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# Pre-cutting the ground above explosive

## 173 posts in this topic

Very nice post, Darkhunter. I didn't know about Project Gnome - I learn something new every day. Thanks!

18 hours ago, trevorhbj said:

How can fusion fuel be the fuel of the future if it isn't profitable to refine and use it? I'm no expert but it seems like you could use a small amount of fissable material that has already been refined and have up to 99.9 percent of the power come from fusion. The price of the fusion should be cheap because its so abundant. Again I'm no expert but I would say buying a bomb for a few milliion and adding several stages of fusion booster would be less then the several hundred billion you may get out of it.

In fairness, fusion may not be the fuel of the future. We don't have an operating fusion plant yet, or even a clear idea whether or not it is feasible, so we don't know how much the fuel will cost.

But: A fusion plant, just like a fission plant, will (hopefully) not require highly-enriched fuel.

For fission: Natural uranium is 0.7% 235U, the rest is non-fissile 238U.

• If you have a heavy water reactor, then you are done: Just take the raw uranium ore and convert it into fuel rods.
• If you have a light water reactor then you need to enrich it to ~4%. That means if you want X kg of fuel, you need to obtain 6X kg of raw uranium and the centrifuge it for a long time to discard unwanted 238U until the 235U:238U ratio is 4:96.
• If you want a nuclear bomb, then you need to enrich it to >80%. That means if you need X kg of warhead, you need to obtain 120X kg of raw uranium and then centrifuge it for an incredibly long time to discard almost all of the unwanted 238U. The centrifuging process is not linear: Even though the warhead is 20x more enriched than light-water-reactor fuel, it takes much more than 20x as long to enrich it to that level.

For fusion: Natural hydrogen is 0.2% 2H, the rest is H. Fusion with 2H (deuterium) is much easier than with H, the even more desirable 3H (tritium) does not exist in nature in any significant quantity.

• We don't know what the fuel for a fusion plant would be.
• If you want a thermonuclear bomb, then - in addition to the nuclear warhead require to detonate it - you need to make a case of 2H6Li. That, is, enrich natural hydrogen to 100% 2H, and then enrich natural lithium to 100% 6Li (natural lithium is only 3.7% 6Li, the rest is 7Li).

The second, and possibly more important argument, is that the energy-release process in a fusion or fission plant will be slow and controlled. This greatly increases the efficiency of energy capture compared to an explosion.

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On 10/10/2017 at 10:04 AM, sepulchrave said:

Very nice post, Darkhunter. I didn't know about Project Gnome - I learn something new every day. Thanks!

In fairness, fusion may not be the fuel of the future. We don't have an operating fusion plant yet, or even a clear idea whether or not it is feasible, so we don't know how much the fuel will cost.

But: A fusion plant, just like a fission plant, will (hopefully) not require highly-enriched fuel.

For fission: Natural uranium is 0.7% 235U, the rest is non-fissile 238U.

• If you have a heavy water reactor, then you are done: Just take the raw uranium ore and convert it into fuel rods.
• If you have a light water reactor then you need to enrich it to ~4%. That means if you want X kg of fuel, you need to obtain 6X kg of raw uranium and the centrifuge it for a long time to discard unwanted 238U until the 235U:238U ratio is 4:96.
• If you want a nuclear bomb, then you need to enrich it to >80%. That means if you need X kg of warhead, you need to obtain 120X kg of raw uranium and then centrifuge it for an incredibly long time to discard almost all of the unwanted 238U. The centrifuging process is not linear: Even though the warhead is 20x more enriched than light-water-reactor fuel, it takes much more than 20x as long to enrich it to that level.

For fusion: Natural hydrogen is 0.2% 2H, the rest is H. Fusion with 2H (deuterium) is much easier than with H, the even more desirable 3H (tritium) does not exist in nature in any significant quantity.

• We don't know what the fuel for a fusion plant would be.
• If you want a thermonuclear bomb, then - in addition to the nuclear warhead require to detonate it - you need to make a case of 2H6Li. That, is, enrich natural hydrogen to 100% 2H, and then enrich natural lithium to 100% 6Li (natural lithium is only 3.7% 6Li, the rest is 7Li).

The second, and possibly more important argument, is that the energy-release process in a fusion or fission plant will be slow and controlled. This greatly increases the efficiency of energy capture compared to an explosion.

Do you think there could be other scientific uses for cratering in this way other then getting energy back?  I can think of a few like garbage pits, water storage. Could mining possibly use this type of cratering?

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On 10/10/2017 at 0:19 AM, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

Do you really think that it is a very good idea to have people plant nukes all over the place for energy production ?

If your idea become a reality how are you going to make sure that no nukes fall into the wrong hands ?

Is it a very good idea to have many different nations making nukes ?

How do we make sure those nukes are for energy production and not to built a nuclear arsenal instead ?

Not to mention that your idea would violate the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

Trevorhbj is there any chance that you will address any of the issues I  brought up here ?

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11 hours ago, trevorhbj said:

Do you think there could be other scientific uses for cratering in this way other then getting energy back?  I can think of a few like garbage pits, water storage. Could mining possibly use this type of cratering?

Possibly... I doubt it though. I think garbage/water storage and mining require controlled digs. Large-scale blasting has less control than small-scale blasting, and when that blast also makes the hole radioactive and can create new fractures and cracks in the existing bedrock, I don't think anyone would want to use that method.

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1 hour ago, sepulchrave said:

Possibly... I doubt it though. I think garbage/water storage and mining require controlled digs. Large-scale blasting has less control than small-scale blasting, and when that blast also makes the hole radioactive and can create new fractures and cracks in the existing bedrock, I don't think anyone would want to use that method.

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4 hours ago, sepulchrave said:

Possibly... I doubt it though. I think garbage/water storage and mining require controlled digs. Large-scale blasting has less control than small-scale blasting, and when that blast also makes the hole radioactive and can create new fractures and cracks in the existing bedrock, I don't think anyone would want to use that method.

I don't think you would have to use a nuclear blast to dig those sorts of craters.

The MOAB, or "mother of all bombs," hardly compares to the atomic ... While incredibly destructive, the MOAB, hailed as America's most powerful non-nuclear weapon, ... had the explosive power of about 16 kilotons — or 16,000 tons — of TNT. .... There are many metrics we can use to evaluate the potential ...

A 16 kiloton crater would be pretty big and leave no hazardous nuclear fallout in its wake. You could also build a crater one layer at a time and make it deeper then you could with just one bomb.

From what I understand the system used with fusion lasers is only trying to collect heat from explosives whereas the idea for the water cannon gathers both heat and blast energy. Do you think this system has a chance with competing with the absorbent heat shields they are trying to use for laser fusion?
Edited by trevorhbj

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30 minutes ago, trevorhbj said:

I don't think you would have to use a nuclear blast to dig those sorts of craters.

The MOAB, or "mother of all bombs," hardly compares to the atomic ... While incredibly destructive, the MOAB, hailed as America's most powerful non-nuclear weapon, ... had the explosive power of about 16 kilotons — or 16,000 tons — of TNT. ....

The MOAB have an explosive power similar to 11 tons of TNT. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-43/B_MOAB

You would need 1454 MOAB's to get a 16 kilotons explosion.

Quote

There are many metrics we can use to evaluate the potential ...

Exagerration is apparently one of them. (see above)

Quote

From what I understand the system used with fusion lasers is only trying to collect heat from explosives whereas the idea for the water cannon gathers both heat and blast energy. Do you think this system has a chance with competing with the absorbent heat shields they are trying to use for laser fusion?

Most of the energy in current laser fusion concepts comes from neutrons. There are no explosives involved.

I think you have to look at bit more into the actual physics involved in fusion.

Here is a place to start: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_power

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9 hours ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

The MOAB have an explosive power similar to 11 tons of TNT. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-43/B_MOAB

You would need 1454 MOAB's to get a 16 kilotons explosion.

well still there are probably some uses for a pre-cut crater at any size explosive.

9 hours ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

Most of the energy in current laser fusion concepts comes from neutrons. There are no explosives involved.

I think you have to look at bit more into the actual physics involved in fusion.

Here is a place to start: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_power

In all my research I still haven't fully understood the way lasers igniting fuel pellets is converted into electricity. I thought it was a heat shield from what I read but do you know something different?

Edited by trevorhbj

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8 hours ago, trevorhbj said:

In all my research I still haven't fully understood the way lasers igniting fuel pellets is converted into electricity. I thought it was a heat shield from what I read but do you know something different?

Like I said earlier most of the energy comes out as neutrons. Those neutrons are absorbed by a lithium breeder blanket, which is heated by the energy from the neutrons. The heat is then transfered to water by a heat exchanger, the water turns to steam, the steam drives a turbine and the turbine drives a generator.

The reason for using lithium is that tritium only exists in tiny amounts. When a neutron hits lithium it can produce tritium, so the tritium blanket is a critical part of the design in more ways than one.

I'm surprised that someone who have researched fusion have not been able to come up with any information on how it works. You seem to have some fundamental gaps in your knowledge about fusion, so maybe your research haven't been quite as effective as you think ? Maybe you should read the link I gave you, it will give you some basic information and point you to where you can find more.

The ITER research reactor which is being built right now is probably close to what a real power reactor will look like: https://www.iter.org/

Slightly more complicated than a hole in the ground wouldn't you say ?

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5 hours ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

Like I said earlier most of the energy comes out as neutrons. Those neutrons are absorbed by a lithium breeder blanket, which is heated by the energy from the neutrons. The heat is then transfered to water by a heat exchanger, the water turns to steam, the steam drives a turbine and the turbine drives a generator.

Yes but what you don't seem to know is that the pellet explodes when the lasers hit it. There has also been discussion of using lasers to set off a pure fusion bomb. and furthermore they can only fire those lasers like once a day I read because of the extreme amount of energy that goes through them at one time. How on earth do they plan to set off a steady stream of pellets if they can only fire it once a day?There design doesn't sound anymore efficient then the Teller design we discussed earlier which would capture heat in an absorbent substance. That's the question I have is how they keep the laser on essentially to be continuously dropping these fuel pellets through the laser beam. I doubt you have an answer and it be better to use your laser once to set off a large explosion then try to stream fuel through it.

And by the way if you look up 'converting explosives to electricity' you'll find my name is near top on the list, and frankly the best idea out there.

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37 minutes ago, trevorhbj said:

[...]

And by the way if you look up 'converting explosives to electricity' you'll find my name is near top on the list, and frankly the best idea out there.

Try searching "how to kill a kitten", and some sick fu(k will be on the top.

1 person likes this

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42 minutes ago, trevorhbj said:

Yes but what you don't seem to know is that the pellet explodes when the lasers hit it.

What you don't seem to know is that the pellets implodes when the laser hits. An implosion is the opposite of an explosion. The laser compress the fusion fuel and only then does the fusion reaction cause any outwards reaction.

Quote

There has also been discussion of using lasers to set off a pure fusion bomb.

If you use laser to set of a fusion bomb you wouldnedd a massive laser and you would destroy it in the process. What you might be thinking about is research into using explosives to create fusion, but so far nonthing have come of this. Explosives simply don't have enough energy to produce fusion, hence why fusion bombs use a fission bomb to created the neede pressure and temperature.

Quote

and furthermore they can only fire those lasers like once a day I read because of the extreme amount of energy that goes through them at one time. How on earth do they plan to set off a steady stream of pellets if they can only fire it once a day?

This is the reason why most fusion research is done into magnetically confined fusion, like  the JET and ITER reactors.

Quote

There design doesn't sound anymore efficient then the Teller design we discussed earlier which would capture heat in an absorbent substance.

The Teller-Ulam device is a bomb design, not a power plant.

Quote

That's the question I have is how they keep the laser on essentially to be continuously dropping these fuel pellets through the laser beam.

We don't know how to do it yet, but that doesn't mean we won't in the future. One promising design is the HiPER. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HiPER

Quote

I doubt you have an answer

Of course I don't know how to build a laser like that, nor have I ever claimed that I do. No one does. Yet.

Quote

and it be better to use your laser once to set off a large explosion then try to stream fuel through it.

The thing is that if you use the laser to set off a large explosion, you destroy the laser.

Quote

And by the way if you look up 'converting explosives to electricity' you'll find my name is near top on the list, and frankly the best idea out there.

Currently the best way to convert explosions into energy is the internal combustion engine. I think you will find that was invented more than a century ago.

Edited by Noteverythingisaconspiracy

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2 minutes ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

If you use laser to set of a fusion bomb you wouldnedd a massive laser and you would destroy it in the process. What you might be thinking about is research into using explosives to create fusion, but so far nonthing have come of this. Explosives simply don't have enough energy to produce fusion, hence why fusion bombs use a fission bomb to created the neede pressure and temperature.

Why would you nee more laser power then what is used to set off the pellet? Maybe the design of a pure fusion explosive hasn't been drawn up yet. And with respect to the water cannon, the lasers would be underground far away, the explosive energy would mostly be absorbed by the water and the lasers could be re used many times. Do you know for sure how close the lasers have to be to the fuel to set it off? I've seen the army blow things up with lasers from very far distances.

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1 minute ago, trevorhbj said:

Why would you nee more laser power then what is used to set off the pellet? Maybe the design of a pure fusion explosive hasn't been drawn up yet. And with respect to the water cannon, the lasers would be underground far away, the explosive energy would mostly be absorbed by the water and the lasers could be re used many times. Do you know for sure how close the lasers have to be to the fuel to set it off? I've seen the army blow things up with lasers from very far distances.

Maybe some day you will actually show us how your system is supposed to work ?

So far it seems to be based mostly on assumptions and speculation.

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22 minutes ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

[...]

The thing is that if you use the laser to set off a large explosion, you destroy the laser.

[...]

Who cares... You'd have a pool

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7 hours ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

Maybe some day you will actually show us how your system is supposed to work ?

So far it seems to be based mostly on assumptions and speculation.

What part of it don't you understand?

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8 hours ago, trevorhbj said:

What part of it don't you understand?

The details.

Like how you said you need a laser, that doesn't exist, to initiate the fusion process. If thats not speculation and assumtions I don't know what is.

Plenty of examples like that have been pointed out to you, but you simply ignore it. Its fine to have an idea, no problem there, but once people start to point out glaring faults in the idea maybe it is time drop it or atleast make a major reevaluation. There is nothing wrong with making a mistake, everybody does that, its trying to hold on to it when it is clear it isn't working that is the problem.

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6 hours ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

The details.

Like how you said you need a laser, that doesn't exist, to initiate the fusion process. If thats not speculation and assumtions I don't know what is.

Plenty of examples like that have been pointed out to you, but you simply ignore it. Its fine to have an idea, no problem there, but once people start to point out glaring faults in the idea maybe it is time drop it or atleast make a major reevaluation. There is nothing wrong with making a mistake, everybody does that, its trying to hold on to it when it is clear it isn't working that is the problem.

I haven't been dodging your questions. Lasers will work when they work. If you use the bomb hopefully since you get so much energy from just one use, to make a successful business you only need to detonate a couple. The majority of the time is spent re-filling the cavity created. If you used the water cannon the entire system would be enclosed and prevent direct contact with anything nuclear. Is that what you don't understand is the water cannon? I tell you truly these systems could be functioning in full operation today but because of there tremendous size may take years to construct, and decades even centuries to replace fossil fuels. This is a peaceful use of nuclear explosives I don't know anything about any terrorists.(like Bmk)

Working how? I ve proven this idea works. The only thing I haven't proven is if the six billion year supply of fusion on this planet is cost effective enough to run in a system with estimated 10% efficiency, which I dare you to show me another system that works that is as efficient for the use of fusion. ( there is none don't even bother me)

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On 10/22/2017 at 1:48 PM, trevorhbj said:

I haven't been dodging your questions. Lasers will work when they work. If you use the bomb hopefully since you get so much energy from just one use, to make a successful business you only need to detonate a couple. The majority of the time is spent re-filling the cavity created. If you used the water cannon the entire system would be enclosed and prevent direct contact with anything nuclear. Is that what you don't understand is the water cannon? I tell you truly these systems could be functioning in full operation today but because of there tremendous size may take years to construct, and decades even centuries to replace fossil fuels. This is a peaceful use of nuclear explosives I don't know anything about any terrorists.(like Bmk)

Working how? I ve proven this idea works. The only thing I haven't proven is if the six billion year supply of fusion on this planet is cost effective enough to run in a system with estimated 10% efficiency, which I dare you to show me another system that works that is as efficient for the use of fusion. ( there is none don't even bother me)

You have not proven your idea works, all you have done is a faulty thought experiment mixed with an experiment that is no where near representative of what would actually be going on.

Since I couldn't sleep I figured I would look into all of this a bit more closely and put some numbers to everything

To prove that your idea won't work there was the sedan nuclear test, another experiment done under operation plowshare.  In the sedan nuclear test the US military buried a 104 kt thermonuclear warhead 194 meters under the surface and detonated it.  The resulting crater was conical in shape and had a depth of approximately 100 meters, diameter of approximately 390 meters, and moving approximately 11,000,000 tons.  To make this easier I'm assuming the crater was a perfect cone, which while a bit unrealistic will still give an idea of how much money you could generate filling up the crater and showing another flaw in your idea.

Since I'm lazy I used excel to largely brute force this, there is definitely a much more elegant mathematical solution to it but its late, I'm lazy, and why bother with elegance when you can brute force it with a computer.  First off I started with the volume of a cone which is V = (1/3)*pi*radius^2*height, given that the crater was 100 meters in depth and has a diameter of 390 meters (195 meter radius) if assuming a perfect cone that would give a volume of approximately 3,981,851 m^3.  Here is where another fatal flaw in your idea comes up, as you fill up the crater the height changes and since you are getting energy from lowering stuff into the crater to fill it the energy equation to give you the max amount of energy you could get would be the gravitational potential energy which is PEg = (1/2)*mass*gravity*height, so as your height difference gets smaller so does the energy you would get out of filling the crater.  Also there is another problem, the height that would give you the greatest energy, the 100 meter drop, is at the tip of the cone and has the smallest amount of mass while the amount of mass that would give you the most energy, the base of the cone, is tied to the shortest drop.  To get a somewhat accurate calculation of the energy you would get from your idea, assuming everything is 100% efficient which is impossible, I basically broke the 100 meter cone up into one hundred 1 meter tall slices to get the volume of each 1 meter tall slice and multiplied it by the average density of earth to get a weight.  Plugging that weight into the PEg equation and using the corresponding height of the 1 meter tall slice of the cone and summing them all up you would get a grand total of approximately 2,744,469,437,772 Joules assuming 100% efficiency in collecting the energy.  While that seems like a lot the problem is that the Joule is a really small amount of energy, converted to kWh it would be approximately 762,353 kWh which seems impressive till you realize that the cost of a kWh in America currently is \$0.12 so assuming perfect energy capture and transmission the most money you would get from your idea is about \$91,482.36 by detonating a 104 kt thermonuclear warhead.

Of course you could argue that using earth to fill the cavity is a bad choice as earth doesn't have that high of a density and that is a fair enough argument.  To give an upper bound estimate lets assume you somehow are able to lower the 11,000,000 tons the detonation moved and was somehow able to drop it the 100 meters.  The energy you would get from that would be 4,894,715,264,670 Joules once again assuming 100% efficiency which is about 1,359,644 kWh which would sell for about \$163,157 all from detonating a thermonuclear warhead.

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8 hours ago, DarkHunter said:

To prove that your idea won't work there was the sedan nuclear test, another experiment done under operation plowshare.  In the sedan nuclear test the US military buried a 104 kt thermonuclear warhead 194 meters under the surface and detonated it.  The resulting crater was conical in shape and had a depth of approximately 100 meters, diameter of approximately 390 meters, and moving approximately 11,000,000 tons.  To make this easier I'm assuming the crater was a perfect cone, which while a bit unrealistic will still give an idea of how much money you could generate filling up the crater and showing another flaw in your idea.

Yeah that was an underground blast, but they didn't cut a monolithic piece of earth above the explosive to increase efficiency! So you can't compare there results to mine because a lot more energy was converted to seismic then was to weight displacement. The crater that formed was a result of the ground falling into the cavity that was blasted. The science is totally different. notice in the video how the ground collapses, doesn't explode.

8 hours ago, DarkHunter said:

While that seems like a lot the problem is that the Joule is a really small amount of energy, converted to kWh it would be approximately 762,353 kWh which seems impressive till you realize that the cost of a kWh in America currently is \$0.12 so assuming perfect energy capture and transmission the most money you would get from your idea is about \$91,482.36 by detonating a 104 kt thermonuclear warhead.

Again the sedan crater cleared out an estimate fifty times less then my technique for pre cutting the land. Do you understand? I already did the experiments. The only thing I'm not sure of is if it is a profitable idea from the standpoint of raw materials in and energy out. I doubt you have an answer.

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On 10/21/2017 at 2:02 PM, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

Of course I don't know how to build a laser like that, nor have I ever claimed that I do. No one does. Yet.

I'd sooner think they would come up with a way to set off one pure fusion explosion rather then continuously setting off tiny one's by keeping the laser running.

Edited by trevorhbj

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19 hours ago, trevorhbj said:

I'd sooner think they would come up with a way to set off one pure fusion explosion rather then continuously setting off tiny one's by keeping the laser running.

They are trying for ``more control'' as opposed to ``more energy''. The larger the blast, the harder it is to control the effects, the more likely the chance of something breaking - possibly catastrophically.

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13 hours ago, sepulchrave said:

They are trying for ``more control'' as opposed to ``more energy''. The larger the blast, the harder it is to control the effects, the more likely the chance of something breaking - possibly catastrophically.

I don't understand what you mean by control. Do you mean energy escaping chaoticaly? How does the system in the OP lack control?

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4 hours ago, trevor borocz johnson said:

I don't understand what you mean by control. Do you mean energy escaping chaoticaly? How does the system in the OP lack control?

Energy escaping chaotically is part of it. But also energy overload - it is difficult to absorb a sudden input of energy and redistribute it as desired. Ask yourself: If you want to put a ball in a particular place, is it easier to carry it over and place it down as desired, or is it easier to give it a hard whack from wherever you are currently standing?

This is the reason why ``blast energy'', as you keep mentioning, is typically minimized in power generation. Trying to capture the kinetic energy of very high-velocity projectiles, especially when they are travelling in essentially random directions, in a controlled manner is extremely difficult, and prone to catastrophic failure.

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10 hours ago, sepulchrave said:

This is the reason why ``blast energy'', as you keep mentioning, is typically minimized in power generation. Trying to capture the kinetic energy of very high-velocity projectiles, especially when they are travelling in essentially random directions, in a controlled manner is extremely difficult, and prone to catastrophic failure.

What type of power generation? like coal power plants? The method in the OP doesn't catch any fast moving projectiles, unless you want to say the ground catches the huge mountain of rock being moved. If you're talking about the water cannon or cannonball method, then the projectile or weight being displaced is caught by a loop that allows for the weight to be caught and to finish off any excess momentum energy it has. I guess I understand your analogy of the ball but don't think it applies to these systems as the weight being moved travels along an unobstructed path through the system.

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