The Energy Matrix
A Science Ebook e-zine  Fall 2008 Edition
 ( Winter 2007 SubWeb)


This e-zine will examine all alternative energy technology and new energy conservation systems.

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Water Falls

Two large ducts carry some of the water from this river to a generating plant near base of fall.  When the river is near flood stage most of the water goes over the fall and the energy is dissipated.  Some estimate that the United States is only exploiting a fraction of its potential hydro-electric 
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Elimination of the burning of Diesel and Propane for heating could result as part expanded Natural Gas Network.

Mr. Pickens and some natural gas suppliers have suggested that utilities stop burning natural gas and substitute green solar and wind power for electricity production.  The gas could then  be compressed and used to fuel trucks and cars.  Thank God someone with capital is developing a serious green energy policy.

Natural gas vehicles will require an expanded nationwide gas distribution system. The US already has an extensive natural gas pipeline.  One of my first memories from my childhood in New York City was that we got gas for our refrigerator and stove from a Texas pipeline. We used coal for hot water and heat.  My point is that the technology to ship gas long distances existed over sixty years ago.  So expanding the current pipeline grid to reach every corner of the country, so that their are no dead zones where natural gas powered vehicles will find themselves without gas, is possible.  However, the expansion of gas pipelines will be a major national project. 

I feel that the this expansion should should include service to those who are presently using diesel or propane to heat their homes.  This would free up diesel and propane for use by vehicles that already exist.  Many gas stations already provide propane service.



Cheap Oil, Oct.19,2008 

Bad news for clean alternative energy, Oil drops to about $70 a barrel. If your trying to sell or develop alternative energy, cheap oil is bad news, because it undercuts alternative products.
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Cogeneration growing. 

Central heating systems date back to the days of DC power generation in lower Manhattan during the Edison/Telsa Era. High Pressure Steam Plants provided steam
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Heat Storage 

Heat storage are an important  element of solar power systems.  Power plants that use concentrated solar heat to generate steam to drive turbine driven electric generators, require heat storage to maintain steady power output. See reference article, Click here Heat stored in super heated water can provide steam to meet sudden changes in load.   
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Index for all Editions


Combined Heat & Power (CHP) 

DC Power Grid

District Cooling

Ethanol Viability

Hybrid Cars

Ice made with Coal

Ice Energy Density versus Battery

Heat Storage


Nuclear Energy

Solar Heat Storage in CO2

Solar Heat Storage in Water

Storing Carbon Dioxide

Stoves - Corn Burning

Stoves - Wood Pellet Burning

Stoves - Coal Burning

Tar Sand Oil


Yucca Mountain











resources.  Here the scenic value of the waterfall exceeds the value of the lost electricity.  

Physics of Waterfall: At  top, water has high potential energy due to its height.  At  bottom,  potential energy is zero, and kinetic energy and momentum of water is high due to velocity of the water.  In theory turbines placed inline with water stream could absorb the water's momentum and drive a generator.  Of course it be difficult to build and suspend these turbine in water falls.  

Consider old fashioned water wheels ( see Water Wheels, Click Here)  Water wheels about ten foot in diameter could be placed at base of waterfall without destroying scenic quality of waterfall. AS a matter of fact a waterwheel of less than 5 meters diameter, would be totally obscured by the mist generated by falling water. 

Snoqualmie Falls, WA 

Of course an old fashioned  waterwheel  would be smashed to pieces if it tried to capture the kinetic energy of this waterfall.  Capturing the energy from a rivers vertical velocity might not be practical today (Who knows what type of turbine will be invented 20 years from now?).  It might be better to turn waterfalls off late at night until late morning and divert all water through turbines when no one is looking.  I haven't seen any waterfalls shut down for power generation.  I have seen cases where all but a trickle of a waterfall was diverted for agriculture. (See shut off waterfall, Snake River, Idaho )

Snake River, Idaho
(Turned off waterfall)


Capturing the kinetic energy of horizontals flows of rivers or tides is coming of age. See East River Strong Tides Power Submerged Turbines.


See River Movie(1 MB)

Looking at above picture of Cedar river on its way to Seattle's Elliot Bay, one might consider it a candidate for small turbines. However, in the summer time the turbines would be standing in the air. See picture below of same river. Turbines could be re- 
moved during dry seasons when river is used for rafting and inner tubing and reinstalled prior to the rainy season. An hydraulic system of energy transfer would be more effective than the mechanical transfer method used in New York's east river.  This would require a turbine/ pump combination.  A track hoe could easily bury a pipe a couple of feet below the river. Bulkheads with mounting helo-coils and a  single high pressure line connection could be placed flush with the river bed.  Every few miles the high pressure water pipe could be routed to a turbine/generator to produce electric power.

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Note:  I selected this river a candidate for turbines, because I had some pictures handy. is a one man operation not AOL.  See all my eBooks and Webs, Click Here!




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Other Editions

Spring 2007 Ed.

  Summer 2007 Ed

  Fall 2007 Ed.

 Winter 2008 Ed.

  Spring 2008 Ed.

  Summer 2008 Ed



What is the Matrix?

I am beginning this e-zine with a list of alternative energy technologies. These will create the vertical axis of the matrix.  It will be become apparent that most of these technologies can be combined to form various energy systems. For example solar energy could be combined with heat storage technology, or it could be combined with battery technology. Thus must technologies must also be listed on a horizontal axis if all possible energy systems are to be included in the array.  The reason so many systems need to be defined and eventually computer modeled is so that only the best can be selected.  Eventually our energy department will have to calculate the best approach to deal with our future energy needs.

In the future we will consider questions such as "Is corn a better solar collector than silicon?"


Nuclear Energy and HVDC

The safety of nuclear energy is hotly contested in the US.  High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission will not effect nuclear plant safety.  It could make worst case scenario nuclear accidents economic impact less severe. HVDC 
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Practical Electric Cars  by 2010

By 2010,Japan will have electric cars  with 50 mile range and capability of being recharged in 15 minutes.  The cars will use lithium battery packs that will last 
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Last updated: January 24, 2012.