From nuclear power plants creating waste that needs to be stored for centuries, to purpose-built solar farms taking up acres of land that could be better used for other things, there just has to be a better way. Luckily, there is. Watch this explainer video to learn more.
The world's largest solar park as of January 27th, 2020 is located in Karnataka, India. It occupies over 13,000 acres of land leased from farmers, utilizing the drought-hit area and adding to farmers’ income.
However, solar panels degrade over time. Someday, somebody will have to replace 13,000 acres worth of solar panels. It could be argued that because the degradation rate still allows reasonable performance after 30 years that this is not an issue, but it should be noted that wind turbines have a similar lifespan to solar panels, but are much more efficient. In fact, one wind turbine can generate the same amount of electricity per kWh as about 48,704 solar panels. This number could be even higher if those wind turbines were to utilize the Usher Loop instead of a conventional generator, as mentioned in the explainer video. Yes, it was mentioned in the explainer video that it is common for wind turbines to only have up to 55% efficiency, but even that is better than solar panels. They will also eventually need replacing, but unlike solar panels, just a few specific parts would need to be replaced, not the entire units. Of course, nobody has tested the performance of an Usher Loop for 30 years; its inventor hasn't even existed for that long, but since it is based on sound technology, it is reasonable to believe it would exhibit acceptable performance.
Solar panels are better utilized in residential areas where they can be mounted on preexisting structures, while wind turbines are more suitable for utility applications, such as supplying the main electrical grid. Therefore, it would be logical to construct large wind farms utilizing the Usher Loop on large tracts of land that would have otherwise been dedicated to solar parks, such as the one in Karnataka.
That way, the companies leasing the land from farmers would get more bang for their buck, and get it 24 hours a day, instead of only when the sun shines.
For those interested, this is the nonprovisional patent application filed for the Usher Loop electric generator (SYSTEM FOR GENERATING ELECTRICAL ENERGY BY EFFICIENT MOVEMENT OF A SPECIALIZED INDUCTIVE MEDIUM), which is Usher Techs' debut alternative energy invention. This patent application will give further insight into the technical details of the Usher Loop that may not have been covered elsewhere and help readers understand its potential for integration into applications such as wind turbines.
The Usher Loop is based on the Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator, which is a proven, functional technology. An MHD generator, like a conventional generator, relies on moving a conductor through a magnetic field to generate electric current. The MHD generator uses either hot conductive ionized gas (a plasma) or a simple liquid metal as the moving conductor. The mechanical dynamo, in contrast, uses the motion of mechanical devices to accomplish this.
Several MHD projects were initiated in the 1960s but overcoming the technical challenges of making a practical system proved very expensive. Interest consequently waned in favor of nuclear power which since that time has seemed a more attractive option (Source).
MHD power generation had been tested extensively in the 1960s with liquid metals and plasmas as conductors, but the technology needed to manufacture spherical copper powder, called atomization, as well as the method needed to manufacture emulsified copper, did not exist in the 1960s, and thus a version of an MHD utilizing it could not have been built and tested in that era.
Also, copper is much more electrically conductive than the liquid metals used by themselves in the 1960s tests, and thus the inclusion of it in the Usher Loop makes it more powerful by default. Development in the field of MHD has not seemed to pick back up until Kyle Usher's own private efforts. Typical efficiencies of MHD generators are around 10 to 20 percent mainly due to the heat lost through the high temperature exhaust. This limits the MHD's potential applications as a stand-alone device but they were originally designed to be used in combination with other energy converters in hybrid applications where the output gases (flames) are used as an energy source to raise steam in a steam turbine plant.
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