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Comments by Jim Baird Subscribe

On Oil Limits and the Economy: One Story, Not Two

This is an excellent video Rick.

Gail speaks of diminishing returns, whereas climate change is, for the most part, the accumulation of excess heat in the oceans. This positive heat potential can be moved to the cold depths to produce electricity through a heat engine. As you described it in another post (pejoratively) by converting the ocean into a battery.

Although I am not an economist either, the few course I did take taught that with scarcity came increased costs, whereas prices came down with over production.

It seems to me turning the oceans into a battery solves Gails conundrum as well as the warming problem.

Regards.

March 22, 2014    View Comment    

On Flying Without Fossil Fuels: The Need For High Energy Density

Roger, Siemens has an article on electrolyzers here. They hope to be able to drop their cost by one order of magnitude to under €1,000 per kilowatt by 2018. These would be at 100 MW scale. 

Again OTEC is the largest 100% duty cycle renewable option and the bonus to producing hydrogen at a depth of 1000 meters is, it arrives at the surface pressurized to 100 atmospheres.

March 13, 2014    View Comment    

On Flying Without Fossil Fuels: The Need For High Energy Density

Roger, to avoid long supply lines the Navy should be producing fuel from within its own environment. It also has significant land based infrastructure that is at risk to sea level rise and storm surge, which are mitigated by OTEC. 

March 11, 2014    View Comment    

On Flying Without Fossil Fuels: The Need For High Energy Density

Robert, by chance did you take a look at the Tu-160. It is of similar scale to the 747.

Tu-160 at MAKS 2007.jpg

Tokyo to Washington in two hours - Rockwell X-30 - hydrogen power.

Jim

 

March 11, 2014    View Comment    

On Flying Without Fossil Fuels: The Need For High Energy Density

Robert, speaking at the World AirlinesForum on sustainable development in Cannes in 2007, Airbus director of sustainable development Rainer von Wrede said that there are no technology obstacles  -to the development of hydrogen-fuelled aircraft engines - but there are many hurdles, including the ability to produce hydrogen in sufficient quantities and in an environmentally friendly way. "I would say it would take around three decades to solve these problems," he said.

It is OTEC's potential to develop hydrogen in quantify, and in an envrionmentally friendly way, that makes me an advocate.

As to your concerns about the greenhouse effect of vapor, the European Union points out, "the residency time of water vapour in the upper atmosphere is 6 months, whereas carbon dioxide remains in place for around 100 years." 

In their paper, H2Aircraft - CRYOPLANE and the future of flight, they state, "Driven by the foreseeable exhaustion of petroleum reserves and tightening environmental controls, the EU-funded CRYOPLANE project has developed a conceptual basis for a new generation of aircraft, preparing the way for a future without fossil fuels and where hydrogen rules."

 

 

March 11, 2014    View Comment    

On Flying Without Fossil Fuels: The Need For High Energy Density

Hydrogen was used in one of Germany’s first aircraft turbine engines the Heinkel-Strahltriebwerk 1 (HeS 1). The Russians proposed a liquid hydrogen version of the Tu-160V bomber and the US Navy broke its own endurance record by keeping a fuel cell powered drone in the air over 48 hours by using a cryogenic tank for the liquefied hydrogen fuel.  It would seem we can fly quite well without fossil fuels.

March 11, 2014    View Comment    

On Modern Alchemy: The Conversion of Anergy to Exergy

"For conventional fueled power plants, temperature ranges are pushing from hundreds to thousands of degrees and reaching 60% thermal efficiencies." In other words 40% of those thousands of degrees end up in the environment. Just what we need?

Agreed however a 20MW is not ideal for OTEC. It is generally assumed it takes at least a 100MW plant to be economical.

 

March 8, 2014    View Comment    

On Physicist And Congressman Rush Holt On Keystone XL: Tar Sands 'Sludge' Is 'A Climate Poison'

 "You have all the risk, but “there’s no gain. It’s to be sold overseas,"  any chance Congressman Holt was speaking of the British Columbia, Northern Gateway pipeline, situation?

March 7, 2014    View Comment    

On Modern Alchemy: The Conversion of Anergy to Exergy

In a NewScientist article, 20,000 megawatts under the sea: Oceanic steam engines, Luis Vega of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii says a 100-megwatt plant would cost about $790 million to build and would produce electricity at around 18 US cents per kilowatt hour. This is for a design based on a cold water pipe. One builder who uses a heat pipe design offered four years ago to build a 100 megawatt plant for $400 million.

One might include however the cost of not producing energy this way.  By one estimate that could be a high as $60 trillion.

March 5, 2014    View Comment    

On Seeking Consensus: A New Project on the Energy Collective

Thanks again Roger. I agree the warming hiatus cannot be made indefinite. By supplanting FF with OTEC however you reduce the atmospheric CO2 level thus the equilibration will not take place over and above the radiative forcing. The study by the University of Calgary and the Solomon study also seem to indicate this equilibration will take at least 1000 years, more I suspect if the heat is moved deeply enough, which allows time for adaptation and atmospheric heat dissipation.

I am also still a little confused about the stranded power. I think the Hydrogen Economy analogy is valid and that this is a pretty big market.

I also refer to Tom Garven's response to Ryan, waste heat is an important issue. OTEC is the conversion of  damaging waste heat to work as well as the movement of a lot more of it to a less fraught location.

For the moment, I couldn't ask for more than serious consideration, so again thank you.

 

February 26, 2014    View Comment    

On Seeking Consensus: A New Project on the Energy Collective

The recent study by Matthew England points to the fact that the movement of surface ocean heat to a depth of at least 300 meters is the likely cause of the recent atmospheric warming hiatus. Moving this heat with a heat pipe constantly to a depth of 1000 meters, where the coefficient of expansion is half that of the tropical surface, is an even greater benefit, this is done with latent heat as you describe. Over such a span a wick would not be sufficient to return the condensed working fluid back to the surface to complete the cycle, pumping would be required. If you bring cold water to the surface it releases CO2 into the atmosphere with the reduction in pressure. It contains nutrients that are beneficial in the shortrun for phytoplankton but most likely these blooms will lead to eutrophication and dead zones. Heat moved with the heat pipe to the depths would produce convection that would be more beneficial to marine life. In view of your work on the Hydrogen Economy I am a surprised at your notion of this power being stranded. To my mind,creating a perpetual warming hiatus is a compelling reason for generating as much hydrogen as we can for the benefit of the Hydrogen Economy. 

February 25, 2014    View Comment