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Fuel Cell Development: War & Espionage

 

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Zombies may be the ultimate fuel cell of the future- if we can make them safe enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are a number of different energy production and storage technologies currently available. Inverters and generators can supply macro energy. Primary and secondary batteries can supply macro energy as well as micro energy.

Fuel cells are a form of energy factory which attempt to take advantage of high density energy fuels such as alcohol or hydrocarbons. There will always be environments where high density energy will deliver longer term function or higher-level function over time than battery alternatives.

The reputed implants used by the Greys in UFO abductees would be energised by a fuel cell possibly using glucose or other biological materials as fuel. Such an environment would demand a fuel cell able to work sustainably for very long periods of time with a very low supervision.

Unfortunately, the micro engineering of fuel cells is complex.

I believe we are very proficient at this point in time in the design and production of primary and secondary batteries. However there is always room for improvement. Much of the explosion in battery power tools is based on the development of battery technology to the point where tools can deliver sustainable and realistic levels of function from a single battery. 30 years ago, battery powered hand tools barely existed.

Perhaps of most interest to me is that the key development in the usage of rechargeable batteries and hand tools is not in the technology itself. Having companies design ranges of products all using the same battery was the critical development that allowed people to wholesale become involved with these types of tools.

If every tool had an individual unique battery, resupply and maintenance of batteries is difficult. When batteries cannot be obtained, tools will need to be discarded.

It Is the social engineering aspects of battery usage, namely standardised battery production which has enabled the penetration of battery technology into common usage. Even the humble primary batteries i.e. AA, AAA, C, D have succeeded mainly because of their standardisation. The technology is the easy part. Encouraging your competitor to make batteries to the same size and standard as you do, is the hard bit.

 

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Example some science fiction of fuel cell/battery technologies:

In Alan Dean Foster‘s book: A Call To Arms of “The Damned” series we are introduced to the Amplitur enemy developing a strain of bacteria that breeds in weapon power packs. Soldiers could no longer always rely on the efficiency of their weapons. A simple strategem with profound effects on military tactics.

There is also the example of Robert Aspirin’s: The Bug Wars. The Tzen warriors routinely use radiated power sources and battery/fuel sources in their hand weapons. Discharge characteristics of a hand weapons demand that they retain function for long periods of time without recharging. The energy storage battery/fuel cell also needs to be able to recharge fully and not to lose efficiency with progressive charge/ discharge cycles.
Rahn Tzen Warrior SigmaPsiRahm

 

KinkajouKinkajou :
Other Examples From Science Fiction include:

Isaac Asimov: Foundation series. Here follows an excerpt from one of our Galactic pages. To power a personalise force shield may well require an energy density on a par with a miniature fusion reactor. Perhaps the ultimate “fuel cell”.


Hober Mallow Mayor Trader SigmaPsiHober Mallow: In my travels, I met a man called Onum Barr, a patrician of old Siwenna. When I met him he was indeed old, too old to be afraid. He lived alone on the fringe of the arable landscape with whatever books he had saved from the ruins of the city. He had nothing he feared losing, least of all the worn remnant of his life and he faced me (an intruder) without cringing.

I told him that his door was open and I was looking for Siwenna, but that my maps were old. He said my maps would have to be old indeed for star positions to be misplaced. When he apprised me of the realities of the situation, it became obvious that although the stars may not change position much, even in centuries, political boundaries are all too fluid.

He had some cynicism in believing that I was a trader. He felt that I looked more like a fighting man, especially with my hand on my gun and a scar across my jawline.

He commented on the glow of a force shield he saw surrounding me. He told me that no danger had ever threatened Siwenna from the rim of the galaxy before I came. He was not so much worried about me, but more about the prospect that were there would be more like me.

He told me that in all the history of atomics, no portable force shield had ever been invented. Force shields did exist. But they were huge lumbering powerhouses that would protect a city entire – but not one single man.

He told me that there had been stories percolating through space throughout his life. When I was young, he stated there was a small ship of strange men who did not know our customs and could not tell where they came from. They talked of magicians at the edge of the galaxy. Magicians who were cloaked in darkness. Magicians who flew unaided through the air and who weapons would not touch.

I forgot that till today. But you dispel the darkness and I don’t think my blaster, if I had one, would hurt you. So he readily could see and appreciate new technology and the embryo of a growing power / civilisation.

Energy Shield Energy Shield in Operation

The foundation at Terminus was cursed with poor physical resources. Consequently we were always forced to miniaturise and to conserve metals. This drove our technology into ever smaller pathways and to the development of many miniaturised weapons, gadgets, appliances and power systems. Technology is not a static thing.

The original mayor of Terminus when he travelled to Anacreon wore a force shield. One of the local aristocracy dared to fire upon the mayor: lighting the path to the mayor with a pale continuous beam weapon which impinged upon his force shield.

The energies were shunted harmlessly to neutralisation. Hardin at the time smiled as his force shield scarcely brightened as it absorbed the energies of the atom blast. He had overcome his foes, and the crisis was over.

When Hardin had been confronted by the finding of a first Empire derelict battle cruiser by Anacreon traders, he wasn’t worried. It was believed at the time that the ship must have been drifting in space for at least three centuries. And it was a ship. They could build on those days. Is cubic capacity was half again that of the entire Anacreonian Navy.

Its atomic blasts were capable of blowing a planet. It had a shield that would take a Q beam without working up any radiation. But the warships that the Foundation built soon after could have handled such a ship at a pinch. At that time, Anacreon did not have the technology to even repair parts of such a ship. And without atomic weapons, such ships were just picturesque and impotent ellipsoids.

Charles Stross: Neptune’s Brood/Saturn’s Children. These books highlight a civilisation of robots constructed from Mechanocytes forming marrow techne. Powering such robots requires persistent and energy dense fuel structures – perhaps the fuel cell.
SexRobotFreya SigmaPsiFreya Nakamachi- 47

Elizabeth Moon: the Vatta’s War series. One of the crux technologies the series is the development of intra-cerebral ansible. This device acts like radio and allows communication at galactic distances – in effect being a form of quantum radio transmitter/ receiver. Powering such a device requires the ultimate in fuel density and miniaturisation. A space such as the cranial vault, cannot deal with excessive heat production and is inaccessible for fuelling purposes. Even field transmission of power may have harmful effects on the brain.
Rafe Agent Rancible Tech SigmaPsiRafe

Fuel cells are really dealt with directly in many science fiction books. Too often we focus on our capabilities not on our limitations. And the need to power devices faces far too much upon our limitations. Even the failure of our fuel cells highlights our capabilities.

For example in the Terminator series of movies, one of the terminators removes its fuel cell which subsequently undergoes a nuclear detonation, highlighting its power and capabilities, not its limitations.

A.E. Van Vogt: The Weapon Shops of Isher / The Weapon Makers. These books highlight the safe use of weapons technology powered by small dense and efficient fuel cells. The weapons retain an almost a high-capacity to assess their situation and to allow for safe usage. Interestingly they can also generate a shield to protect their user.
CEO Robert Hedrock Weapon Makers SigmaPsiRobert Hedrock

In concluding, I think the ultimate fuel cell resides within the humble zombie. Zombies just keep on keeping on. If we can ever work out what powers a zombie, we would appear to have a limitless source of 50 W to 100 W output power available on tap.




What brings to mind the concept of fuel cells? What does this technology (Fuel Cells) remind me of in Brisbane?

Some examples that really spring to mind involve fireworks.
The Ekka in August has fireworks every night with laser displays as part of the show.
" River Fire" is probably the premier entertainment event for the people in around September. Good vantage points are sought after.

The best Bars in Brisbane: The Gresham, John Mills Himself, Brooklyn Standard , Canvas,
Riverbar Kitchen , Lefty's Old Time Music Hall, Coppa Spuntino, Alfred & Constance, Cobbler,

The Bowery , Gerard’s Bar, Electric Avenue, Fitz & Potts , Maker, The End, Super Whatnot,
The Walrus Club, Stoke Bar, Greaser , Elixir , Emporium Cocktail Bar, Savile Row,

Newstead Brewing Co, Byblos, Blackbird, Cardigan Bar, Junk Bar, Bean, Bar Pacino,
Death Proof, Dalgety Public House, Hope and Anchor, The APO.

The Best Restaurants in Brisbane: Go dessert / sweets crawling through the city. Visit multiple restaurants and buy a dessert / sweet in each.

 

Brisbane River Walk
Lots of Restaurants follow the Brisbane River

KinkajouKinkajou: Clever New Applications:

Fuel cells will always be important where a situation has characteristics of:

  • Independence
  • Remoteness

    Weapons generally need to be operated independently often in areas remote from power supplies. The science fiction weapon of the future namely the laser, is likely to need an energy dense fuel source capable of recurrently feeding the weapon.

    Sprites operating in remote areas such as the bottom of the ocean, high in the atmosphere or in rural or desert areas and our planet require power for their senses and their functions. They may one day be used as weapons as well.

    Remote areas ,be they deserts in rural Australia, the Antarctic or simply off the grid farmland require power to allow for comfortable human habitation and for human commercial operations.