OK, so anyone that lives in the compound or downtown in the fallback zone knows that we have a decent amount of power available. Between our solar arrays and a few wind turbines, we collect enough to run our lights and computers most of the time. Not enough for air conditioning, sadly, but we do alright. The main problem we have had is that while we have rigged together some large battery storage, it isn't nearly enough for what we would need if we managed to get power going full time.
My brother and I have been working on an idea, our special project. The folks up at Jack's compound have helped us enormously with the planning and math, and the engineers at Google have done the lion's share of drafting the plans to make the whole thing more efficient, as well as figuring out a way for us to get that grid-level storage.
Yes--we have figured out how to make enough electricity for all of our needs, and how to store it. It's actually a combination of methods. For production of energy, we are going to be building a solar-thermal plant using molten salt. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is, I assure you. It will be a huge pain in the ass getting to where we think there are some suitable turbines, but if we can get through the throngs of zombies that surround the area they should be in, the hardest part will have been done. The rest is simply construction.
The second part is all about manpower and gravity. Between where the compound is and downtown is a very, very steep and long hill. We are going to raise a series of heavy cables and a geared pulley system with guided tracks, hook up big cars to it, and run the cables through heavy flywheels to spin a turbine. If the math works out, one person will be able to ratchet the weight (the vehicle) back up the hill in about ten minutes to do the whole thing over again. If we manage to get enough cable, then we can have this system going pretty much constantly.
As for storing all that energy, we are planning on a flywheel based storage system. I won't go into the details of that, but suffice it to say that we need those turbines to make it work.
Fortunately, the boys and girls at Google seem to think that there is a manufacturing facility that used to make exactly what we need, and that it is untouched. They had to take over a few satellites to look in on the place, but hey, it's not like there is a government to get mad at them about it anymore.
The major issues will be building sufficient flywheels at a storage station to meet all our needs for the foreseeable future, and getting to this facility. Because it's apparently shrouded in zombies for about a thousand feet in every direction. I won't be telling you where it is, because frankly I don't want anyone getting there first. But it's a long pace away in a bigger city, and cities are always packed with the undead.
I cannot give enough thanks to Jack and our friends at Google for helping us manage this. It has been a priority for us since the very beginning, and teams have been working at both Mountain View and Jack's compound to figure out how we can realize this.
It will be a long time before we are up and running, and a lot of laborious effort, but it looks like we have a real shot at it.