Thursday, August 14, 2014

Is There A (Black)Light At The End Of Our Power Tunnel?

Recently in the news again is Blacklight Power with reports of their novel theory on atomic structure having been independently verified and clearly explained for the less-technically inclined (which definitely includes me).  Assuming Randall Mills and the Blacklight gang really have developed a commercially scale-able invention (not to mention a new page in the theory of physics), it seems worth a little time to think about some of the potential opportunities this permits to the rest of us.

If we take as a given that the Blacklight power supply itself is about 1 cubic foot in dimension, it seems reasonable to further stipulate that a sealed electrical generator (one that is isolated from external environmental conditions) also of about 1 cubic foot in external dimension could be fitted to pretty much any vehicle's differential gearbox.  Whether that be a vehicle like this one, or something more substantial, or even something along more classic lines, transportation will transition out of the historic model assumptions that have accrued over the centuries.  A vehicle that can also be made to supply its own fuel requirements can only further alter those assumptions.  RV owners (and wannabes like me) will be understandably excited over the reduced operating costs, so imagine if you will what the CFO's of FedEx and UPS are in for?

Now, apply that same line of thought to the house you live in.  In the space of a small closet (say 25 cubic feet, 2' x 3' x 8' roughly) you could install a Blacklight SunCell - let's further assume a very downscale 100kw version, an atmospheric water generator and a central air heating and cooling system suitable for pretty much any structure up to ~4000 sq ft. and a family of 5 plus guest(s).  Extending that model to other structural applications, you gradually leave behind the current model of "grid power distribution" while creating a business opportunity for individuals and businesses during the transition.  I wonder how many people in Oakland, CA, just for instance, would be interested in dehumidifying the Bay area for distribution into the state's aqueduct system as a "home business water utility"?  You think the people and businesses in the southern half of the state (where the vast majority of the voters live and work) might have something to say in support of such a concept?

Now pause to consider this general model applied to water craft (of any description).

If the powers-that-be were to create a fee-exempt class of boat permit for any houseboat on Lake Powell and Lake Mead that generated an additional 100 gallons of fresh water per 24 hour day deposited into the lake, I have to believe the population of houseboats on both lakes would increase substantially.  While this wouldn't "solve" the water shortage problem in either lake, it would be a contributing factor to such a solution that imposed no added public expense.  Extending this concept to the permitting and construction of privately owned lake shore properties on both lakes that generated 1000 gallons of fresh water per day would seem an equally useful idea.

Taking this thought even further; if the governments of Denver, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston (to name only 5 possible examples, as at least 4 of them pump from the same aquifer) were to stipulate a property tax abatement on buildings that consumed no water from ground sources, I have to think there would be a remarkable easing of the demand on the existing water sources supplying those cities.  Now, add water desalination and pipelines from coastal areas that were powered by Blacklight technology to feed water into the existing water impoundment system in the US and much of the present day concern about the availability of fresh water is alleviated.

Commercial shipping - to include large yachts, I expect - is already an explicit target market at Blacklight Power.  I'm not convinced they've fully thought through the whole "commercial airliner" aspect, but neither have I, so I remain open to being convinced.

And that's just in the USA; with all of its coastline (and population density there-on), what do you think China will make of this development?  You think Germany (all of Europe actually) won't give serious consideration to this technology instead of Russian oil?

Opportunity always creates (or, at the least, increases already existing) dangers; Randall Mills' discovery is no different.  From Saudi oil oligarchs, to back street used car salesmen, to government tax and utility entities world-wide, there is a galaxy of entrenched interests set to suffer economic disruption, if not out-right financial destruction, from this development.  It is only to be expected there will be equally widespread and determined opposition to any such change as this offers.  The transition process will be an expensive one without any objections being raised; indeed, the sheer cost of individual transition will be one of the first screams of outrage to be widely expressed.  Judging by the reactions from just the establishment science and engineering types so far, we can expect little less than near-civil war levels of resistance from those who are simply lethargic, who don't want to make their lives better if it means they have to change something they're comfortable doing and think they understand already. Imagine the reactions from those who actually stand to lose something as a result ...

On the other hand, peace in the middle-east and northern Africa might prove to consist of muslims tending Israeli-designed green houses with water distilled from ocean breezes hundreds of miles away.

I have no idea if the Blacklight technology will pan out as a commercial product or not.  It simply seems prudent to try to think through the potential disruption that opportunity of any description always consists of. Doing so in a fairly limited context (even one as fundamentally disruptive as this example) helps develop the mindset necessary to deal with any disruptive circumstance in a more positive and successful fashion.