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On Batteries Shmatteries: Let's Talk About the Biggest Type of Solar Storage

"The Biggest Type of Solar Storage"

The world's oceans, which are heating at the rate of two trillion 100-watt light bulbs burning continuously,

To a depth of 500 metres they are warming by 0.005 degrees C a year and 0.002 degrees between 500-2000 metres. Most of the heat initially accumulates in the top 10 meters and no radiation reaches below 100 meters. Diffusion is slow because the natural tendency of heat is to rise but mechanical action produced by wind and salinity gradients mixes some of that heat to deeper water.

Assisting this relocation with heat pipes, presents the opportunity to "constantly" produce as much energy was we currently derive from fossil fuels.

In other words we can power real light bulb, transportation as well as heating and airconditioning with the heat that is otherwise destroying the planet's ability to sustain life.

February 9, 2015    View Comment    

On A New Theory of Energy and the Economy, Part 2: Showing the Long-Term GDP-Energy Tie

Willem, it is in the link. The only resource on this planet that is increasing is heat at the oceans surface, which accounts for the bulk of global warming. This accumulation is damaging to the environment. The safe movement of that heat to deep water can produce as much energy as we currently get from fossil fuels. The linked post describes why this manufactured energy can have one of the lowest levelized capital costs.

February 9, 2015    View Comment    

On The Lowest Cost Renewable Energy Comes With a 2000 Percent Environmental Dividend

Alistair I am in full agreement the economics and physics have to be tested before very large scale - 1 gigawatt, multibillion dollar - plants can be considered. One of my colleagues has proposed two stacked tanks of about 4 meter diameter and 5 meter height, representing the hot and cold heat sinks for testing of a small 1500 watt system. This would then lead to a small ocean test and a 100MW plant once the techno-economic issues are worked out. A hundred megawatts is considered the smallest size that would be economically viable. Your coal mine is another option for initial consideration of the technical questions. Testing is on going for cold water pipe designs like Makai's effort but to the best of my knowledge the heat pipe has never been tested, and as you are aware this is the one I believe provides the most environmental benefit and at the lowest cost. I am actively seeking funding for the initial efforts in this regard.


Many thanks for your interest and suggestions.

February 7, 2015    View Comment    

On The Lowest Cost Renewable Energy Comes With a 2000 Percent Environmental Dividend

Yes WE do SL and legal counsel is a vital component of that effort.

February 7, 2015    View Comment    

On The Lowest Cost Renewable Energy Comes With a 2000 Percent Environmental Dividend

Alistair a couple of colleagues are very interested in salinity gradient solar ponds as a way to jackup the efficiency of these kinds of systems. You can google them and and get all kinds of hits. They can get the temperature differential up to close to 100 degrees as I understand it.

I am kind of a purest and believe there is more than enough heat in the oceans already causing us grief and that simply relocating the worst of it into the deep would solve most of our problems.

 

 

February 6, 2015    View Comment    

On The Defeat of Climate Denial

"The policy debate will now shift from a discussion of the existence of the problem to one focused on solutions."

Hopefully that will be the case. In that event the potentially least cost energy solution, with the highest rate of environmental return stands a reasonable chance.

February 4, 2015    View Comment    

On The Lowest Cost Renewable Energy Comes With a 2000 Percent Environmental Dividend

Robert, most of my associates prefer ammonia as the energy carrier. I don't know which is the best way to go. My main interest is in coverting warming heat to productive use. It seems to me though the auto industry has made a committment to hydrogen, where I don't see the same for ammonia, so I would think that would be the way to go. No doubt avoiding electrolysis would be more efficient but the best OTEC sites are pretty remote.

February 1, 2015    View Comment    

On The Lowest Cost Renewable Energy Comes With a 2000 Percent Environmental Dividend

Hops locally there is a company that does what they call geo exchange. It pretty much works as you describe for all kinds of heat sinks.

February 1, 2015    View Comment    

On The Lowest Cost Renewable Energy Comes With a 2000 Percent Environmental Dividend

Hops I'm not sure about that. In the past when CO2 concentrations were near 400 ppm the temperatures at the poles were close to 15C warmer, while the global average was more like 5. That being the case it doesn't seem to me the poles are acting much like a radiator.

February 1, 2015    View Comment    

On The Lowest Cost Renewable Energy Comes With a 2000 Percent Environmental Dividend

Hops the coefficient of thermal expansion of ocean water at 1000 meters depth and 4C is half what it is a the tropical surface.

Further those storms move heat from the tropics towards the poles where it melts the icecaps, which is of course where the real threat from sea level rise exists. If this heat is moved instead into the deep where it warms that water only a few fractions of a degree, I submit the threat of sea level rise is greatly reduced.

Levitus et al determined that over the period 1955-2010 that the oceans to a depth of 2000 meters had warmed by only .09C. But were this heat released to the lower 10 kilometers of the atmosphere it would be instantly warmed by 36C. I think therefore it is pretty clear this heat, which isn't radiating to space in any case because it is trapped by the greenhouse blanket is best relocated to the deep.

 

February 1, 2015    View Comment