this post is essentially just a press release for the company in question, but I still love the idea. "The system is 'fully charged' when the crane has created a tower of concrete blocks around it. The total energy that can be stored in the tower is 20 megawatt-hours (MWh), enough to power 2,000 Swiss homes for a whole day."

human energy technologies, a medley

(1) set living things on fire
(2) feed some living things to other living things and make them pull and lift stuff
(3) put a wheel in the way of moving wind or water
(4) set the remains of distant dead ancestors on fire
(5) put a lot of dangerous rocks together in one place until they get more dangerous and really hot
(6) use the sun to lift and stack heavy things, and then drop them later

@aparrish This is making me realize how cool and elegant photosynthesis is.

@aparrish ah i see, thanks for pointing out that oversight.

@aparrish @imani also hydro power works this way! Except for the hydro power where the moon moves the heavy stuff!

@aparrish @imani I think geothermal call barely be classified as 5

@simrob @imani yeah I didn't know where to put it and didn't want the list to go on forever, but I guess to the extent that the heat of earth's core is caused by decaying radioactive material you can think of it as being a kind of nuclear energy?

@aparrish @imani I mean they are rocks and are dangerous because lava... or magma... whichever it is. I know you weren't trying to be exahustive but I enjoyed the alchemal exercise of making other forms of generation fit into the arbitrary categories 😊

@aparrish See Vaclav Smil for very good treatment of this. "Energy & Civilization" is his latest. Many books on energy systems, quite solid.

@aparrish I think the last might be better put as:
(6) let the sun shine so that it heats up water or hits certain metals
Energy storage can be chemical or mechanical and can be used for lots of different energy generation outputs, but solar water heating and photovoltaics are pretty distinct on their own.

@aparrish I think 1,4, and 6 can be smushed together as just "use stuff what is on fire"

Seems *really*neat. Concrete isn't the moat environmentally friendly material, and part of me wonders if there isn't a better option than machine vision etc. Probably not, while keeping costs down low. It also presumably at risk of disruption from earthquakes.

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