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  1. #21

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    For about a month or so...
    I've been preoccupied with what it would take to make a Moore's Law like exponential decrease in energy cost.

    Unfortunately, I have been too busy with work and school to give it the serious study it needs. It just nags at me.


    I read this a year ago, and it has slowyly moved to the forefront of my thinking.

    For years, solar cell makers have made slow improvements in their products. Now, photovoltaic (PV) suppliers are not exactly moving at the pace of Moore's Law, but they are working hard to boost the efficiency of their products while also bringing down the overall costs.

    Over time, suppliers of solar cells could be following Moore's Law to bring the technology into the mainstream. "PV watts have not come down like transistors," said Richard Swanson, president and CTO for solar-cell maker SunPower Corp. "But solar will reach price parity with the current electricity grid within the next 5-to-10 years."

    Suppliers of solar cells are making improvements on several fronts to boost the price-per-watt of the technology, which is twice as expensive as the current electricity grid today.

    First, solar-cell makers are pushing thin-film feature sizes from 350 to 220 microns. The eventual target among vendors is 100µm, he said.

    Vendors are also looking to boost cell efficiency from about 14 percent now to 20 percent by 2012, he said.

    Solar-cell providers are also in production or building next-generation 150- and 200-mm factories, which cost about $100 million. These factories are highly-automated "autolines" that produce from 200- to 500-megawatts per year, Swanson said.

    Each factory could produce 70-to-180 million wafers a year, or roughly 8,000-to-20,000 wafers per hour. The capital cost for a solar-cell plant is projected to be around 50 cents-per-watt, although the industry is attempting to spend "half of that," he said.

    - Mark LaPedus
    EE Times
    It just seems sad. The metric is $/MW. What would it take to bring it down exponentially? I need to be relaxed to brainstorm well, and that hasn't happened in a while. No need for it to be solar power.

    The main think I am looking for, is a way to tie it to a process that makes things exponentially reduce the marginal cost of power.

    Failing that, how would one exponentially increase the supply of energy at fixed costs?

    Failing that, how would one exponentially decrease the demand for energy?

    We have to contend with this:

    What problems occupy your mind?-world_energy_consumption-gif
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    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #22
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    How, with a threat system in guild wars, to handle Multiple target damage vs. single target damage in terms of threat caused. (See this threat for what I am thinking of.

    Which assassin dagger skills I could get rid of and not cause too much trouble with guild wars.

    Whether human population movements could be modeled in a similar way as diffusion or heat flow. (I'm not really thinking about this in detail, but it's a thought that occurred to me recently.)

    How to spend less than $50 on groceries but still get a good amount of food that I like.

    Some other various combinations of math/physical science and social sciences (Sort of like the "population movement/diffusion" one above.) that pop into my head occasionally.

  3. #23
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Sometimes it's "how to get as much work done in as short a time as possible, leaving the maximum time for exploration and travelling", which ties into "how to get someone to babysit without having to develop some kind of bonding-type relationship with them".
    Mostly this.

  4. #24
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    What idiotic attempt will I make today to ward off boredom?
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

    INFP, 6w7, IEI

    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

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  5. #25
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    What idiotic attempt will I make today to ward off boredom?
    Haha, yeah! I must know you irl.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  6. #26
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    Haha, yeah! I must know you irl.
    LOL, wrong country ^_^
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

    INFP, 6w7, IEI

    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #27
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Based on the data, do you feel that this is most likely to be the problem/solution? Do you believe you can convince them to let you create test groups to study the problem/implications before implementing anything more widely? That would be best.
    I probably can't - but I wanted to solve the problem for myself.

    See, the problem here is political more than anything else. I don't have the power to make the proposal in the first place. The interesting thing is that this is how I would manage a company. I'm heavily "reality" based and work from objective viewpoints. What grabs my attention are problems that need to be reality based because the problem is based upon "gut" feelings.

    So the real issue was how to interpret the data to solve the problem... that's not something I can solve without spending hundreds of hours and so I can't really solve it in the first place.

    I think we talked about this before too - the reason why checkers no longer means anything to me is because it was "solved". I want to find the solution to a problem. The problem doesn't interest me - rules, situations... it's the start. I don't play for fun and I don't work problems for fun. I work for the solution and take the most direct way there possible. So any problem that is heavily based in a "reality" solution grabs my attention and... well... won't let go.

    The reason why I can't let go of this one is because as much as I can design the first step, I can't design the next steps (ie: is an experiment needed? Is the data sufficient?) without going through the first step, something that would take a huge amount of time and is probably outside my abilities to start with.

    Where's Levitt when you need him?

  8. #28
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I probably can't - but I wanted to solve the problem for myself.

    See, the problem here is political more than anything else. I don't have the power to make the proposal in the first place. The interesting thing is that this is how I would manage a company. I'm heavily "reality" based and work from objective viewpoints. What grabs my attention are problems that need to be reality based because the problem is based upon "gut" feelings.

    So the real issue was how to interpret the data to solve the problem... that's not something I can solve without spending hundreds of hours and so I can't really solve it in the first place.

    I think we talked about this before too - the reason why checkers no longer means anything to me is because it was "solved". I want to find the solution to a problem. The problem doesn't interest me - rules, situations... it's the start. I don't play for fun and I don't work problems for fun. I work for the solution and take the most direct way there possible. So any problem that is heavily based in a "reality" solution grabs my attention and... well... won't let go.

    The reason why I can't let go of this one is because as much as I can design the first step, I can't design the next steps (ie: is an experiment needed? Is the data sufficient?) without going through the first step, something that would take a huge amount of time and is probably outside my abilities to start with.

    Where's Levitt when you need him?
    Do you admit, then, that in this case you can't actually know what the best solution is until the next step is made, and thus you personally can't solve the problem until the company in question does something, be it run experiments and cut certain programs, raise standards for workers, or something else altogether?

  9. #29
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Do you admit, then, that in this case you can't actually know what the best solution is until the next step is made, and thus you personally can't solve the problem until the company in question does something, be it run experiments and cut certain programs, raise standards for workers, or something else altogether?
    Sort of. Instead of the bolded part, it's more that I can't solve the first step until I sit down for a very very long time and work through the data to determine if it can be solved with just that data, or if I need further data and experiments after processing the information.

    ie: Is there sufficient data to come to a conclusion, or is it insufficient?

    My problem isn't in the solution - the eventual goal is a solution - the problem is in how to work with the data to reach the end of the first step. How do I determine what the second step should be? That's what consumes me. I'm building a step by step guide and creating the conditions that would be required in order to justify the second step.

  10. #30
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    oh- now after reading what other people spend time thinking about I feel dumb!
    Sample of what occupies my mind-
    What will I make for dinner?
    Why do red peppers, yellow peppers and orange peppers cook differently?
    What would a hybrid between a grasshopper and white russian be like?
    Why is that bitch sitting so close to me when I'm trying to make it obvious by body language that she's invading my personal space?
    Are bitter almonds related to almonds? Will eating this bag of almonds kill me?

    yeah- I guess I don't sound too intellectual!

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