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On Hope For an Energy Rich, Sustainable Future

Max, I am working on these issues with some pretty bright people. Dr. James Lau, Phd Physics, has a design that requires no water movement because of the wide distribution of the evaporator and condenser components. I have a design that uses the discharge water from these units to move the system and allow it to graze fresh waters. OTEC requires a temperature difference of at least 20C between the hot and cold reservoirs to work. If you operate over a small area you readily degrade this resource and it is likely it would shut down before you could produce the kind of effect you are looking at. It is in the operators economic interests to insure such a thing does not happen thus it is highly unlikely that it would.  

September 18, 2014    View Comment    

On Hope For an Energy Rich, Sustainable Future

Max I think it is far more likely we will not implement this solution fast enough to prevent the crossing of any number of climate tipping points rather than your alternative. But have a look at the Levitus paper. The ocean to a depth of 2000 meter only warmed on average 0.09C over the period 1955–2010. If this heat however was instantaneously return to the atmosphere in one chunk the lower 10 kilometers would heat up 36C. These are the kind of numbers you would be looking at if you were pumping a further potential 36c increase into the deep instead. But say you warmed the water now at 1000 meters, which is about 4C, a couple of degrees. This 6C water would rise through convection but only until it reached water at the same temperature, which is still around 900 meters deep. I think you are taking the precautionary principle to dangerously exagerated extremes and as a Canadian would hope you would rather be part of the solution rather than the problem. Further in the time it will take to build out anything like the kind of infrastructure that is required there will be plenty of time to gain real time experience into what the ramifications are and bring the build out to an end if in the unlikely event that proved necessary.  

September 18, 2014    View Comment    

On Are Carbon Capture and Storage and Biomass Indispensable in the Fight Against Climate Change?

The global warming mitigation method proposes that both water and CO2 can be sequestered in the hot desert of the planet using energy produced from the accumulating heat in the oceans.

September 12, 2014    View Comment    

On Is it Really Necessary to Have a Deep Geologic Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel?

And the industry wonders why the public has no faith in its pronouncements?

September 11, 2014    View Comment    

On The Catch-22 of Energy Storage

To a depth of 2000 meters the ocean has only warmed .09C from 1955 to 2010 according to Levitus, et al., 2012. As long as you use a heat pipe to move surface heat below the thermocline instead of upwelling cold water near the surface you will not release CO2 into the atmosphere. Greg Rau's C negative hydrogen production mated with OTEC would sequester your CO2 at the same time as it produces the energy carrier necessary to bring offshore power to market.

We are working with other partners to try and bring this REAL climate solution to fruition.

August 28, 2014    View Comment    

On The Catch-22 of Energy Storage

Climate change is energy storage - heat in the ocean. The solution is to find the best way to convert that heat back to energy and move significantly more away from the surface.


August 25, 2014    View Comment    

On Tesla Trumps Toyota Part II: The Big Problem With Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

Carbon-negative hydrogen

One problem with OTEC is the buoyancy of the deep structures. The minerals used in this process could also serve as ballast. If electrolysis is performed at the bottom of the OTEC string - 1000 meters deep - the hydrogen would arrive at the surface at a pressure of 100 bar. The oxygen could be vented into water that is increasingly less able to retain gases as it warms. A UBC study indicates the size of fish is already being diminished as a result. One more reason why Joe is wrong about the benefits of hydrogen production.


August 18, 2014    View Comment    

On Tesla Trumps Toyota: Why Hydrogen Cars Can't Compete With Pure Electric Cars

High pressure electrolysis (from wikipedia)

High pressure electrolysis is the electrolysis of water with a compressed hydrogen output around 120-200 Bar (1740-2900 psi). By pressurising the hydrogen in the electrolyser the need for an external hydrogen compressor is eliminated, the average energy consumption for internal compression is around 3%.

Toyota fuel-cell car in 2014 with 300 mile range and Tesla-competitive price. (The pressure for this tank is 690 atmospheres). One atmosphere equates to about 10 meters of depth in the ocean so theorectically you could get this from electrolysis in the deepest ocean trenches but this isn't likely to be practical. OTEC requires accessing water at about 4C, which is also its greatest density, to be efficient and this starts at about 1000 meters virtually universally in the ocean. One hundred atmospheres is likely the best you can expect, which isn't bad because the best OTEC sites require the production of an energy carrier to bring the power to market in any case.


August 16, 2014    View Comment    

On Tesla Trumps Toyota Part II: The Big Problem With Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

"The biggest problem hydrogen fuel cell vehicles face is that they deliver no obvious major consumer (or societal/environmental) benefit compared to the competition."

Carbon-negative hydrogen production makes this statement patently false.

August 16, 2014    View Comment    

On Tesla Trumps Toyota: Why Hydrogen Cars Can't Compete With Pure Electric Cars

William, one way to bring the of cost compressing hydrogen down is to produce it at depth using electricity produced by ocean thermal energy conversion. At a depth of 1000 meters where you would produce the gas by electrolysis the pressure is 100 atmospheres and the gas would arrive at the surface at that pressure. I think I have seen on these pages somewhere that this is about 1/3 the pressure that is desired but it gets you part way at no additional cost to the overall system.

August 15, 2014    View Comment    

On Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Drop To Drink

Yes I believe they added the decimal point incorrectly.

This application been abandoned by the way for lack of the resources to prosecute it.

August 11, 2014    View Comment    

On Tesla Trumps Toyota: Why Hydrogen Cars Can't Compete With Pure Electric Cars

And yet Mercedes Benz, Toyota, BMW, Hyundai ect. are developing hydrogen fuel cell cars. These guys aren't noted for their technological naivety.

August 10, 2014    View Comment