You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

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Zablorg
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You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Zablorg » 2012-01-14 12:10am

One day Q decides to pop in on you yet again. But this time, he's not looking to uproot your life by placing you in ancient Egypt. Today, he has decided to grant you a great gift.

He presents you a 10 cm, 20 kg, metallic cube. Running down each face of the cube, are 4 glowing lines, each separated by 2 cm. On each face,two are orange, one is pink, and the last is green.

Q explains to you that the cube is an electrical power generator. By dynamically creating an appropriate socket, is able to accept any sort of input and supply electricity to any sort of device. The maximum power output of the generator has been determined by your post count.

0 - 5000 posts:

A kilowatt.

5000 - 20000 posts:

A megawatt.

20000 - 100000 posts:

A gigawatt.

100000+ posts:

A terrawatt.


Q refuses to change the colours of the glowing lines. What do you do?
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Cesario » 2012-01-14 12:35am

Ask if this is even theoretically comprehensible technology or if it's litterally a magic box.

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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2012-01-14 01:09am

Kind of pointless bothering to list 100,000 posts isn't it?

Anyway a 1 GW power source would be a nice gift provided it won't kill me. I'd lease it to be plugged into a webserver cluster. Even even I charged a mere 1 cent per kilowatt hour I'd make 10,000 dollars an hour which would be a very nice retirement package.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Dave » 2012-01-14 01:29am

Cesario wrote:Ask if this is even theoretically comprehensible technology or if it's litterally a magic box.

I mean, I guess I have a cheap way to run my electronics, but I'm not sure what else I'm going to do with a spare kilowatt (per what time unit?)

And how am I supposed to move a box 18x denser than lead?

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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Zablorg » 2012-01-14 01:36am

I guess you could do like... bicep curls until you are able to lift 20 kilograms.

If you're going to do that I'd recommend you iterate your workout mostly by increasing the reps, not by upping the weight.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Zablorg » 2012-01-14 03:43am

Oh, I missed this:

Dave wrote:I mean, I guess I have a cheap way to run my electronics, but I'm not sure what else I'm going to do with a spare kilowatt (per what time unit?)


That's a good question. There's no wholly accepted standard in the scientific community for what time unit a watt corresponds to. I may have to rethink this scenario.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Darmalus » 2012-01-14 04:01am

I'm pretty sure the power companies are required to buy back any excess electricity you generate. So, I plug it in to the power system and enjoy my small amount of extra income, I doubt a kilowatt will net me much, even if it's being generated 24/7.

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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Grumman » 2012-01-14 05:10am

Zablorg wrote:Oh, I missed this:
Dave wrote:I mean, I guess I have a cheap way to run my electronics, but I'm not sure what else I'm going to do with a spare kilowatt (per what time unit?)

That's a good question. There's no wholly accepted standard in the scientific community for what time unit a watt corresponds to. I may have to rethink this scenario.

No, there is no time unit required. One kilowatt is equal to one thousand joules of energy per second.

One kilowatt is sufficient to power a single US household, if you average it out. In other words, if you can arrange a buyback system like people do with solar panels, you probably never need to pay an electricity bill ever again.

Some useful figures:

1,000 Watts divided by 20 kilograms is equal to a power density of 50 J/s/kg. This means that if you leave it running for 7 seconds, it has equalled the energy density of a capacitor. 33 minutes, and it's equal to a lead-acid battery. Leave it running for a month, and it's equal to hydrogen. If you can get it up to a terawatt and run it for two days, it's equal to antimatter.

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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Zablorg » 2012-01-14 05:45am

Grumman wrote:
Zablorg wrote:Oh, I missed this:
Dave wrote:I mean, I guess I have a cheap way to run my electronics, but I'm not sure what else I'm going to do with a spare kilowatt (per what time unit?)

That's a good question. There's no wholly accepted standard in the scientific community for what time unit a watt corresponds to. I may have to rethink this scenario.

No, there is no time unit required. One kilowatt is equal to one thousand joules of energy per second.


You can't just dodge a legitimate question by pretending the subject matter doesn't exist. So I'll ask again- per what time limit?
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Grumman » 2012-01-14 06:20am

Zablorg wrote:You can't just dodge a legitimate question by pretending the subject matter doesn't exist. So I'll ask again- per what time limit?

I'm not dodging the question, I'm trying to explain to you that unless you're asking how quickly it can ramp up to full power, the answer is "per no time unit". The device can produce one kilowatt of power, or one kilowatt-hour of energy per hour.
Last edited by Grumman on 2012-01-14 06:22am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Zablorg » 2012-01-14 06:21am

Grumman wrote:
Zablorg wrote:You can't just dodge a legitimate question by pretending the subject matter doesn't exist. So I'll ask again- per what time limit?

I'm not dodging the question, I'm trying to explain to you that unless you're asking how quickly it can ramp up to full power, the answer is "per no time unit".


I think it's pretty obvious to everyone that that was the question.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Zixinus » 2012-01-14 06:42am

Tell dad, who is an electrical engineer, and plug it into the apartment's household.

We now never have to pay the electricity bill ever again.

That's pretty much it. I'm certain that the lines represent something, but I am unsure what. I might poke it with a multimetre or something.

The only thing I would be worried about is radiation. Something that size producing so much power is bound to be nuclear or even more powerful.

And how am I supposed to move a box 18x denser than lead?


Why not? Sure, it will be a bit of a bitch to do so, but it's just 20 kilograms. That's a bit heavy, but not impossible to lift. I have a 7.8 kilogram benchgrinder and it's not hard to lift.
At worst, you will need to fashion something to help you lift it.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-01-14 09:21am

Hook this up to my PC and stereo. Thsoe two drink in a kilowatt between them. And since both of them run for most of the day, this greatly lowers my electricity bill. We in Wales use a pre-paid credit system, which means I can go much longer between topping it up while still claiming regular amounts of cash of my parents. Hence, I can drink more at the pub. Wooo.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Dave » 2012-01-14 09:53am

Grumman wrote:
Zablorg wrote:You can't just dodge a legitimate question by pretending the subject matter doesn't exist. So I'll ask again- per what time limit?

I'm not dodging the question, I'm trying to explain to you that unless you're asking how quickly it can ramp up to full power, the answer is "per no time unit". The device can produce one kilowatt of power, or one kilowatt-hour of energy per hour.


No no, Grumman's right. It was past midnight local time when I wrote the post and I forgot that a watt is the rate at which you generate/use energy. A Watt is a Joule per second. (W = J/s).

So a kilowatt * hour is a measurement of energy because it cancels out the time dimension (roughly 3.6 megajoules, wiki tells me).

I went back to edit the post last night when I realized my boneheaded mistake, but the edit window had closed.

I'm just surprised you guys are still arguing about it instead of someone beating me with a cluebat for basic physics failure.

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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby KrauserKrauser » 2012-01-14 09:56am

The post counts are a bit inflated but I guess I don't post that much so I miss out on the free income that Q is providing me.

At 1 kilowatt I get an external power jack installed for a little up front cost and then save ~$200 a month on electricity.

Then I fume about how elevated post count requirements cheated me out of a roughly $200,000 per month income.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Solauren » 2012-01-14 09:59am

Nice, a Gigawatt generator.

I ask Q is this magic, or technology that humanity will be able to duplicate? If it's the later, sell it to a research firm and retire.
If it's magic, buy an electric car, and replace the battery with this.

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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-01-14 10:07am

I would have used a different post count requirement. Instead of jumping from kW-GW-TW, perhaps starting at 10 kW, then 100, then 1Gw, then 10 Gw and so on. Oh well.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Zixinus » 2012-01-14 10:46am

Yes, one terawatt-level cubes are going to be scary to have around. I mean, isn't that what the entire planet's worth of power generation? Or at the very least, the level where you can practically run entire cities?
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Scottish Ninja » 2012-01-14 10:48am

Dave wrote:
Grumman wrote:
Zablorg wrote:You can't just dodge a legitimate question by pretending the subject matter doesn't exist. So I'll ask again- per what time limit?

I'm not dodging the question, I'm trying to explain to you that unless you're asking how quickly it can ramp up to full power, the answer is "per no time unit". The device can produce one kilowatt of power, or one kilowatt-hour of energy per hour.


No no, Grumman's right. It was past midnight local time when I wrote the post and I forgot that a watt is the rate at which you generate/use energy. A Watt is a Joule per second. (W = J/s).

So a kilowatt * hour is a measurement of energy because it cancels out the time dimension (roughly 3.6 megajoules, wiki tells me).

I went back to edit the post last night when I realized my boneheaded mistake, but the edit window had closed.

I'm just surprised you guys are still arguing about it instead of someone beating me with a cluebat for basic physics failure.


You realize that's the joke, right?

Go back and read Zab's post again:

Zablorg wrote:Oh, I missed this:

Dave wrote:I mean, I guess I have a cheap way to run my electronics, but I'm not sure what else I'm going to do with a spare kilowatt (per what time unit?)


That's a good question. There's no wholly accepted standard in the scientific community for what time unit a watt corresponds to. I may have to rethink this scenario.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Enigma » 2012-01-14 10:57am

Zixinus wrote:Yes, one terawatt-level cubes are going to be scary to have around. I mean, isn't that what the entire planet's worth of power generation? Or at the very least, the level where you can practically run entire cities?


With a loan you can create your own power company. :)

As for me and my megawatt, I'd have the house connected to it and somehow make a deal with the power company and connect the cube to the power grid so I'd get some sweet money. :) lol
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Scottish Ninja » 2012-01-14 11:49am

Just had a look; the electric output of the entire world is roughly 2 TW, so yes, that is quite a bit of power that thing would put out.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Darth Tanner » 2012-01-14 12:55pm

With my 1kw generator I get an electrician to rig into the main and power my house and sell the excess to the grid, shouldn’t be that much cash but probably a few hundred £ annual income. I also invest in an electric car and get that rigged so it can be run from the device which I switch between the two depending on where I am.

I don't care one of the lines is pink.

Why is carrying 20kg a problem? Obviously you may want to design some sort of carrying bag rather than just pick up a metal cube but 20kg, even when so dense isn’t exactly a problem is it ? It’s just the weight of a heavy suitcase.

Also the scale is a bit extreme, one kw is just enough for you to use personally but the immediate jump to megawatt precludes anything other than industrial use or powering your own ion spacecraft. I don't think many people have one of them though and setting up a power company may be a bit difficult for the average guy.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby lordofchange13 » 2012-01-14 02:30pm

With my measly single kilowatt i'd have to just plug it into my house and shave about 90% of my annual electric bill. Why did it just jump form Kilowatt to megawatt?! that's a crapton of energy to be produced out of nothing.
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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby Darmalus » 2012-01-14 04:13pm

If you did nothing more than sell back the power at US California rates ($0.12 per Kw/h)
Kilowatt: $1,051.20 annually
Megawatt: $1,051,200.00 annually
Gigawatt: $1,051,200,000.00 annually

I salute our new millionaires and billionaires, you lucky bastards.

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Re: You own an electricity generator (RAR!)

Postby lordofchange13 » 2012-01-14 04:18pm

Darmalus wrote:If you did nothing more than sell back the power at US California rates ($0.12 per Kw/h)
Kilowatt: $1,051.20 annually
Megawatt: $1,051,200.00 annually
Gigawatt: $1,051,200,000.00 annually

I salute our new millionaires and billionaires, you lucky bastards.

...what about the Terawatt guys?
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