Sign up | Login with →

Comments by Jim Baird Subscribe

On The Solar Energy Industry is Red Hot - Will it Get Hotter?

Good EROI numbers

Elias, Michael Dale of Stanford did his PhD thesis on the topic. It is available here.

December 12, 2013    View Comment    

On Putting the Brakes on CO2 is at Best Half a Climate Solution

Bob the most recent assesment by Krishnakumar Rajagopalan and Gerard C. Nihous, An Assessment of Global Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Resources With a High-Resolution Ocean, General Circulation Model, puts the maximum global OTEC power production at 14 TW.  I and a group of others believe this is a best a floor if OTEC is developed properly, which means with a deep water condenser as opposed to massive cold water pipes. For about 1/100th of President Carter's committment we could test our prototype at lab scale.

November 30, 2013    View Comment    

On Putting the Brakes on CO2 is at Best Half a Climate Solution

Bob, if this .00165 petawatts of power was derived from ocean thermal energy conversion a further .04125 petawatts, or about 1/10th of the energy imbalance, would be moved to the deep ocean, which growing evidence suggests has the capacity to absorb it for a sustained period. This would mediate storm damage and sea level rise directly, which is not a benefit you derive from fission. You also do not have waste or proliferation issues or loss of efficiency as your cooling water heats up in the summer.

The latest from Warsaw is the Warsaw Mechanism that allows for restitution for developing countries from the ravages of climate change. These are from storms and sea level rise, which OTEC will mitigate directly and fission does not.

Both are carbon free but OTEC goes the extra mile.

 

November 30, 2013    View Comment    

On Global Temperatures: What Climate Hiatus?

Ronald, sea level rise is the issue. It has three components, thermal expansion, icecap melting and the flux between land and sea as aquifers are pumped dry and/or downpours move ocean volume to land as was the case of 2010/11 when sea levels fell 5mm due to deluges in Australia and the Amazon.


Ocean thermal energy conversion addresses the first two of these factors by sapping the energy of storms that move heat to the poles, converting ocean heat to work and moving more to a depth of 1000 meters where the coefficient of expansion of sea water is half that of the surface and by converting liquid volume to gas to create the hydrogen necessary to get the power generated offshore to market.

We can also rectify the aquifer issue by moving water from areas of excess to areas of deprivation.

Unfortunately we are doing none of the above.

November 21, 2013    View Comment    

On What's More Productive: CO2 Sequestration or Ocean Heat Sequestration?

Energy at higher temperature and waste heat twice that of the energy produced that ends up in the ocean is hardly the solution needed.

The transference of ocean surface heat to deeper water through a heat engine converts damaging heat to producitve use and therefore is three times as beneficial to the environment.

November 16, 2013    View Comment    

On What's More Productive: CO2 Sequestration or Ocean Heat Sequestration?

Greg, I have seen it argued that this is a conservative gravitational field, but I am far more inclined to think you need considerable pumping to return the condensed fluid to the surface. Melvin Prueitt, formerly of Los Alamos, has a patent application 20070289303 for such a system and used a program OTEC.exe to produce a table showing the pump power required for various working fluids. For ammonia the parasitic loss is about 8 percent of the power generated. I fully agree and have proposed to the Navy that they should be producing their fuel in their own environment. Massive OTEC deployment also gives them a new mission to protect the infrastructure.
November 14, 2013    View Comment    

On What's More Productive: CO2 Sequestration or Ocean Heat Sequestration?

It can't and won't happen fast Max. There will be plenty of time to rein it in should insurmountable problems be identified. On the other hand if we don't start acting proactively our kids will pay a huge price.

November 13, 2013    View Comment    

On What's More Productive: CO2 Sequestration or Ocean Heat Sequestration?

Thanks for the references Greg. Perhaps the Planet Doctors would like to collaborate with the ocean energy group on advancing this approach. OTEC is the largest base load source of renewable energy. How this is best put to use is an interesting dilemma. 

November 13, 2013    View Comment    

On What's More Productive: CO2 Sequestration or Ocean Heat Sequestration?

Greg, I believe the stirring you are referring to is the result of bringing masses of cold water to the surface to condense a working fluid. This would result in a release of CO2 due to the decrease in pressure and eutrophication. A group of us believe this would be prevented or at least greatly reduced by moving the working fluid vapor in a heat pipe - a closed system-  to the depths for condensation and return.

November 13, 2013    View Comment    

On What's More Productive: CO2 Sequestration or Ocean Heat Sequestration?

Max, clathrates are found in shallower waters on the continental shelves and are therefore more likely to be influenced by the status quo than by moving heat to deeper water. Also I believe you will find warmer water holds less gas than the reverse. William Cheung of UBC has done a study showing that warmer water will also hold less oxygen leading to smaller fish.The temperature of deep water will be raised one order of magnitude less than the 1 to 5 C increases we are seeing which has lead to storms like Haiyan and Sandy. Lowering surface temperature also will be a boon to the fish.

November 13, 2013    View Comment    

On Deeply Conflicted About Weather Extremes

Aslak Grinstedof the Niels Bohr Institute and Kerry Emanuel of MIT lend credence to the slide.

November 13, 2013    View Comment    

On Securitization: The Future of Solar Finance

Lewis, Typhoon Haiyan is a case in point but for the fact probably very little of the property that has been destroyed will have been insured. Insured or not though it will mostly be rebuilt through debt or philanthropy. The same energy source that powered that storm, and all like it, could just as easily power the world with ocean thermal energy conversion, which has an EROI the same as Alberta's oil sands. Are the insurance companies better off paying out claims or financing mitigating strategies? More germaine, which is the better strategy for mankind.

How much money have they invested in fossil fuels?

How much in OTEC?

November 9, 2013    View Comment