Bio energy storage was [Re: Technology evolves...]

Dan Clemmensen (
Wed, 04 Nov 1998 20:22:20 -0500

Michael Lorrey wrote:
> Dan Clemmensen wrote:
> > IMO by the time we have replicators, we can consider the biological model
> > for solar energy storage: plants store a lot of energy in a distributed
> > manner.
> Food calories, as I recall, are actually kilocalories in energy terms. As for
> dense distributed storeage, a maple tree's leaves are only the energy generators
> in the organism. Several hundred pounds of leaves produce 100-300 calories worth
> of sap per day, which is stored in the trunk and roots. The total mass of a whole
> maple tree is several thousand pounds. I would hardly call this a dense
> distributed energy storeage system. The total surface area of the leaves is
> several thousand square meters, indicating to me that the energy conversion
> efficiency of these organisms is far less than 1%
In this case, I was referring to areal density. Plant a forrest or a wheat field and use it to capture and store the energy. However, I intended this to be used as a model, not used directly. That is, we can design nanomachinery that uses sunlight to drive biochemical reactions, storing the result locally. Also note that the whole mass of the maple tree represents a very large amount of stored energy. If this isn't dense storage, what is?

> Nano tech organisms should not be designed with their own power generation
> devices, as that is a prescription for loss of control and catastrophe. Any
> nanotech we deploy should be entirely dependent upon an outside source of energy,
> a food, that we supply.
Since I think that nanotech results immediately in the SI and in the ability to self-augment, I feel that the nano-forrest is an extension of the SI. Note that the SI may be collaborative, with each member of the community being an extended human mentality. If so, I may choose to be (or include within myself) a nano-forrest. Thus, the issue of constraining self-replicating nanites doesn't arise. All of my nanites are highly specialized. Only the forrest as a whole (i.e. I) can extend the forrest. Please note that I will attempt to find a way to design and use novel reactions to capture a higher percentage of the sunlight than a plant does.