Science Saturday Open Thread

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One of the things I have always wanted to do is build my own custom house that’s 100% energy independent. That means I spend a lot of time thinking about ways to make the house as energy efficient as possible, and with that comes the exploration of some crazy ideas.

Like could you supplement your homes electricity by simply running on a treadmill or riding an exercise bike?

Can this man in ridiculous tights power your house?

This is a surprisingly easy question to answer, you just have to understand energy. If you ever have to take a Physics class energy is the greatest thing ever. It makes the problems so much easier to solve, and this case is no different. Since the house takes energy, and our bodies expend energy, we can make a direct comparison.

The one little hair in the soup is that we use two different measures of energy for homes and bodies, and they each have their own little eccentricities.

Let’s tackle homes first. They measure their energy in a unit called kilowatt-hours. A watt is a measure of power, and power is energy divided by time. So to get energy you have to multiple the time back in, which is why it’s kilowatt-hours and not kilowatts per hour.

The cost of 1 kilowatt-hour varies depending of a number of factors, but a general rule of thumb I’ve found is that it costs approximately $0.10. So you need to produce 10 kilowatt-hours to save $1

We want to keep those things from spinning.

The unit of energy we use for our bodies is a Calorie. Notice how I capitalized the word Calorie. That’s important. A calorie and Calorie are two different things. A Calorie is the same as a kilocalorie, which is 1,000 calories. When talking about food and exercise we usually use Calories.

To put the Calorie into perspective, running or walking 1 mile generally burns about 100 Calories (of course that depends on a number of factors), and you need to eat/burn 3,500 Calories to gain/lose 1 pound.

With that out of the way, how much exercise would you need to do to save $1 on your electricity bill?

10 kilowatt-hours is the equivalent of 8,600 Calories, which would be like running 86 miles. The fastest marathon ever was just over 2 hours, so if you go that guy to power your house for you you’d have to pay him less than $0.15 per hour for it to be worth it.

So unfortunately that crazy idea won’t work. You could charge your phone though. A typical phone battery has a capacity of 5.45 watt-hours, which is a mere 5 Calories. You could charge your phone by lightly pedaling on an exercise bike.

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saints_chiefsfan1979
saints_chiefsfan1979

This isn’t exactly science related, but the NFL handed down 3 suspensions the past couple of days. So i would think we would have a resolution on Tyreek Hill very soon

pompano
pompano

I saw someone got popped for PEDs. I wonder if they group the penalty announcements by catagory or timeline…or at all for that matter.

saints_chiefsfan1979
saints_chiefsfan1979

Incognito got 2 games for whatever the hell he did

pompano
pompano

“conduct unbecoming”?

saints_chiefsfan1979
saints_chiefsfan1979

I mean I don’t know exactly what he did . I heard he tore up a funeral home or something like that? I remember it being pretty bizarre

Tyrone
Tyrone

Speaking of charging phones, does jesus use an iPhone, or Android?

pompano
pompano

I peg him as a Linux guy on PC, he probaby uses multiple platforms while mobile.
His old man probaly still uses AOL,
I do…

legal_kush
legal_kush

That’s a thorny issue.

Texas Chief
Texas Chief

IPhone, obviously.

Android’s operating system is completely open source (Meaning that ANYONE can look at the original source code to see exactly how it works, AND modify it without incurring cost to alter it so as they see fit to run on other hardware). They can improve it. They can throw out the parts that obviously don’t work, and integrate new technologies built on learned knowledge to allow the platform to become more efficient, include new capabilities, and modify the code to account for new discoveries.

IPhone’s are completely proprietary. No one but Apple is allowed to see the code. No one is allowed to use or change the code, even if there are 10,000 ways to make it better, more efficient, and correct the mistakes. And Apple uses their code to manipulate the devices, and thus the people that buy-in to their products. They declare that they know better, strictly control any software that runs on their devices (to keep as much of the profit for themselves as possible, and more than that is earned). Every so often, Apple looks around the world and sees what other programmers have been able to accomplish and test, and prove (in that the software works, and is wildly popular) … and then re-do their OS to include the things that they can steal from people much smarter than them…while at the same time maintaining a neck-throttling level of control over the actual code.

This was a silly question. =)

Nasrani
Nasrani

Ahh, alternative energy. It’s something I’m looking at doing, but I’m not nearly smart enough to know anything about it unfortunately.

How viable is methanol for a means of fueling one’s car? Or using solar panels on one’s home? How much internal power (electricity vs. heat vs. water) can be generated from one solar panel, and are they distributed at different rates?

zulu trader
zulu trader

The question should be ” how much does it cost? “

pompano
pompano

A lot now, less and less as the economies of scale kick in, as always.

zulu trader
zulu trader

Colossians 1:29
For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

. . . I’m gonna’ go get some lunch

pompano
pompano

Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so

pompano
pompano

Animal Crackers 15:23
Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.

zulu trader
zulu trader

You might need some prunes

legal_kush
legal_kush

East is east? If you go far enough east, but not too far, you end up west of where you started.

And water is only water because two hydrogen atoms’ electrons shared a rim job with an oxygen atom. So water is basically air, which explains fish.

What is does not explain is why Catholics think they can eat fish flesh on Friday and somehow they are not eating meat.

BOOM.

Religion.

pompano
pompano

fair enough.

Berserker
Berserker
legal_kush
legal_kush

So, if I can run or walk 1 mile to burn 100 calories, why the fuck do people run for fitness? Especially young people? The old fuckers should be running, while the youth should walk. They have more time.

I shot 42-37 for a 79 this morning. We drove a cart, and I had six beers. Had fun, gained calories, and then visited my cognitive-challenged mother, who is still sharp enough to know she needs to be in a home, not AL.

So I called my sis. She lives in the Tampa/St. Pete area (Largo) and is an RN. Time for her to expend some energy on this shit.

Damn. Off topic again.

QuackTastic
QuackTastic

Running is more about cardio than anything

pompano
pompano

While the laws of conservation of energy means it will never be free, our use of energy could/should be much more efficient by now.

pompano
pompano

What if you put a photoelectric array on a stationary bike powered by geothermal?
I like Zulu’s idea better

pompano
pompano

.

MidKan Chiefs Lifer
MidKan Chiefs Lifer

Built my own house and tried to make it pretty efficient, but it’s not energy independent. My best friends father in law did build an awesome house that is totally off the grid. Primary power is 2 wind generators, secondary is solar power and the backup is a large propane generator. Obviously not the same as energy independent, but similar at least to my thinking.

Dave B.
Dave B.

Here’s something else you can do with an exercise bike…
comment image

Warpath
Warpath

That ain’t right.

pompano
pompano

Absoloutly, you’re supposed to take your pants off first.

Dave B.
Dave B.

It’s not what you think. It’s for motivation.

QuackTastic
QuackTastic

It’s a fist! Its not gay!

pompano
pompano

I don’t want it!
I just need it!

zulu trader
zulu trader

Pomp, have another drink

Warpath
Warpath

No shit, BERTS is wicked stuff.

pompano
pompano

why not…

legal_kush
legal_kush

What did Helen Keller’s parents do when she was naughty?
Re-arranged the furniture.
When she was _really_ naughty?

Left the plunger in the toilet.

HawaiiFiveOh
HawaiiFiveOh

But…what if I get my kids to power the house?