Presentation on theme: "Designing the Future San Jose State Engineering Ron Swenson September 11, 2007 www.ecotopia.com/workshops."— Presentation transcript:
Designing the Future San Jose State Engineering Ron Swenson September 11, 2007
Each Generation’s Challenges My grandparents and parents faced the Great Depression and World War II. My generation struggled with Civil Rights, Vietnam, the Cold War and Prosperity at the Third World’s Expense. Your generation will meet the 21st century’s twin challenges of Global Warming (known but out in the future) and Peak Oil (little known but imminent).
Global Warming Fires in Congo & Angola
Two Ways to Respond… Germany, Japan [lost WWII] –Solar Energy –Hybrid Vehicles USA [losing the war against Nature] –Attack Iraq –Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR oil) –25 x ‘25 … the rape of Soil and Ancient Water cloaked with environmental rhetoric
Which way will prevail? “The American way of life is not negotiable.” [G H W Bush, 1992] Check with the people of New Orleans for more more details …. Can we change course in time to avoid catastrophe?
Swenson´s Law To avoid deprivation resulting from the exhaustion of non- renewable resources, humanity must employ conservation and renewable resource substitutes sufficient to match depletion.
Bucky Fuller “More with Less” 1966 at SJS
Hermann Scheer “Solar technologies are … potentially the most economic solution.” 2004
Richard Smalley “Think TeraWatts” 2004 Smalley.Rice.edu → Our Energy Challenge
We’ve gotta lotta work to do… Are you up for it? You will learn to observe natural phenomena and model systems’ performance before systems are built. But will you learn about the global challenges and how to deal with them in class? Your environment is much too comfortable to abandon old habits. So how will you get ready for the coming changes?
So you’re gonna be an engineer? What’s the point? What to do in school? What will you have that others won’t? Can you predict the future?
What to do? Get busy and build yourself a good crap detector. There’s plenty of it out there. You will need to see it for what it is. Learn to track down the facts, analyze the problem and defend your conclusions. Team up with others. Venture capital is team sport. So is engineering.
What do the “experts” say? “Active solar power... works, though not nearly as well as fossil fuel… “Alternative energy sources... are … implausible … without the subsidy of oil. The only remaining alternative is nuclear energy.” James Howard Kunstler
Total Area Required for a PV Power Plant to Produce the Total US Electrical Demand
Global Solar Energy Balance Solar Energy Input (TeraWatts)178,000 Reflected to Space Immediately53,000 Absorbed and Then Reflected as Heat82,000 Used to Evaporate Water (Weather)40,000 Captured by Plant Photosynthesis100 Total Energy Used by Human Society 13 Total Energy Used by US Society2.5 Total Human Food Energy 0.6
Getting down to cases Each of us must find our place in the scheme of things. It’s not what’s important. It’s what’s important to you. For me, the challenge is kicking the oil habit. The solution comes up every morning. So that’s what I’m going to talk about.
How to Predict the Future? The best way to predict the future is to design it. [Alan Kayes] Point of view is worth 80 IQ points. It’s how you look at the problem. You got to stick to one thing and then drive it hard. [Carl N. Swenson]
Thermodynamics vs. Economics Policy can´t defeat Mother Nature. … in the long run … Thermo-dynamics wins!
Consumer Audits Refrigerators Televisions Water Pumps Lighting Radios Kitchen Appliances Hot Water Heaters Public Outreach: Television, Radio, Community Presentations, Reports Presentation to International and National Stakeholders
Sustainable Transportation Not cars Not airplanes Walking, Horses, Bikes, Sailboats … and Podcars
Kiteship From Guinness: "A 420 sq meter (4,521 sq ft) traction kite manufactured by KiteShip (USA) was used to propel an 8.5 tonne (18,740 lb) yacht near Sydney in 6 December, 2004, the largest kite ever used to pull a vehicle of any kind."
Beating oil addiction with fraud New Generation Vehicle (Clinton) Hydrogen Highway (Schwarzenegger) Cellulosic Ethanol (G W Bush)
white How we use energy
So what about Hydrogen? Am I missing something?! Energy Return on Energy Invested < ½
So what about Corn Cars & Bean Buses?
So what are we going to do? Basky
The All-New DonCar!
Compare PV to Biofuels
Global Solar Energy Balance Sunlight is sufficient Solar Energy Input (TeraWatts)178,000 Reflected to Space Immediately53,000 Absorbed and Then Reflected as Heat82,000 Used to Evaporate Water (Weather)40,000 Captured by Plant Photosynthesis100 Total Energy Used by Human Society 13 Total Energy Used by US Society2.5 Total Human Food Energy 0.6
Freeway at Capacity
Solar on Rail SolarEvolution
120,000 TW of solar energy received by the Earth
Thermodynamics of PV EROI: 5 years Life: 50 years
Those who make it happen! Those who watch it happen. Those who wonder what happened? Three Kinds of People