Questions tagged [power-sources]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
16
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
13
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. ...
1
vote
1answer
181 views

What would be shocking to learn your neighbor did with his machine that clones anything for only 0.05 seconds? [closed]

This is a stub from an overbroad question in the Sandbox I have a device similar to what Douglas E. Richards' used in Split Second (I have never read his book) such that any object of less than 3 m3 ...
50
votes
10answers
52k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
436 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 ...
44
votes
23answers
9k 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, ...
21
votes
13answers
11k 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 ...
11
votes
12answers
3k views

What power generation method is the best to sustain a hovering city?

The Technology We're in the year 2250 on an Earth-like planet. All the space on the earth's surface has been used up by the population of 15 billion, so we're moving into the air. Cities, along with ...
14
votes
10answers
7k views

What are the power options for intelligent humanoid robots?

In my future setting on Earth (or an Earth-like planet; haven't decided), the fields of robotics and AI have taken off and we have intelligent, ambulatory robots. (They were initially thought of as ...
26
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Harnessing energy from the moon like from the sun

So we harness energy from the sun using beams, right? Well what if we were to harness energy coming off the moon the same way? For those long winter months when the sun is rare we could use this to ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How much power can you send via a laser through the atmosphere without catastrophic effects?

Assuming that you had: some sort of amazing power plant on the moon that can create an unlimited amount of power a similarly amazing solar panel on earth that can receive an unlimited amount of power ...
5
votes
7answers
248 views

Is broadcast power suitable for recharging robots?

The last time I checked ASIMO's battery pack only had enough juice for something like 30 minutes of continuous operation & then it has to plug in & recharge which isn't really that useful. I'...
3
votes
3answers
176 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
477 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 ...