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Can musclepower be used to improve energy-generation?

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What about the question: Can musclepower be used to improve energy-generation?

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The question seems to vague to fully answer.  If you dig a hole with a shovel it is cheaper than renting a backhoe, but it will take lots more time?

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Humans are powered by food, and as a result are incredibly inefficient sources of power. Much energy is wasted in obtaining food, especially if you are not following a vegetarian menu

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4 hours ago, drumbo said:

The best way to generate energy is to burn fossil fuels.

Define “best”

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6 hours ago, swansont said:

Define “best”

The ideal fuel should be:

  • widely available
  • safe to use by a layman
  • cheap
  • portable
  • low in the production of toxic waste as a byproduct
  • high in potential energy that can be released per unit mass

Fossil fuels satisfy all of these requirement like no other fuel does. Fossil are a dream, they are perfect. God must have put it here for us to use, how else can you explain its perfection?

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5 minutes ago, drumbo said:

Fossil fuels satisfy all of these requirement like no other fuel does. Fossil are a dream, they are perfect. God must have put it here for us to use, how else can you explain its perfection?

Imagine that... 🙄

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14 hours ago, drumbo said:

Fossil fuels satisfy all of these requirement like no other fuel does. Fossil are a dream, they are perfect. God must have put it here for us to use, how else can you explain its perfection?

Nonsense..

Coal is the remains of plants growing hundreds of millions of years ago.

Oil is the remains of animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago.

They lived here on the Earth, died, and their remains drowned in the muds, drowned in the swamps etc. They were covered by new layers of remains and sand, pressed by them, decomposed, released methane gas. High pressure and time turned them to coal, oil and gas. They are your prehistoric relatives.

Edited by Sensei

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On 9/12/2020 at 1:30 PM, drumbo said:

The ideal fuel should be:

  • widely available
  • safe to use by a layman
  • cheap
  • portable
  • low in the production of toxic waste as a byproduct
  • high in potential energy that can be released per unit mass

Fossil fuels satisfy all of these requirement like no other fuel does. Fossil are a dream, they are perfect. God must have put it here for us to use, how else can you explain its perfection?

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that, CO2 reproduction notwithstanding, comes close in some respects to each of your bullet points,

But even the best coal does not, at least for most of them..

On 9/12/2020 at 1:30 PM, drumbo said:

 Fossil are a dream, they are perfect. God must have put it here for us to use, how else can you explain its perfection?

Assuming there is a God...God probably just cringed*...

*(but They knew They would...so no biggie)

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On 9/11/2020 at 10:44 PM, Hello2 said:

What about the question: Can musclepower be used to improve energy-generation?

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We live in a time that increasing climatechanges because of CO2-emissions should worry everybody,  while there is little attention in the news for energy-generation by musclepower.

People should be aware that saving energy to save the climate became more a necessity, and while there are several examples of energy-generation by musclepower,  maybe it is a good idea to do more  with such examples?

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Edited by Hello2

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6 hours ago, Hello2 said:

We live in a time that increasing climatechanges because of CO2-emissions should worry everybody,  while there is little attention in the news for energy-generation by musclepower.

People should be aware that saving energy to save the climate became more a necessity, and while there are several examples of energy-generation by musclepower,  maybe it is a good idea to do more  with such examples?

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Is there a point to simply re-posting this, without regard to the previous comments?

 

Can you discuss the energy demands of human-powered devices at all?

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Here are some numbers. A calorie of food is actually a kilocalorie of energy, and there are 4.18 J per calorie. But the human body is only around 25% efficient at converting food to work (the rest is shed as heat), so a calorie consumed gets you about a joule of work. You have a baseline of consumption required just to breath have your heart pump, and move around a bit. Any work extracted has to be on top of that.

600 Calories consumed ( a moderately-sized meal; a Big Mac with a few french fries) allow one to output about 600 kJ of mechanical work. You could imagine getting on a stationary bicycle and doing work at a rate of 100W (enough to light up a few light bulbs — back in the day this would be a single incandescent bulb, but we have more efficient lights now), so you'd be doing this for 100 minutes. That's a pretty good workout. But if we think in terms of usable electric power, 1 kWh is 3600 kJ (1 kJ/s *3600 s), and you've only produced 1/6 of that. It's not a lot of energy. You might pay $0.15 for a kWh of electricity, but you paid several dollars for that Big Mac, and if you want to produce a kWh  you have to do that for 10 hours (600 minutes)

It's not economically feasible, and just not possible. The above is just to keep a few lights on. How many people to run a whole household? The US average household power consumption is around 29 kWh each day, You'd need multiple people on bikes, doing this in shifts. We use more power than we could generate on our own.  The CO2 analysis (getting that food made and delivered) would be more bad news, but it's going to be far cheaper to use other energy conversion methods and deal with the CO2 than to use human power.

Thousands of years ago we got away from human power for a reason — animals generate more power, and machines generate even more. You can't have anything like a modern lifestyle using human power.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 9/12/2020 at 6:44 AM, Hello2 said:

What about the question: Can musclepower be used to improve energy-generation?

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I'm not sure tree climbing machinery is a major user of energy. Using bicycles more conventionally isn't so much significant for direct energy generation as significant for avoided generation elsewhere, in this case motor vehicle energy use. It is genuinely significant in that regard. Tends to be good for the people using them, so long as car drivers don't run over them.

On 9/13/2020 at 2:30 AM, drumbo said:

Fossil are a dream, they are perfect. God must have put it here for us to use, how else can you explain its perfection?

Ancient dead stuff from the deep bowels of the Earth, that burns with a foul brimstone stench - and with poisonous fumes, that adds  about 100x more heat to the world at large when mixed in atmosphere than the "useful" energy produced. I would argue that is making the world more Hellish and the idea that we got it all as a gift from God - that it is a perfect and absolute Good, and comes with no Catch - is so wrong that it is hard to comprehend how religious leaders could fall for it. Temptation from below, not manna from above IMO.

Rather than "low" in toxic waste, it makes vast amounts of poisonous fly ash besides the CO2 that is our single biggest toxic waste stream, exceeding all other waste (5 times over). "Luckily" it is invisible and can be diluted in atmosphere... where it can go on to add that extra heat. According to an odd fellow with burning eyes and growths that looked like horns growing out of his head fossil fuels are so "perfect" they can solve most human suffering without any need for humans to be "good"; there will be so much wealth left over from Greed applied ruthlessly to an abundance of Fossil Fuels that enough trickles down that all humans are raised up. Well, it can if people weren't... so greedy. Can be used for great engines of war, for smiting enemies too.

A catch? Well, sure it adds some heat to the world, but not all the navvies with all the shovels in the world could dig up enough coal to cause measurable warming! Oh, you can also use it to make machines that can dig ten thousand shovel's worth at a go. No catch, Drumbo?

Edited by Ken Fabian

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FYI drumbo is gone. There was no point in engaging, now even less.

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