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Comments by Jim Baird Subscribe

On Uber vs. Google: Electric Vehicles Are About To Get Really Interesting

Bob, the whole idea of the autonomous car is set it and forget it. Driving in it for me would be far more stressful than if I am behind the wheel because now I have to anticipate what the Google guys left out as well as what's ahead on the road.

May 1, 2015    View Comment    

On We're Using Natural Gas All Wrong for the Climate

Duplicate

 

April 29, 2015    View Comment    

On We're Using Natural Gas All Wrong for the Climate

Excellent idea Hops, David Keith uses sodium hydroxide as the absorbent and then reverses the process to capture pure CO2 rather than just throwing the filters out..

April 29, 2015    View Comment    

On We're Using Natural Gas All Wrong for the Climate

Willem, fhe MIT masters thesis of Shylesh Muralidharan illustrates the high capacity factor of OTEC as well as its competitive levelized capital costs. Plants in the 500MW to 1000 MW capacity could be the cheapest of the renewables. The research of Gerard Nihous, Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering, University of Hawaii, suggests you can extract 14TW - the amount we currently get for fossil fuels, from the oceans without upsetting flow patterns.

 

April 29, 2015    View Comment    

On Thermodynamic Geoengineereing: The Fourth Way

Thanks for this Bruce.

April 24, 2015    View Comment    

On Thermodynamic Geoengineereing: The Fourth Way

Bruce, the benefit of electrolysis at a depth of 1000 meters is the hydrogen arrives at the surface pressurized to 100 bar, so the transportation expense is reduced. The other problems noted are all valid but I tend to think that considering the investment the automotive sector is making in hydrogen they don't see these as insurmountable. Also with each step including electrolysis there is an added efficiency loss.

April 23, 2015    View Comment    

On Thermodynamic Geoengineereing: The Fourth Way

Bruce I am happy to leave to others the best way to market the energy you get from moving the heat away from the ocean's surface to the deep. I am content with the benefits derived from reducing atmospheric warming, sapping the strength of tropical storms and reducing sea level rise that you get from this process.  I am intrigued though with the supergreen hydrogen technique developed by a Lawrence Livermore team, which captures carbon dioxide from the atmospheric and produces an alkaline stream that reduces the acidity of the oceans. The synergy of this process with heat pipe OTEC is pretty compelling.

 

April 22, 2015    View Comment    

On Thermodynamic Geoengineereing: The Fourth Way

Bruce, some colleagues swear by ammonia as the energy carrier for OTEC. See American Energy Policy V -- Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion.

My preference is hydrogen produce by electrolysis per The Climate Case for Hydrogen. The shipping infrastructure would be similar to LNG.

I don't quite understand why if we have to stop using fossil methane it would be okay to use electrofuel methane. Perhaps you meant methanol, which I have seen suggested but here too CO2 is a byproduct of use, which it seems to me defeats the prupose?

April 22, 2015    View Comment    

On Thermodynamic Geoengineereing: The Fourth Way

Alistair the proposal has been presented to the Carbon War Room who claimed to be interested in reducing the carbon footprint of shipping without results. It also was presented to the Navy which it would seem would benefit for the same reasons you outline but again to no effect. They have financed some OTEC research for the purpose of producing small power systems that could service remote bases but the economics of small system doesn't work so they pulled out. To my knowledge they haven't considered fuel systems for vessels or planes over which they would have full control, which to me is a huge missed opportunity.

As always thanks for your input.

 

April 20, 2015    View Comment    

On Thermodynamic Geoengineereing: The Fourth Way

Buck the liquid phase is lifted by pumping not capillary action. For an 80 MW plant using ammonia as the working fluid Luis Vega estimates that  2,750 kg/s would be used. The estimated capital cost for a 100 MW plant ship is estimated at 2650 $/kw for the deep water condenser design in the MIT thesis. Locally the costs of a proposed hydro dam, the Site C, is estimated at $8.8 billion for 1,100 MW or 8000 $/kw.

Vogtle 3 and 4 for a combined 2,500 MW are estimated to cost $14 billion for a capex of about 5600 $/kw so I think the cost speaks for itself.

April 20, 2015    View Comment    

On Deep Sea Drilling Rules and the Transition from Fossil Fuels

A spill while mining hydrogen from the oceans would immediately dissipate into the air. Even a fire would produce nothing but water.

April 15, 2015    View Comment