Last Night, I Thought About How to Save the Planet

Kumar Thangudu

July 04, 2015

Last Night, I Thought About How to Save the Planet

Last night, I tried contemplating how to save the planet. In more elaborate terms, the world is basically being destroyed environmentally and this afflicts everything.

With a huge body of evidence, the only thing in the world that is becoming significantly worse is our environment. Almost all other things on a macro scale have become better.(Source:

It seems that the only real long term solution is to adopt technologies and behaviors that enable us to want and consume less. Technologies like OhmConnect are a prime example.

The Metrics of Hydrogen Powered Cars

Compressed H2 Gas = 4.94 KWh/Gallon
Liquid Hydrogen = 10.62 KWh/Gallon
Gasoline = 36.38 KWh/Gallon

Recharging time + nightmare + risk of explosion+ the cost of doing electrolysis is very high.

Electrolysis takes serious energy.

‘The electrolysis of one mole of water produces a mole of hydrogen gas and a half-mole of oxygen gas in their normal diatomic forms.’


Wind Turbines

On/off cycling basically makes the efficiency of these mesmerizing dutch devices below break even. The cost to build and maintain wind farms is massive.

Wind Turbines present a tricky situation. This is a powercurve for a 1 kW turbine, the kind you see mounted on many commercial and residential facilities.

What this chart essentially shows is that a wind speed of 11 meters/second produces 1kW as designed. The problem is that 11 meters/second is 25 MPH winds. 25 MPH winds can knock down most things.


Hydroelectric Power

Hydroelectric damages silt depositing and adversely affects downstream agriculture and biodiversity.

Charging Time Notes

Gasoline transfers energy over 500x faster than Tesla Charging.

Solar Power

Solar Power just buys us a bit of time, but still kills us because the dependency is the need for Galvanic electrochemical batteries.

This is just a 24 hour cycle, but illustrates the basic concept of solar power not being efficient enough for the reality of current day energy consumption.

In Germany, solar output doesn’t quite synchronize well with the reality of power demand. Energy often has to be ‘piped in.’

Solar Vs. Oil Vs. Wind

Ryan Carlyle on Quora breaks it down best.

Let me break down some numbers.

World oil production was 82 million barrels per day in 2010 [8]. At roughly 6 gigajoules per barrel, that’s about 5.7 terawatts of power production.

World wind power production in 2010 was 0.3 petawatt-hours [9]. Averaged over a year, that’s about 34 gigawatts.

World solar power production in 2010 was 0.03 petawatt-hours [9]. Averaged over a year, that’s about 3.4 gigawatts.


Battery Issues

Galvanic batteries(Li-Ion, NiCad, NiMH) just don’t cut it in terms of the energy to mass ratio required for mass transportation. Some people are making strong bets on super-capacitors. I hope they work out.

Galvanic batteries in today’s form clearly work for large scale consumer transportation. The extent to which the creation of these batteries have an impact on the environment is unclear at the moment.

I have no doubt Tesla will be globally successful, but the reality is that for the battery system to work on a humanity scale, I’m willing to bet that we might need double the capacity at less than 1/10th of current costs. (My math might be ungepatched here, but you get the basic idea.)

The volumetric energy density of galvanic batteries seemingly peaks at 600 Wh/l and Lithium is the lightest electrochemical battery fodder.

Can we push supercapacitors to ridiculous thresholds? maybe….

Natural Gas

Natural gas extraction is loaded with environmental issues and concerns. As well, the waste water disposal creates seismic issues for both oil and natural gas.

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