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Technische Träume

Nature volume 110, page 663 (18 November 1922) | Download Citation



THIS illustrated pamphlet issued free to subscribers to the journal Natur und Technik contains short accounts of the most important of the proposals which have been made from time to time either to use coal more efficiently in view of its complete exhaustion 1500 years hence, or to substitute for it some other source of power. Of schemes falling within the former category the author thinks Ramsay's plan for converting coal into water-gas in situ not likely to prove successful, and attaches more importance to the proposals to generate electric current thermo-electrically or by means of carbon cells. Apart from coal and petroleum, natural power has been derived from sunlight, from the wind, from steam in volcanic regions, from the tides, and from the waves of the sea. Sunlight power plants in tropical regions can, he considers, compete with coal at 10s. a ton, while at Landerello in Tuscany all domestic and power heating is supplied by steam from underground heat. The waves have not proved an economical source of power, but the tides are more promising where the necessary structural work is not too costly. The estimated costs of the Severn Scheme the author thinks too low.

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