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The Future of Energy?

Posted Jul 23, '14 at 12:04pm

weirdlike

weirdlike

1,065 posts

Moderator

Here is an idea I have thought about since my younger days...

Take this into consideration. While you are riding your bike, cruising along. Everything is good. Right? Well that is until you start going uphill. Then you need to apply more energy in order to maintain enough speed to stay upright. Otherwise you will need to get off the bike and walk. There is a solution that people have come up with. GEARS. Yep that's right, gears make it easy to keep on going. We all know that they are there and how they work.

So with that in mind. What if we took a small electric motor and a generator, then used gears to generate the level of energy required to power the motor and have an output of 120v.

 

Posted Jul 23, '14 at 7:53pm

09philj

09philj

2,585 posts

So with that in mind. What if we took a small electric motor and a generator, then used gears to generate the level of energy required to power the motor and have an output of 120v.


Useful terms:
Energy - The stuff that makes stuff happen. It can't be created or detroyed, only changed between forms. (This is the extent of our knowledge on the nature of energy.) Measured in Joules.
Power - The rate of energy transfer given time. Measured in Watts.

You can't just use gears to create energy out of thin air, @weirdlike. When the gear you input energy through is larger than the output gear, more energy must be used to turn the input gear. Conversely, if the input gear is smaller than the output gear, less energy is required to turn the input gear. You get the same energy in as you get out; but a high gear requires more power
 

Posted Jul 23, '14 at 8:09pm

weirdlike

weirdlike

1,065 posts

Moderator

When the gear you input energy through is larger than the output gear, more energy must be used to turn the input gear. Conversely, if the input gear is smaller than the output gear, less energy is required to turn the input gear. You get the same energy in as you get out; but a high gear requires more power


If this were true then why would there be "5 speed" gears if the collective energy is the same hmm... O.o

A 250cc motorbike can only produce 50 horsepower (average) yet it can reach a top speed of 100mph (average). How is this possible? It has to do with reaching a comfortable speed, then switching gears to move faster. The output of the motor is the same amount of energy in all gears, it does not change.
 

Posted Jul 23, '14 at 9:20pm

SportShark

SportShark

1,112 posts

This might be a bit off-topic, but I hope that the future of energy doesn't include dumping millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere else for that matter.
Thank you very much, BP & Friends.

 

Posted Jul 24, '14 at 12:56am

FishPreferred

FishPreferred

2,097 posts

I put the cons first because I believe you are more interested in why Thorium is not a feasibly safer and more efficient fuel source. I respect that you believe that, and you may even be right. This is a discussion thread, and you do raise some good points. There are pros and cons to virtually everything.


Yet you have only managed to produce one pro for thorium in practical applications: It is extracted as a pure single isotope. Everything else you mentioned only detracts from its usefulness.

A 250cc motorbike can only produce 50 horsepower (average) yet it can reach a top speed of 100mph (average). How is this possible? It has to do with reaching a comfortable speed, then switching gears to move faster. The output of the motor is the same amount of energy in all gears, it does not change.


Power is determined by the rate of acceleration, not the speed. A low power vehicle is simply one which requires more time to accelerate to the desired speed.
 

Posted Jul 24, '14 at 2:20am

Kasic

Kasic

5,746 posts

Is this supposed to be a joke thread? I'm seeing a few people acting serious and a few others saying things that appear (I hope) to be in jest. In either case, the majority of what's been said here is nonsense.

 

Posted Jul 24, '14 at 5:38am

09philj

09philj

2,585 posts

If this were true then why would there be "5 speed" gears if the collective energy is the same hmm... O.o

A 250cc motorbike can only produce 50 horsepower (average) yet it can reach a top speed of 100mph (average). How is this possible? It has to do with reaching a comfortable speed, then switching gears to move faster. The output of the motor is the same amount of energy in all gears, it does not change.


@weirdlike Imagine you have a bicycle. In both gear one and gear six, transferring the same amount of energy to the pedals will result in the same amount of energy going to the wheels. However, gear six operates at a higher power than gear one; more energy is transferred in a given time using it. (Yay GCSE physics!)
 

Posted Jul 24, '14 at 10:26am

weirdlike

weirdlike

1,065 posts

Moderator

Nope, if that were true everyone would ride their bikes in the highest gear, But they don't. because the initial take off would require "much more energy". Which is why they start at the lowest gear then switch as they speed up. Why don't you try jumping in your car and start off in 5th gear. It would be a very slow take off.

 

Posted Jul 24, '14 at 10:47am

09philj

09philj

2,585 posts

Nope, if that were true everyone would ride their bikes in the highest gear, But they don't. because the initial take off would require "much more energy". Which is why they start at the lowest gear then switch as they speed up. Why don't you try jumping in your car and start off in 5th gear. It would be a very slow take off.


@weirdlike

Starting to pedal on a bicycle from a stationary position is harder in a higher gear than a lower gear, as more energy must be transferred to meet the power requirements of the higher gearing than the lower gearing. Once the bicycle is accelerating, however, it will gain momentum, meaning that once you switch to a higher gear, the acceleration you must cause to occur to the bike is lower.
 

Posted Jul 24, '14 at 11:07am

weirdlike

weirdlike

1,065 posts

Moderator

Exactly! The reason for the gears is to put less energy (in a lower gear) until the gradual buildup of momentum then switch gears to maintain the energy output of the rider while increasing speed. The rider does not need to release any extra energy.

 
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