May 29, 2014
Update: China is building pyramids. Sort of. Well, they’re tall and pointy. The concept is similar.
You hated my idea of building canals all across America. And you don’t trust the company that claims to harvest usable energy from the atmosphere. But you’ll love my pyramid idea.
Imagine an enormous pyramid in the middle of a desert, miles wide and reaching miles into the sky. The purpose of the pyramid is energy production. And it does so in a variety of ways.
For starters, the inner core of the pyramid is hollow from the ground to the sky. Air enters through holes in the base and is drawn up through the hollow center because warm air rises. That gives you enough airflow to generate electricity.
If you put some scrubbers in the device I think there’s a way to deal with pollution and climate change too. I saw some sort of tube-to-the-sky concept that was supposed to do that but I’m too lazy to search for the link. So let’s say we fix climate change with our pyramid as a bonus. Perhaps that requires a separate hollow tube in the same pyramid.
We’d also cover the sunny sides of the pyramid with motorized mirrors to reflect sun down to generate solar-steam power on the ground. I think that’s more economical than using photovoltaic cells but maybe not.
If it’s possible to collect ions from the air in useful quantities (which most of you doubt) then we know there is a higher concentration at high altitudes. So perhaps someday we have ion antennas near the top of the pyramid too.
And let’s not forget the temperature differential between the desert floor and the top of the pyramid. That difference could power Stirling generators.
And I would expect lots of natural wind a few miles up, so maybe we can have windmill-type generators on whichever side of the pyramid gets the least sun.
If your desert is within pipeline access to the ocean, I think that turning salt water into steam gets you desalinization. I would think you could make fresh water with the byproduct of your solar steam generator.
None of this works if building the pyramid is too expensive. So I wonder how hard it is to fashion suitably strong bricks out of sand. If it’s only a case of heating the sand until it becomes hard as glass, all we need is giant magnifying glasses aimed at our brick-making oven on site.
We’d need robot laborers, and lots of them. Their job would be moving and placing each brick of the pyramid, which isn’t terribly complicated work. That seems feasible with current technology.
To power the robots, you need to start your project by first building a solar power plant on the desert floor. That too would be the type that concentrates the sun to create steam power. And the solar power plant wouldn’t go to waste because if the first pyramid works, you can keep building more nearby and power the robots continuously. When you’re done building pyramids, the power plant connects to the grid.
When aliens helped the early Egyptians build the original pyramids perhaps they were leaving a clue for future generations. That conversation probably went like this:
Alien: We need to tell future generations of humans about pyramids. It will save them.
Egyptian: I can write a message on a wall.
Alien: I’ve seen your hieroglyphics. They’re shit. Look at that one. (Points at wall.) I can’t tell if that guy is winning a war or trying to date his ox.
Egyptian: I just realized you guys are made of meat. And if I’m not mistaken, you’re boneless.
And that’s why the pyramids exist but there is no evidence of aliens.
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