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Energy (Populist America)

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By 2050 most of the planet no longer uses fossil fuels for energy, save for those who burn fossil fuels for collectable devices such as Petroleum Age cars and Industrial Era steam engines. All cars produced use electricity for their drive trains, and most private homes and businesses generate their own energy. Personal Power, the engineering philosophy of designing a building to generate its own electricity autonomously, is a common design practice. Large scale Mass Power is still in use as a means of power large devices such as particle accelerators, and acting as a reserve for city electrical grids in the event that more energy is consumed by a building than is made.

Renewable Sources

Solar

  • Photovoltaics: By 2012 Photovoltaics had reached a major milestone with the widespread use of thin film solar cells. This is considered the point where solar energy for personal use became cheaper than traditional sources of energy. In 2021 Solar Acrylics became cost effective, and today they are used in almost every product that requires electricity.
  • Space Based Solar Power: Getting power from the sun was never easy. After the debris was cleaned up in space, the first solar power satellite was launched. This was followed by more. It is possible that in a few centuries the first Dyson Swarm will come into existance.
  • Solar Heating: With thin-film solar cells coming into use, they started being installed into windows. Not only did they generate electricity, but they also collected heat from the sun to warm a person's home. Many houses have this although they are still on the grid.

Geothermal

  • Dry Steam: The oldest and simplest design for a geothermal power plant. It requires temperatures of 150 degrees Celsius or more.
  • Flash Steam: This type of geothermal power uses hot water steam at temperatures of 180 degrees Celsius or more. It was the most common geothermal power plant until a large number of binary cycle power plants came into existance.
  • Binary Cycle: This type of geothermal power plant uses hot water and butane or pentane at temperatures as low as 57 degrees Celsius.

Wind

  • Horizontal Axis Turbines: The most common type of Wind turbine up until the mid 2020s, Horizontal Axis Turbines were the most effective when placed offshore near major seaside cities. Those inland on the plains, while efficient, could not transport their energy over great enough distances to require their typically large scale construction.
  • Vertical Axis Turbines: Vertical Axis Turbines were never in common use because they were unreliable. They tended to stall and, in some cases, break.
  • Drum Turbines: A drum turbine is a wind turbine that uses a drum instead of a shaft.
  • Windbelts: A windbelt is a device similar to an aeolian harp except that it uses a string's motion to move a magnet between two electromagnetic coils inducing electricity. It replaced horizantal axis turbines in the mid-2020s.

Hydro

  • River Current (Old Hydroelectric): Using dams for electricity has been common since 1882. However, over the course of the 21st century, they were also being built as arcologies with their own power source. Most of a dam's non-support structure would be used for living and arcology space.
  • Tidal Power: By the 2020s, the tides became a common source of energy. The tidal turbines look like upside down wind turbines. These are vertical axis tidal turbines because they are more practical underwater.
  • Wave Energy: If you thought tidal waves would not be a good source of energy, you would be wrong. Mainly used in shoreline or near-shoreline facilities, this is not very common, and it is dangerous because a tsunami would cause the generators to overload.

Biofuel

  • Biomass Fuel: Conventional biomass fuel was controversial because it came from food, but until cellulosic ethanol went on the market, this was the most common biofuel.
  • Cellulosic Ethanol: Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel based on lignocellulose, a compound made of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. This biofuel replaced conventional biofuels in cars because of its high energy density which is roughly similar to gasoline. It fell out of use when RTSC technology came into existance.
  • Algae Fuel: Biofuels based on algae were never as popular as cellulosic ethanol because it was hard to get. The most well-known use of algae fuel is to power the Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid.

Personal

  • Sidewalk Power
  • Road Power
  • Stair Power
  • Walking Power

Infrastructure

The largest problem with most pre-superconductor energy sources is the difficulty in story and delivering energy over great distances. Prior to the introduction of RTSC technology, there were a number of other less efficient means to do this.

Nickel Hydride

  • Nickel-cadmium Battery: A nickel-cadmium battery is a battery whose electrodes are nickel oxide hydroxide and cadmium. Cadmium is toxic, so when newer, better, and less toxic batteries came into use, nickel-cadmium batteries fell out of use.
  • Nickel-hydrogen Battery: A nickel-hydrogen battery is a battery based on nickel and hydrogen. This battery was used in satellites and space probes until RTSC technology came into widespread use. Not to be confused with a nickel-metal hydride battery.
  • Nickel-iron Battery: A nickel-iron battery is a battery whose electrodes are nickel oxide hydroxide and iron. This was rendered obsolete when newer and better batteries were created. It was used for off-the-grid technologies until RTSC technologies came into widespread use.
  • Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) Battery: A nickel-metal hydride battery is a battery whose electrodes are nickel oxide hydride and and a hydrogen-absorbing alloy. This replaced nickel-cadmium bateries and was in turn replaced by lithium-ion batteries.
  • Nickel-zinc Battery: A nickel-zinc battery is a battery whose electrodes are nickel oxide hydroxide and zinc. After the zinc electrode was stabilized in 2000, applications began to be thought of. Like all other battery technologies, however, it failed to compete with RTSC technology.
  • Nickel-lithium Battery: A nickel-lithium battery is a battery whose electrodes are based on nickel oxide hydroxide and lithium. It is unusual because it has two electrolytes. This type of battery was complex to manufacture and never became popular as a result.

Lithium

  • Lithium-ion Battery: A lithium-ion battery is a battery in which lithium ions travel from the anode to the cathode. This was the most popular battery for consumer electronics until the advent of RTSC technology.
  • Lithium-ion polymer Battery: A lithium-ion polymer battery is a lithium-ion battery whose electrolyte is encased in a solid polymer composite insread of an oganic solvent. This type of lithium-ion battery appeared in comsumers electronics in 1995. It could be stored for one or two months without losing charge. When RTSC technology became available, it was over for this battery.
  • Lithium-titanate Battery: A lithium-titanate battery is a specialized lithium-ion battery with a faster charge. It never saw widespread commercial use.
  • Lithium iron phosphate Battery: A lithium iron phosphate battery is a lithium-ion battery whose cathode is LiFePO4 instead of LiCoO2. Though less efficient than convventional lithium-ion batteries, it was still popular among motorcycle companies, especially KillACycle, until the advent of RTSC technology.
  • Nanowire Battery: A nanowire battery is a lithium-ion battery whose anode is made of stainless steel covered in silicon nanowires instead of graphites. Being more efficient than conventional lithium-ion batteries, it was the most popular lithium-ion battery and/or lithium-ion polymer battery until RTSC technology came to widespread use.
  • Lithium-sulfur Battery: A lithium-sulfur battery is a battery made of lithium and sulfur. It was just as popular as nanowire batteries until RTSC technology came into existance.
  • Lithium-air Battery: A lithium-air battery is a battery that uses the oxidation of lithium at the anode and the reduction of oxygen at the cathode for electric flow. Having the same energy density as gasoline, it was the most popular automotive battery until the advent of RTSC technology.

Cellulose

  • Paper Battery: A paper battery is a battery made out of cellulose and reinforced by carbon nanotubes. Before RTSC batteries became available, paper batteries were popular because of their light weight and low cost. They had no toxic materials and could be biodegradable though this was somewhat of a disadvantage. The spacer and electrodes were integrated, and was biocompatable. The technology could also be used in ultracapacitors.

Viral

  • Virus-based Electrodes: In 2009, Angela Belcher used genetically-modified E. coli to create the electrodes for a lithium-ion battery. This revolutionized manufacturing of batteries, and led to the invention of RTSC technology much sooner than expected.

RTSC

Non-Renewable Sources

Fossil Fuels

  • Petroleum: By 2025 petroleum was no longer the single economic pillar that it had been for over a century, only 1/3 of all the world's energy was being produced from petroleum resources. The largest oil producers at this time were Indonesia, the Phillipeans, Kurdistan, Venezuela, Persia, and Russia.
  • Methane: When it comes to fossil fuels, methane gas was the most common throughout the 21st century. It polluted a lot less and was much more efficient than gasoline and diesel. The largest methane gas producers were Russia, the US, Canada, UK, and China.
  • Coal: During the second decade of the 21st century, coal became increasingly expensive. At the time, the larget coal-mining nations were US, Russia, China, and India.

Fission

  • Nuclear Fuel Rod: The first nuclear reactor ever invented and also the most controversial. Because of too many accidents, this type of nuclear reactor was not very popular and would be quickly replaced when newer, better, and cleaner reactors came into existance.
  • Pebble Bed: The replacement of the nuclear fuel rod reactor. It was cleaner and safer than conventional nuclear reactors because it was simpler.
  • Thorium Reactor: What would eventually become the most common nuclear reactor until nuclear fusion came into existance, Thorium Reactors became common in the US and the former UK before being adopted globally. The US particularly preferred them because of their size and ability to reduce existing nuclear waste.
  • Terra Power: Only one of these facilities was ever produced, however it remains in operation till this day. Using a traveling wave reactor design the Wyoming Terra Power Reactor is the largest nuclear facility in existence and powers the entire state. It is also one of the primary nuclear waste repositories as it runs on residual nuclear waste.

Fusion

  • Deuterium/Tritium: The earliest and simplest fusion reaction in use. Although cleaner than any fission reactor, it still produced a lot of neutrons and thus required heavy shielding. Nevertheless, it was the most common fusion reaction used on Earth until Deuterium/Deuterium fusion came into existence and in space until Deuterium/Helium-3 fusion came into existence.
  • Deuterium/Deuterium: Deuterium is a very common form of hydrogen on Earth. Because of this, Deuterium/Deuterium fusion was the most common fusion reaction used on Earth until Protium/Boron-11 fusion came into existence. It still produced neutrons but did not require as heavy shielding as Deuterium/Tritium fusion.
    • Bubble Fusion: A Deuterium/Deuterium fusion reaction that uses heavy water. Used to charge RTSC batteries, until Muon-catalyzed fusion came into existence.
  • Deuterium/Helium-3: Fuse Deuterium and Helium-3 together and you get Helium-4 and a proton. Deuterium/Helium-3 fusion required a lot less shielding than the two reactions mentioned above. Helium-3 was rare on Earth but was quite common in space. Thus, Deuterium/Helium-3 fusion was the most common fusion reaction used in space until Helium-3/Helium-3 fusion came into existence.
  • Helium-3/Helium-3: The holy grail of fusion research. It was the most common fusion reaction used in space until Proton Chain fusion came into existence. By producing current directly, it could use 75% of its total energy potential.
  • Deep Plasma Focus Reactor: A deep plasma focus fusion reactor uses electric and magnetic fields to pinch superheated plasma, hence why the earliest designs have been called z-pinch. It is the most common fusion reactor in use and the second ever to be used in fusion rockets. It was made possible by the discovery of room-temperature superconductors.
  • Protium/Boron-11: The most common fusion reaction used on Earth until Proton Chain fusion came into existence, Protium/Boron-11 had no byproducts that could cause trouble. However, it had to be done at very high temperatures that a deep plasma focus fusion reactor was required.
  • Proton Chain: To this day, Proton Chain fusion is the most common fusion reaction in use. This fusion reaction mimics what happens in the sun all the way up to the temperature.
    • Muon-catalyzed Fusion: The most common Proton Chain fusion reaction in the early 22nd century, muon-catalyzed fusion replaces electrons with muons. Thus, the classical Bohr radius is reduced by 207 times and fusion reactions can occur at room temperature. This truly is cold fusion.
      • Muon Generator: A muon generator is an important piece of technology in muon-catalyzed fusion because muons are unstable and need to be replaced often.

Antimatter

  • Antimatter Injection: Antimatter injection involves injecting antimatter into a liquid like water. This heats the liquid to a high temperature, usually hot enough to turn it into a gas or a plasma. It is the most common type of antimatter power generation. Then again, antimatter power is not very common except in space.
    • Antimatter Traps: With fusion power, advances in manipulating electromagnetic fields finally allowed for the creation of advanced antimatter traps that could hold antimatter. This helped lower the price of antimatter, even though it was still expensive.
    • Antimatter-induced Fusion: Antimatter can also used to jumpstart a fusion reaction. This is a common spacecraft propulsion system at the dawn of the 22nd century.
  • Matter/Antimatter Annihilation: Direct annihilation of matter and antimatter is the holy grail of antimatter research. There is one problem. No one has yet succeeded in creating a successful reactor.

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