I started work on Innerscape* again today, and have 14 hand-scribbled pages of notes, and possible plot directions to show for it. On page 15, I started wondering what kind of redundant systems a facility like Innerscape would need [to ensure neither the AI, nor the residents’ life support systems ever broke down]. And that led me to flywheels.
For those who don’t know what a flywheel is, let me show you a very simple example of a flywheel at work.
played bought such toys for our kids, but I know I never really knew why they worked. This next video is longer, but about 3/4 of the way through you get to see a nice, clear demonstration of what a flywheel in a vehicle is actually doing.
But in principle, much larger flywheels could also be used to store intermittent energy – say from solar or a wind turbine. The problem has been in the implementation, and cost.
This article in Scientific American talks about a new invention that gets around one of the major obstacles to using flywheel technology for large scale energy storage. For the non-geeks, just accept that this invention could make large scale energy storage a reality.
So, extrapolating from that Scientific American article, I think that in about 80 years, this flywheel design, or something similar, will be commonplace. After all, think about how far computer technology has come since the 1980’s when personal computers arrived.
If I’m right, flywheel technology would be a necessary component of any highly redundant back up system. Which means Innerscape would definitely have it. Neat huh?
Okay, I know this post probably bored you all to tears, but I’m excited! One of the joys of writing sci-fi is the ability to second guess the future. The year 2100 may prove me completely wrong, but you must admit, my guess is at least possible. 🙂
*You can find the beginning of the Innerscape story under Categories/nano 2012 excerpts