keeps this site and its author alive.
Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 133: Kondor 218
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Brown 239
“Mass electrical generation?”
Slade’s question surprised Kondor.
“Yeah, I can think of quite a few inventions, but they all require delivering electricity to home users.”
Kondor nodded. That was a critical step forward.
“It would be good if we could go directly to solar, wind, maybe tidal. That would avoid a lot of environmental difficulties that are already facing us with the rise in steam power and manufacturing, and of course your automobiles and my airplanes.”
“Do I hear a but?”
“Yes. Even with my advanced knowledge of solid state electronics, solar panels are going to be crude and not terribly effective, probably for a lot of years. We can try wind turbines, but they have to be extremely well made to avoid accidents, and I’m not certain whether manufacturing techniques here are going to be good enough to create the giant turbines and not risk falling blades. Also, I haven’t seen what the winters are like. Severe storms could cripple power generation.”
“Well, it was a long time ago, but I remember that the winter was long and cold, but we didn’t get buried in the snow or destroyed by winds. Of course, it might have been a mild winter. The birds in those days abandoned their nesting ground and walked south along the river. But wind might be a possibility. But you mentioned something else?”
“Yes, tidal. It’s possible to place turbines a short distance off shore and use the movement of the surf to create electricity. We didn’t do that much at home partly because we used so much of our shoreline for recreation and commercial fishing, and because we were more interested in onshore options. It might be that we could do that here, but I have never seen their oceans or heard any talk about them. Besides, I don’t know what kind of impact it might have on the fisheries, and I’ve noticed we eat a lot of seafood here.”
“Yeah, probably an effect of not having mammals and wanting variety. O.K., so where would you start?”
Kondor thought for a moment.
“Sorry. Just considering. I think that the best way to begin is to design and build wind turbines and mount them on the rooves of the university buildings, and see if we can power the campus. Lights would be the start, and of course our audio electronics. Once we succeeded at that, we would have proof of a product that could be marketed outside our enclave.”
“Sounds good to me. I don’t do a lot with electricity, but I think I can help with the design of the turbines. Tomorrow at engineering?”
“I’ll plan on it.”
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #456: Versers Prepare. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: