Brainy Quote of the Day

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Energy of Things...

Source: Polywell Nuclear Fusion
"Thermodynamics is a branch of physics which deals with the energy and work of a system. It was born in the 19th century as scientists were first discovering how to build and operate steam engines. Thermodynamics deals only with the large scale response of a system which we can observe and measure in experiments. Small scale gas interactions are described by the kinetic theory of gases. The methods complement each other; some principles are more easily understood in terms of thermodynamics and some principles are more easily explained by kinetic theory." Source: NASA

Essentially, that is what these two articles allude to: the system is not a single engine per se, but now all our interconnected devices (our coming like a freight train Internet of Things) that by themselves are probably benign. Collectively however, they're putting a load on our power grids like no engine before it. Note Susanne Jacobs in Technology Review:

Between computers, smartphones, tablets, wearables, and the Internet of things, the number of networked devices around the world is growing rapidly, and all those devices need energy, even if they’re not doing anything. That could be a problem.

A new report from the International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring reliable and clean energy, says that the electricity demand of networked devices around the world in 2008—420 terawatt-hours—was equal to that of France; in 2013 the demand surpassed that of Canada, reaching 616 terawatt-hours. By 2025, the report projects, networked devices will account for 6 percent of global electricity demand at 1,140 terawatt-hours. As much as 80 percent of that demand will be used just to maintain a network connection, keeping devices ready and waiting.

Let's put this in perspectives:

Your average home or apartment consumed 90 million BTUs (British Thermal Units) in 2009, according to the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) report. Roughly, that's 10273.972602739726027397260273973 BTU/hr ~ 10,274, or 3011.0121732 Watts. For a year, that comes to 26,376,466.637232 Watts/Year. Divide that into 15 terrawatts and it yields 568688.8 "years" of energy consumption. Mind you, that's just for "ONE" house only on Earth. Apparently, 1.6 billion human souls live in the 21st century without electricity.

A terrawatt = 1012 Watts = 1,000,000,000,000 or a trillion watts. Your average home is quickly becoming minuscule in comparison to the demands of the tech we all crave. Without embracing this need posed by the technology and more efficient, cleaner means to produce and deliver energy to its end-users, I can only envision rolling blackouts for our lack of vision and avarice. I say that for as energy delivery becomes cleaner, cheaper and more efficient, structures used to making their wealth on scarcity will inevitably try to block it out of self-preservation, resulting in the quickest way to devalue the world economy in human history; making their wealth meaningless in the long run.

"If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." Henry Ford

"We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools." Martin Luther King

1 comment:

  1. So now do we have to write GRE or only GRE subject test (Math) or both if we want to join a grad college or they are all just moot now ?