176 views

Solar Powered Vehicles [closed]

Here is one of my ideas for when my Kepler Bb civilization gets higher level technology. It is Solar Powered Transportation. Now I know what you are probably thinking. You are probably thinking that ...
4
votes
3answers
146 views

Wireless power generation in a fleet of spaceships

Okay, so while I'm fairly certain this is possible to do, I wanna know if it actually makes sense to do so. Imagine you have a fleet of ships, each of them so large it takes megatons of antimatter to ...
6
votes
14answers
3k views

How imagination would work as a magic source?

I'm considering a world where a specific civilization can use imagination as power to invoke spells, create objects and creatures. The range of abilities depends on the user. Some individuals sweat ...
5
votes
2answers
309 views

Powerfish - how to use fish movements to power tech

Powerfish - on! I'm thinking about writing about a world where fish are used like lab rats, to power technologies. But I'm thinking about worldwide use. I placed my TV on my fish tank yesterday. The ...
2
votes
3answers
225 views

Underground City Design: All Solar Electricity

I am working on designing an underground city for my Kepler Bb story. I am now at the civilization phase and there are 100 people(Not including Robin, Lisa, Alma, and possibly 1 or more little ones) ...
-3
votes
5answers
822 views

Batteries that never run out of power [closed]

We are in the 21st century (2016) after the big revolution of smartphones and portable devices and Tesla cars are slowly getting on the roads. We became very needy for batteries for all kind of things,...
7
votes
4answers
775 views

Is it possible for a civilization to advance beyond 17th century tech without electricity or steam power?

In my world , a race of sea faring half elves now possesses 18th century maritime technology , and 16th century ..... Everything else. Given that they spend most of their time at sea , they lack - A) ...
2
votes
4answers
344 views

How could an evil king start by himself his kingdom from ground-up using his recently conquered kingdom?

This evil king has a supernatural/magical power, which gives him a big advantage over his enemies and allows him to win battles by himself. Although he has never been a king, he now wants to be one, ...
14
votes
5answers
8k views

How long can a power plant continue to generate electricity without maintenance by people?

The situation is as follows: there is a city with different districts, each provided with electric power from a different power plant: Thermal power plant nuclear power plant Hydroelectric power ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Could we replace humans in this picture with robots to generate electricity? [closed]

My idea is to replace the humans with robots on magnets - like the maglev trains or just a couple smart wheels. Simple mathematical algorithms would adjust the robots to keep the contraption spinning ...
19
votes
13answers
10k views

1 Light Year Diameter Planet

Suppose a species has limitless resources and the ability to construct megastructures of an astronomical scale. Would it be possible, given antigravitational technology (hypothetical), to create a ...
46
votes
10answers
31k views

Will unattended nuclear power plants actually cause damage to their surroundings?

Scenario: Deadly virus wiped out 80 - 90% world population and it did it pretty quickly (in 2 months) Although it is plausible that among these 10 - 20% of survivors will be people who actually know ...
4
votes
5answers
222 views

Using lasers to transmit solar energy

As we know, solar power is the ultimate source of energy for mankind, and it's the most abundant(I have read that we receive more than 1000 times the energy we currently use, if we were to have a way ...
13
votes
12answers
1k views

Renewable energy in space

I'm working on a story set in a generation ship traveling through the stars. Its propulsion is a solar sail, which will accelerate it over many decades to a substantial fraction of the speed of light. ...
5
votes
7answers
747 views

How do I make floating ambient light?

I would like to have a small orb, producing light of proportions of a standard household bulb today. No big deal, right. They have these already for sale on Amazon as night lights. I would, however, ...
-1
votes
3answers
581 views

The possibilities of infinite energy?

So the idea is that the world has been destroyed, and an emergency plan to put the rest of humanity on floating cities/islands has been put in place. These islands subsist off of some sort of ...
5
votes
3answers
138 views

Underground Solar Interaction

In my WIP (webcomic in progress) mentioned in my other posts, there is an earth-originated colony based on an alien planet in a semi-post-apocalyptic society with limited technology and resources. ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

The go-to power source for transportation in a post apocalyptic world

In post apocalyptic worlds gas, is often portrayed as the main power source, and without it, it is impossible to travel anywhere. Two examples are Mad Maz and Waterworld. However, gasoline is limited,...
5
votes
2answers
281 views

Beyond Electricity

Our modern systems are predicated on the existence of electricity, which is a phenomenal discovery that helped propel the human race into our current civilization. However, electricity can be highly ...
42
votes
23answers
7k views

What were the machines really doing with humans in the Matrix? [closed]

This isn't a film trivia question - I know the canonical answer is 'use them for power'. But it's a plot point that always bothered me, because Thermodynamics Says No. Humans aren't an energy source, ...
2
votes
3answers
204 views

What kind of VTOL engine could eject steam?

Here's the setup. You have a gigantic mildly futuristic city, where construction is vertical rather than horizontal. Need a new city block? Add another few floors. Disregard for the moment any ...
5
votes
2answers
514 views

How realistic is the power generation depicted in The Legend of Korra?

Early on in the cartoon The Legend of Korra, we're shown one of the main characters working at his job. He works in a power plant, where he and his coworkers spend all day using Bending (essentially ...
16
votes
10answers
2k views

Imagining a Solar-Powered Economy

For a writing challenge, I'm trying to create a near-future world (2030 or so) where the major Western nations have transitioned to a fully solar economy. Hence the rub. The realist in me is aware of ...
-1
votes
1answer
160 views

Peaceful light weight power sources [closed]

Could there power source that can provide unlimited power? It has to peaceful like wind or solar but be able to be moved if need. It has to able to be moved by air and by land, water would be helpful ...
4
votes
7answers
989 views

Fission vs. fusion as a heavily-restricted sci-fi power source

In a sci-fi setting I'm working on, the power dynamics between two civilizations are maintained by one civilization ("captives") being completely dependent on the other civilization ("captors") for ...
3
votes
2answers
497 views

Fusion Power and Plasma Propulsion

In the classic idea of a Tokamak Fusion Reactor, plasma races around an electromagnetic track. Is it plausible to "spin" off some of this rapidly moving plasma and direct it to nozzles for use in ...
3
votes
3answers
312 views

What would be the effects of safe lightweight nuclear power?

Upon asking this question, I have learned why we can have nuclear powered ships, but not aircraft. The reason is because the shielding needed for the nuclear reactor is simply too heavy for the power ...
2
votes
3answers
355 views

How can I make a Nuclear Powered VTOL Safe?

Here's the set up. In my slightly-futuristic mildly-sci-fi novel, I have a need for an aerial transport vehicle (I have been informed what I need is closer to a VTOl than a hovercraft). These crafts ...