Link to world natural gas

Link to world oil supplies


Charlie survives thanks to solar energy. The sun warms his poorly insulated feet, allowing him to get enough rest to go hunting for food again.

Solar Energy

Solar energy is converted through two very different techniques to create electricity,either by using Solar cells (photovoltaic cells), or by concentrating the sun's energy enough to heat a fluid which then produces steam from heating water. These are both relatively easy techniques as Solar cells can now be mass produced which are 15% efficient, and solar concentrators needed to produce electricity only need to reach hundreds of degrees. However, if we want to make fuels, concentrating the sun's energy to create a very high temperatures, the order of 1000 C, is required. For this purpose only the solar dish and solar tower configurations are possible devices.

More to come later.

Solar cells (PV)

Solar cells are becoming a viable electricity source for many homes and businesses. This electricity would be a green way to charge a plug-in vehicle.

Concentrated solar power (CSP)

Both electricity and fuels can be made from CSP. Below we show a huge array of mirrors that in are focused on the tower (lower right) in Spain. The concentrated solar energy heats water into steam which turns a steam turbine, which generates electricity.

Below we see the most popular form of solar collector, parabolic mirrors that focus the sun's energy onto tube in the foreground through which a fluid flows. The fluid is heated, and in turn heats water to again produce steam, which as above turns a steam generator and generates electricity.

The solar dish below enables enough solar energy to be concentrated onto a small area so that temperatures are raised high enough to create syngas(a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide) from methane and carbon dioxide, or methane and water, without the need of catalysts. The syngas can be used to make methanol fuel. One key to this process is that equal quantities of methane and carbon dioxide are needed as inputs. Thus, it is a process which uses carbon dioxide in the production of useful fuels. Of course bio-gas can also be used.

Of course one dish can be replicated as many times as needed.