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Old 07-19-2012, 02:38 PM   #1
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"if its too good to be true"

We all know the saying and it applies to many "good deals".''

However an article In AV Week concerning advanced tech , that may be on the way ,is not Si Fi.
Oct 24/31 2011 page 67.

LENR low-energy nuclear-reaction is not cold fusion .

Most interesting is the comment about the energy potential,( gigajoules per gram),.

For aircraft the fuel consumption would be so low that the aircraft would take off and land with the same mass Landing weight would be same as TO weight. .

"There is enough energy in 40 liters of water to take a 747 half way round the world!"

Googleing it reveals a load of research since almost a year ago.

Interesting to contemplate an on board power supply for heat, air cond, hotel loads and propulsion with almost no space lost for huge fuel tanks.

Speed would be cheap, trawlers would be scrapped for deep V boats , and only sea state and G loading would determine cruise style.

Sure hope it comes soon, oil will still be used as a lubricant , but I wouldn't want to be holding EXON or Royal Dutch if this does come to pass.

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Old 07-19-2012, 05:22 PM   #2
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But we haven't found an economical way to turn lead into gold yet.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:59 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Ah, but we HAVE found a way to turn gold into lead. Just ask Goldman Sachs or similar.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:09 PM   #4
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Here's the major big problem with all these pie-in-the-sky ideas about alternative fuels, at least for aviation, and it's a huge bucket of financial cold water on all the dreams and promises.

Jet transports have a service life of some 20 to 30 years, and in the case of the 787 and A350 perhaps 50 years. They are hugely expensive and represent a massive investment on the parts of the financial houses that pay for them (If you think airlines pay for their planes out of their bank accounts, think again).

Let's assume for the moment that airlines make money (They don't and in fact are one of the worst long-term investments on the planet but aviation is a really sexy business to be in so a lot of people are willing to invest a lot of money simply to play the game.) But if we assume flying people and cargo around makes money, it's a very long-term investment because of the huge costs involved. So a 737 or 777 or A330 or A380 or whatever has to keep flying for 20, 30, 40, even 50 years to repay the investment the financial institutions have made in them and the supoprting organizations and systems it takes to keep them flying and, hopefully, making the investment worthwhile.

The engines on these planes are also really, really expensive and they are sold separately from the planes. We and Airbus put them on, but we don't sell them, we don't warranty them, we don't provide parts for them, we don't have anything to do with them so to speak. All that stuff is between whoever made the engines and whoever bought them.

So you have these massive investments flying around and their only hope of becoming profitable investments is if they keep flying around for whole hell of a lot of years.

Which means that whatever alternative fuel someone comes up with, it has to work in these existing engines. The investment in them is way too high to simply take them off the planes and scrap them just because someone comes up with a new kind of fuel and an engine to run it in.

But let's forget about the new engine and just look at the new fuel. The only way it can be economically viable to the airline industry is if it's produced in the same volume as the fuel we use today is, and it is as easily distributed around the planet as the fuel we use today. Going from something that works in a lab to something that comes flowing out of a stall fuel feed in Dubai at a zillion pounds a minute is not something that's going to happen in a big hurry.

But we have to do something, right? So for the airline industry the short-term sustainable solution is biofuel made from third generation feedstocks like jatropha, soapberry, mangrove, salicornia, and so on. The long term susteainable solution is currentlyi seen as algae. Fuels made from both these sources works great in today's engines, and large scale production is not only feasible, it's in work.

So even if Joe Smarguy comes up with a way of using cold fusion to generate the power needed to fly a plane, it's going to be a cold day in hell before we see it in actual use. Because as nifty an idea as it may be, and as theoretically or even practically possible as it may be, it won't work in the GE115s on the wings of the 777-300ERs that we're putting together today and will have to be flying around earrning a living for the next 30 because it has to repay and make a worthwhile profit on the investment HSBC made in it.

Even the alternative fuels we already know we can produce and we already know work fine in today's engines face huge hurdles before they can become a viable energy source. The cost of creating fuel standards for them and building volume production facilities that meet these standards and the time required to reach the point where the volume being produced meets the demand all require huge amounts of money.

But---- the fuel produced needs to cost no more than the fuel the planes use now. Why? Because the more the fuel costs the more the tickets cost. And if you and me and the neighbor down the street decide that the cost of flying to visit grandma is simply too high, then there's not much point in flying the planes around anymore at all, right? And all those investments will go belly up and the people who made them will be Not Happy.

So massive, massive challenges to meet in moving the commercial aviation industry even into the alternative , sustainable fuels we have now and that we know work.

That's not to say that things like cold fusion or something we haven't even thought of yet won't work or someday become the norm in the transportation industry. But it's not going to happen for a long, long, long time. Money calls the shots every time.

There is good news at the end of the page, however. Fortunately for us and the people who come after us, there are enough people in industry and in countries with an inherent ability to look far into the future, see an worthwhile objective, and have the determination to keep working toward it until they get there--- China being a good example of this--- that there is more and more action than talk now. It's a shame the US government is not partiulary pro-active, at least not in the right direction, but there are plenty of US industries that are. Like Boeing.

Based on what I've been seing, hearing, and learning in places like China, the Middle East, and (yet to come this year) Australia, the objective of sustainable, environmentally friendly, or at least more friendly, aviation fuel is reachable. It's going to be a long time coming--- in China they talk about 30 years out before they can start providing enough sustainable fuel to meet the aviation fuel demand in that country--- but we've all started down the road. One step at a time.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:11 AM   #5
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Which means that whatever alternative fuel someone comes up with, it has to work in these existing engines. The investment in them is way too high to simply take them off the planes and scrap them just because someone comes up with a new kind of fuel and an engine to run it in.


That's not to say that things like cold fusion or something we haven't even thought of yet won't work or someday become the norm in the transportation industry. But it's not going to happen for a long, long, long time. Money calls the shots every time.

From what I read the aircraft mfg can get a new model accepted (SOLD) if it is 15% more "efficient" than the earlier one.

While close to zero fuel cost might not be of much interest to the aircraft builder with billions in fixed assets in place , the CUSTOMERS will call the shots , and the change will be rapidly made , if it does happen.

Minor changes are more rapidly accepted.

The RR now use diesel, and on any rebuild the switch to use CNG is minor and the prospect of towing an extra car to carry 1/4 priced fuel is no problem.

If any of this almost SI Fi fueling becomes reality , the most likely use might be homes and businesses. No distribution problems , no EMP disaster , yet the switch would lower the use ( & cost ) of distiliate by a large number.

GO SCIENCE!
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:06 PM   #6
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From what I read the aircraft mfg can get a new model accepted (SOLD) if it is 15% more "efficient" than the earlier one.

!
Sure, but only if the cost of the plane stays the same or, preferably, comes down. A 15% fuel savings is meaningless if the plane has to cost a ton more money to cover the cost of developing, testing, and certification of an entirely new type of engine and the airplane systems to support it. Plus the cost of developing, testing, certifying, and standardizing on the entire planet a new type of fuel cannot result in a fuel that costs more than what we're using today. If it does, it's not economically viable to use.

You're just thinking in terms of inventing the fuel and the engine, FF. That's the easy part. A plane that takes off from LA and flies to Beijing has to be refueled with fuel that meets exactly the same specs and standards at both ends of the trip. That means that regulatory agencies all over the world have to agree on the specs and standards. It means that aviation fuel has to meet exactly the same specs no matter where on the planet it's produced. Which means that the producers of the fuel all over the world have to have the facilities to make the fuel in huge quantities to exactly the same standards and specs. Which means that governments and fuel industry companies all over the world have to arrive at and and agree to the same enforceable standards for the production facilities in their respective countries.

Which means that the governments of the US, China, India, the UAE, France, Italy, Brazil, Viet Nam..... get the picture?.... all have to agree on some pretty major things.

The countries in the EU are still bickering over airspace allocation and air traffic control improvements and have been for the 20-plus years I've been involved in supporting the ongoing efforts to implement improvements. You think it's going to be a snap of the fingers to get the whole planet to agree to fuel and fuel production standards for a totally different type of fuel? Let alone create the volume production and distribution systems that are required all over the globe. Those two things are the biggest and most expensive challenges to making the use of biofuel in commercial aviation a viable reality, and we don't even need a new type of engine to be developed to burn biofuel.

If you think switching to some esoteric energy source like cold fusion or whatever is going to be simple, quick, and cheap, think again.
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:05 AM   #7
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All you say is true ,, for conventional fuel.

BUT if the fuel is a gallon of distilled water , a round trip worth of fuel wont reduce the TO weight by much, or require excessive tank space.

So far its SI FI , but then Dick Tracy making phone calls with his watch was too!

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Old 07-21-2012, 09:34 PM   #8
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So far its SI FI , but then Dick Tracy making phone calls with his watch was too!

FF
I like to say the Egyptians could have built a 747. All the principles and laws of math, physics, aerodynamics, chemistry, etc. needed to design, manufacture, and fly a 747 existed when they were stacking rocks in pyramids and thinking they were hot shit fo doing so. They simply hadn't discovered them yet.

So who knows what's out there that we simply haven't discovered yet. So I totally agree with you that the future holds tremendous promise.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:28 PM   #9
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The RR now use diesel, and on any rebuild the switch to use CNG is minor and the prospect of towing an extra car to carry 1/4 priced fuel is no problem.
The dieselization of America's railroads was primarily slowed by WWII which limited the availibility of internal combusion, diesel-fueled locomotives due to competition for manufacturing facilities and materials (that is, the U.S. government limited their production). Almost all Class 1 railroads wanted to dieselize as rapidly as possible because of the huge operational and maintenance cost advantages. Even after the war's ending, locomotive manufacturers couldn't meet the demand.



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