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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7
votes
4answers
878 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
426 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, ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
156 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 ...
21
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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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
352 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 ...
14
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12answers
2k 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
824 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
833 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
161 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
2k 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
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2answers
359 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 ...
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, ...
2
votes
3answers
238 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
617 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
3k 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
174 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
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
927 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
352 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
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
126 views

Is there an energy resource with such attributes?

Is there an energy substance, element, material, natural or artificial resource with attributes such that: When its moved it loses energy. When its intact, untouched and unmoved it contains energy.
2
votes
3answers
259 views

Solar Power Growth limit? [closed]

I was watching a segment on CNBC with Salim Ismail, of Singularity University. He remarked that Solar Power availability (of power created by panels, obviously the Sun isn't getting brighter) was ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...

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