Questions tagged [power-sources]

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

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10 votes
14 answers
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What reliable source of power is best on a newly colonized interstellar planet?

I have been working on a hard Sci-Fi narrative of a first-time human colonization scenario on an interstellar star system like Alpha-Centauri. My narrative though uses NO FTL drives or other fictional ...
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21 votes
8 answers
5k views

How much should a nuclear explosion be slowed for its energy to be safely converted to electrical energy?

Harvesting explosions by containing them in a time bubble. Here's an interesting sci-fi concept, which involves generating a time bubble in order to slow a nuclear explosion to the point where the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
83 views

Can a habitable world function like a Tesla Coil?

I am trying to come up with a fun planet with "advanced" but primitive tech. We all know Tesla missed some critical physics when envisioning his global transmission network for power. But ...
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8 votes
5 answers
846 views

Infantry portable coilgun power sources

I am envisioning a weapons team that can carry around a coilgun about the same size as a recoilless rifle. The L55/12.M Crew Served Coilgun from Kaelo Engineering is the newest advancement in ...
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4 votes
3 answers
68 views

How to power and animate origami soldiers?

Set in near future, a sheet of metal can fold itself into a soldier with the height of a full grown men and can pick up ranged weapon. This is inspired by the folding of solar sail technology of ...
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2 votes
3 answers
149 views

Piezoelectric device for a mace

A lady warrior in this story uses two main weapons. A bow for long range A mace for melee combat This question concerns the operation of the mace. Within the head of the weapon, during any impact (...
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2 votes
2 answers
129 views

What would be an effective solution for quick dissipation of heat in a handheld device?​

I've been wondering, what would be a scientific approach to cooling a handheld device that generates power by using an internal heat source, by the means of things like Stirling engines and/or the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
78 views

What would be the technological limitations of an advanced aquatic species? [duplicate]

My latest idea for worldbuilding involves a world in which the surface of the planet is 95% of the planet's surface covered in saltwater (there are still minerals and other collectible resources on ...
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4 votes
2 answers
165 views

What wavelength of electromagnetic energy is best suited for burning into a tank's hull?

Background: in my setting, there's a defensive directed-energy weapon installation that runs off of four gas turbine engines similar to the General Electric T64. Between the four of them, ...
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2 votes
3 answers
236 views

Harvesting energy from rain as efficiently as possible

The goal is to engineer the most efficient way(s) to harvest energy from rainfall using moderately advanced technology. My idea was to use this as widespread power source for a race of people that ...
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2 votes
0 answers
67 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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7 votes
4 answers
2k views

What Internal design would allow a spacecraft to be powered only by water?

Spacecrafts that harvest ice are not out of the ordinary, there’s even research being conducted about steam powered spacecrafts (steampunk spaceships anyone??). But I want to engineer a ship that uses ...
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0 votes
1 answer
57 views

What design adaptions would a wind turbine require to operate in a perpetual hurricane?

Never mind why there's a perpetual hurricane. This is about extracting power from it. Let's say that there's a perpetual hurricane that constantly "hovers" in one location - say, over ...
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1 vote
6 answers
214 views

What could cause wind power to not be viable

Is there any sort of reason that wind power could become more difficult to use/utilize? I'm trying to think of reasoning that a desperate earth based society would switch to using extremely reckless ...
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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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6 votes
6 answers
2k views

How do I make my soldiers jump higher

I need a mechanical way to make my soldiers who are combat explorers in a forest to be able to jump higher than normal. They will be equipped with a variety of weapons from normal hand held weapons up ...
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  • 885
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

How could androids power themselves?

I'm experimenting with a sci-fi setting where human-like mechanical androids are the dominant "lifeform." Though the setting is based on science, androids live in tribal societies. For the ...
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15 votes
9 answers
4k views

Vampires as a never-ending source of mechanical energy

Background Vampires are the usual sort. They sleep in coffins during the day and awake when it gets dark. Apart from the normal ways of killing them, they are immortal and so, despite their thirst for ...
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3 votes
2 answers
126 views

Would redox flow batteries be good for the development of all-electric armored vehicles?

I am in the process of creating a somewhat hard military sci fi setting and was enamored by the idea of all-electric armored vehicles for a future war. For this I decided to used Redox Flow Batteries: ...
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1 vote
1 answer
111 views

energy sources for intergalactic travel in fictitious universe with similar laws of known physics but different evolution

This question differs slightly from the many excellent threads on topics similar to this one. In the fictional universe I am contemplating, the same laws of physics apply as in ours, but because of a ...
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  • 111
1 vote
4 answers
131 views

How effective/practical would giant batteries be, both in power and construction?

I was thinking about a source of power for one of my civilizations. Chemical power, specifically giant batteries, have always been A cool idea to me. I want to know how realistic this is. I want it/...
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10 votes
5 answers
927 views

Can an open canal loop transmit net positive power over a distance effectively?

I’m designing a society in a hostile climate which transports its energy from remote stations to a city with an absolute minimum of maintenance and infrastructure requirements. The concept is to use a ...
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4 votes
6 answers
1k views

Could medieval people make an electric motor?

It was suggested that a medieval people, with a readily available source of electricity, would develop electric motors and horseless carriages. I had thought these would be too complicated to make ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
188 views

Horror World Problems [closed]

I have left Super Dee behind, and is now focusing to truly build a world. In my new world, there are skeletons, vampires, zombies, witches, etc. Everywhere, people bring guns in their backpacks to ...
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2 votes
2 answers
55 views

How can a summoning circle dilute the effects of radiation over a wide surface area?

Summoning circles are a way to communicate with entities within the ethereal realm from beyond the veil. A mage uses the summoning circle as a bridge to bring the entity from its realm and ...
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  • 38k
4 votes
5 answers
118 views

Alternative power that produces smoke

I have a post-apocalyptic world that is devoid of plant and animal life, although because of underground bunkers containing stored chemical materials and underground gardening,reservoirs,and mining, ...
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  • 49
1 vote
1 answer
94 views

Fossil fuels production optimization

I'm sure that a jungle planet would probably have more fossil fuels than Earth, as there'd be a lot more organic carbon, which would get buried underground and converted into fossil fuels. We'd ...
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9 votes
5 answers
2k views

What would prevent an eldritch deity from gaining the abilities of others that it absorbs?

nyarlathotep, the Black Pharaoh, seeks to enter the realm of Earth to rule over mankind. Unfortunately, he is prevented from doing so by a barrier that blocks eldritch deities from crossing over. To ...
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2 votes
2 answers
89 views

How can the rate of Mana output from mages reach a state of equilibrium during a spell? [closed]

Witches and warlocks have been working together for centuries. Witches have ley lines running throughout their circulatory system, in which their Mana flows through. These ley lines give them the ...
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  • 38k
5 votes
2 answers
147 views

"AC" compressed air?

So, compressed air power is a Thing. Compressed air tools are reasonably common, and compressed air has even been delivered commercially as an industrial utility at times. But all existing compressed-...
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7 votes
3 answers
350 views

Why don't Sci-fi stories draw energy directly from their stars using wormholes/FTL devices? [closed]

Science fiction is full of devices allowing people to open portals to other worlds, teleport, open wormholes, etc. but there are only subtle discussions about tapping into the sun or other stars with ...
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5 votes
2 answers
223 views

Feasibility of sourcing fuel from air

Is it feasible to modify a combustion engine to source fuel from air and oxidizer from a tank, in an atmosphere that has significant amount of flammable fluids, such as one found in Titan? If so, can ...
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3 votes
4 answers
305 views

What is a plausible combustible fuel on a colony planet?

The setting I'm trying to build is perhaps best described as "Mad Max in Space" - except civilization hasn't collapsed and tanks and airplanes are still a thing. Planetary colony ...
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  • 133
3 votes
4 answers
200 views

How can a soul be unable to resurrect from multiple locations?

I am a warlock who has committed many evil and despicable deeds in his lifetime. Bad karma has blackened my soul, dooming me to an eternity of unspeakable suffering in hell. Luckily, there is a way to ...
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  • 38k
5 votes
3 answers
307 views

I need a 1980s suit of nuclear-fed heavy power armor

With a miniaturized nuclear reactor on my back, what does my late Cold War suit of CBRN-shielded antiballistic-plated power suit look like? Could it mount vehicle-grade weaponry?
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4 votes
7 answers
3k views

How can a substance necessary for organic life be harmful? [closed]

Mana is the source of an individual's magical power. A person's Mana reserves determine the strength of their spells. Lady Stoneheart, the Witch of Westeros, has developed a black market industry ...
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  • 38k
8 votes
6 answers
577 views

Cons of Antimatter Weaponry

In the story I'm creating, a major weapon type of humanity will be Antimatter based weaponry. This is a fairly new technology, as antimatter production facilities have just reached the size and ...
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  • 1,119
2 votes
5 answers
185 views

reactor powered by explosives

Is it feasible to power a reactor using explosives with today's technology? Just using the heat of the explosion to turn a turbine is not the idea I am looking for. Keep the handwavium to a minimum. ...
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1 vote
4 answers
135 views

What would make Mana bending lead to unrelated effects on reality?

Mana benders are individuals who can impose their will on reality by altering it based on their perception, usually interpreted as "magical abilities". These powers can take a number of forms, ...
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  • 38k
2 votes
2 answers
177 views

Harnessing energy directly from the sun via quantum tunneling

In the universe of my story, the Earth is ridden with metahumans with uncanny powers that do all sorts of different things. Of course, to do all this, they would require a tremendous amount of energy, ...
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  • 395
4 votes
8 answers
796 views

How can it be made more difficult to resurrect the recently deceased?

When a person dies, their soul ascends to the astral realm to rest with the gods. However, a piece of them, called the Ka, remains on earth. This piece is the off cast remains of the soul and a ...
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  • 38k
0 votes
1 answer
96 views

Can an electric transmission line of 40075 Kilometers exist? [closed]

How long an electric transmission line will be? How much volts of AC need to transmit that far? How much will be the loss of power during transmission?
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36 votes
19 answers
7k views

How would one make a reactor harder to produce over time?

I have been asking myself this question recently. How would you make a reactor powering a powerful weapon harder to produce for each successive reactor being produced? My solutions currently would ...
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  • 393
0 votes
4 answers
322 views

What kind of matter would be needed to maintain a black hole?

Let's say we have a reactor that taps into an artificial black hole (kugelblitz-type). What kind of matter would be needed to feed the black hole to sustain it? Would this matter be treated like fuel?
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7 votes
5 answers
311 views

Capital ship reactor power

I'm trying to not delve too into the sciences so as to keep things fairly suitable for a space opera setting, but I'm trying to figure a few things to a reasonable degree of detail. My question here ...
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  • 113
1 vote
1 answer
121 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 ...
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  • 5,864
3 votes
3 answers
129 views

How could a fusion device be held at the centre of a ring-shaped space habitat?

I'm trying to create something like a generation ship, but it has no destination, and is travelling endlessly, so is more like a deep space non-orbital habitat for humans. One helpful and appealing ...
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4 votes
3 answers
226 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. ...
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6 votes
10 answers
771 views

I can send small things back in time 500 milliseconds, which item listed would be most profitable to teleclone? (without extortion)

CAVEAT: NO TERRORIST SOLUTIONS (Obvious answer to any new tech that destroys stuff is "use it for extortion." That cheap trick won't get rewarded here) I have a device similar to what ...
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  • 5,864
5 votes
1 answer
267 views

Metallic hydrogen powered vehicles

Let’s say metallic hydrogen becomes an economically viable resource that we are able to either make ourselves or mine from a gas giant, how would we use it as a power source for vehicles both ...
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  • 1,136