Robert Taylor
Diploma 6
The increase in the electrical fecundity of the soil makes the decommissioned Prudhoe Bay oilfield a prime global site for the deployment of galvanic cells used to generate electric currents under the principles of electrolysis. With the introduction of conjoined zinc and copper electrodes into the soil a stream of electrons carried on zinc ions depart the zinc: This is the basis of an electric current that carries an associated electrical energy equal to 95.7 Joules per second, or enough to almost power an 100W lightbulb.The astro-molecular power station can support 23,600 electromagnetic accelerators each charged by the electrical energy of 10,000 galvanic cells, enabling them to each launch an electrodynamic satellite to an altitude just below the critical ceiling of escaping the Earth’s gravitational field, peaking at an orbital altitude amid the Van Allen belt, a field of charged plasma that encircles the Earth. The electric charge from 10,000 galvanic cells accumulates in a bank of capacitors adjacent to a pair of aluminium rails facing due north and pointed to the sky at an angle of 27 degrees. A composite carbon-aluminium armature bearing the satellite secretes a liquid aluminium lubricant rests between the parallel rails, completing a circuit so that upon the capacitors’ daily discharge the resulting electric current propels the armature skyward at a speed of just below 11300 metres per second.Each electromagnetic accelerator’s payload is a single electrodynamic satellite designed to accumulate and store electromagnetic energy under the same principle as a dynamo. A 10km long 0.67 mm diameter copper tether is deployed from its casing upon escaping the Earth’s ionosphere. As it travels away from the Earth and into orbit around it, a copper ballast at the end of the tether is dragged through the plasma latent in the Van Allen belt. The potential difference that results across the tether due to its intersection with the Earth’s magnetic field lines draws free electrons from the plasma into the ballast, through the tether and out of a tungsten thermionic emitter at its top. The electrons departing the circuit ionise the plasma above the satellite to the extent that an aurora plume trails the satellite tracing a whirl of double slow-mo colour across the sky visible from Earth at night.After the satellite falls, blazes through the atmosphere and smashes into the Earth at an impact speed of half the speed of sound, the surviving core has been magnetised to such an extent that even in the most rudimentary of timber, hand wound electric generators electrical energy would be yielded at a rate of 1.3x10^13 Joules per second, or the equivalent of 2165 barrels of oil a second.However, 2 years after the first electrodynamic meteor impact the cost of its energy per cent of investment 1600 years ago equals 194 million J per cent with this figure rapidly asymptotically falling towards zero as more electromagnetic meteors impact. The same ratio for the war in Iraq is 2.73 million Joules per cent, not including extraction costs, making Prudhoe Bay Astromolecular Power Station over 70 times more cost effective in the long term despite its initial operational costs being four times the US annual federal reserve budget.Given the lengths of environmental harshness, fiscal expenditure and cost in human life that civilisation goes to in order to secure its energy future, perhaps the project is rational despite the absurd measures and sacrifices it demands.Given the relatively small overall energy yield of the arrayed galvanic cells, instead of transmitting their electrical output to distant urban centres and into insignificance, this accumulated quantity of infinitesimally small and overlooked electrical energy is invested to bridge the gap to those of such astronomical scales they escape comprehension.At the apex of its extra-terrestrial voyage, a potential difference of 5500 kV, or about twenty times the typical voltage that electecricity is distributed from substations in the US to consumers, runs across the tether and results in a current flow of 1.3A, and hence a rate of energy yield at such a rate that the satellite would take just under 15 minutes to capture the same amount of energy as present in a barrel of oil.The physical consequences of such a system of harvesting energy are that each impact releases the same energy as an explosion of 150 grams of TNT and results in a blast radius of nearly 20m diameter. If 10,000 were to be launched daily and the same number collide with the Earth every day 1600 years in the future it will result in an average of 575 people dying annually during electromagnetic meteor showers.