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Jason Joy

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Artificial dam reservoirs for eco-friendly energy supply

In the mountains the electrical energy is mostly supplied by dam reservoirs. So why dont build artificial dam reservoirs in flat countries? it would be a high initial investment like a nuclear reactor, except that no danger and toxic waste is created, which will cost a lot of money in the next decades.
additionally, these artificial hills could be a regeneration area for families, a biotopic area for animals and plants.
These artificial dam reservoirs could also be used as a energy storage (pumped storage power station) for highly fluctuating energy sources like wind and solar (storing the energy for the night / winter).
another idea: every house has his own energy hill. or use the house, construct them strong or make a framework and put a tank on top of the houses to collect water and create electricity with small generators. a network / smart grid could be build where electricity is distributed / sold / and stored (storage of the private house could be sold like data storage today in the cloud / ebay for energy storage) automatically according to the actual demand.

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    Jan 5 2012: skyscrapers are the mountains of our modern world, additionally to the accumulated area of many scyscrapers in big cities, they offer a considerable height, so more energy can produced with generators in tubes going down the building (eg 4 tubes for every corner). i think a considerable amount of energy could be produced, which could be used directly for the building (illumination, hvac...)
    the water could be used for watering plants and therefor be a part of the dream of a Green City.

    also on every floor, around the building, trenches could be installed that collect water and transport it with pipes to a tank in the middle of the building. so more water can be stored, thus more electricity can be produced.

    probably this water tank in the middle of the building, designed correctly, could be used for stabilizing skyscrapers during earthquakes thanks to the inertia of water?
  • Jan 4 2012: Hi Jason,

    You may be underestimating the amount of water that you'd need. If I remember my physics right, a kilogram of water falling for 10 meters releases about 100 joules of energy. That will only power a 100w light bulb for 1 second. Meanng that I have to pump an awful lot of water, up a pretty big hill, to run my 4Kw oven for the hour it takes to bake a cake.

    The places where I've seen this proposed for energy storage talk of pumping huge amounts of water up into a reservoir several hundreds of meters above the pumping station. A difficult thing to do in the flatlands.

    Best wishes
    Doug Bell
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    Jan 4 2012: it would not take any energy if you collect the raining water with a heightened tank. the sun provides the energy, turning water in vapor and therefor creating position energy
  • Jan 4 2012: All renewable energy possibilities need to be examined. And I personally suspect that our solutions will not be one magic bullet, but the true commitment to using many different types of alternative energies to supplant fossil fuels. Having said that, all energy sources must be reviewed from the REOI principle or REOEI. Return energy on investment or return energy on energy investment. Water is a precious commodity, rare in many places. Messing with its natural flows in large ways such as hydro-electric dams can be devastating to the ecology. On our own property we looked into this as we have water, but it needs to be pumped up to run a water wheel which creates less energy than it takes.... Good ideas, like I said look for energy return.