[rescue] DC Voltage distro (Was:SGI Challenge L... )

Peter Corlett abuse at cabal.org.uk
Mon Sep 20 15:53:18 CDT 2004

Ethan O'Toole <ethan at 757tech.net> wrote:
> I was actually thinking if you put a couple of solar panels on the
> roof, you could charge batteries to run yard lights and a few small
> things (florescent lights if power is lost, radio, etc).

PV cells are a net energy loss once you consider the energy used in
their manufacture.

> I looked it up a while ago, given 2 or 3 of them, you can run a modern
> notebook computer. That is totally cool.

It's a fun hack to be able to get one up on the energy suppliers, but
not really a practical long-term solution to our energy problems.

Renewable sources, biodiesel and nuclear are probably the solution.
Hydrogen's a non-starter due to it being unsafe, hard to store, and
hard to use, never mind it being a net energy loss again.

Actually, reduction in use is the real solution, but that's not going
to happen until we really start to feel the pinch. Even if we get
limitless energy from a magical source, we'll just have different
problems caused by all that waste heat we can't dispose of.

The consuming desire of most human beings is deliberately to plant their whole
life in the hands of some other person. I would describe this method of
searching for happiness as immature. Development of character consists solely
in moving toward self-sufficiency.				- Quentin Crisp

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