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Comment count is 15
The Mothership - 2021-03-22

WOOOOOOOWWWWW. This is the most amazingly brutal hustle there is.


I want to invest in the shorters who short this investment. How do I do that?

SolRo - 2021-03-22

Wow. Just the sheer misunderstanding of the concept followed by self confident quips.

Mister Yuck - 2021-03-22

Yeah, you’re trying to tell me you can take energy from the light of the sun, covert it directly into electricity, and then use that electricity to run a train up hill, storing the energy as gravitational potential energy? Next you’ll be telling me you can use the same electric engines that run the trains as dynamos to get the electricity back later.


Binro the Heretic - 2021-03-22

@ The Mothership,

The point isn't to create more energy than the thing takes in, which is the impossible goal of a "perpetual motion" machine.

This is basically a giant rechargeable battery designed to keep producing electricity after the sun goes down.

Cena_mark - 2021-03-22

So how do you get the cars back up the slope?

SolRo - 2021-03-22

The video explains it pretty well? It’s a potential energy store.

Use electricity to get the cars up the hill...

Mister Yuck - 2021-03-22

Solar electricity.
https://www.wired.com/2016/05/forget-elons-batteries-fix-grid- rock-filled-train-hill/

Mister Yuck - 2021-03-22

This solution is great for Nevada, a place with a lot of sun, rocks, and elevation changes but not a lot of water. I like it a lot better than chemical batteries, which use a lot of rare materials and degrade over time, leaving a whole lot of toxic waste. My personal favorite has to be giant flywheels though. They have the advantage of not taking up much space or requiring special materials, while still being mortally terrifying and capable of incredibly catastrophic failure.

Mister Yuck - 2021-03-22

Another fun feature of this technology is the jurisdiction fights among the building trades unions this will spark. As it’s energy storage, us electricians will try to claim the whole thing as a big ol battery, but the operating engineers and iron workers will justifiably try to get a piece. Lately, the carpenters have been blatantly going after electrical work, especially in solar, so they’ll probably try to do the whole thing with sheet rock and the company will back them just to sow mayhem in the labor movement. And I know nothing about any railroad or mining unions, but it seems like they’d be the obvious choice.

Two Jar Slave - 2021-03-22

Doesn't every city grid do this with big ol' buckets of water or something like that? Is there something extraordinary about this?

glasseye - 2021-03-22

Every city grid? No, but there are some very successful large systems out there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity

SolRo - 2021-03-22

This is probably easier to maintain and build if you’re going for large scale storage in places with lots of cheap land.

Any engineering types know the efficiency factors of a mechanical system vs hydraulic pumping?

jfcaron_ca - 2021-03-22

The large reservoirs have the problem of evaporation, but that's countered by rainfall I guess, so it would depend on the local conditions. Pumping fluids is always inefficient because of turbulent flow and sloshing and stuff. Not to mention the pump/water turbine converts electricity mechanical motion water movement. These trains just do the first conversion, as long as the trains aren't slipping on the rails it's just rolling friction inside the wheel bearings, which is minimal.

Modern electric motors & generators are pretty darn efficient.

The main downside I see here is that it's inherently a 2D system, to scale up you need to increase the amount of land used (or find a taller hill, or switch to depleted uranium trains or something). While it's not destructive, it does eat up a ton of land that you could build a ski hill on instead.

SolRo - 2021-03-22

Need to work on zero loss transmission systems and then just glass the southwest with solar panels and train batteries.

Mister Yuck - 2021-03-23

This is really being developed specifically for Nevada solar. Lots of land, rocks, and elevation, not much water. The extremely low loss transmission technology is coming along-China just built an extremely high voltage DC transmission line. I’ve been hearing about similar projects in various stages of planning to export energy out of Midwest wind farms for years.

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