Alternative energy sources
August 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm #1585
Only yesterday did I hear about this project and site, so, please forgive my ignorance.
I have not had the time to read all of the posts, so my topic may have already come up in discussion.
Would it be plausible to utilize Solar, wind, or wave (S/W/Wv) generating technologies to power only certain neccessities and keep the reactor, whichever type, as a backup or for emergency usage only?
I was thinking that any amount of output Voltage from S/W/Wv could be stepped up by a transformer to increase the amount of need.
I’ll keep my post short, and look forward to any replies.
TKAugust 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm #14701
Yea, check out the threads. You’ll find there is a lot of stuff out there.August 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm #14702
Why would you use a reactor as BACKUP? You use the reactor as primary power and the other unreliable methods as a backup.
A reactor can’t just be shut off or kept on standby…the radioactive materials in the core (the rods) are constantly generating heat. So if you use your reactor only as a backup then you must constantly shunt that heat somewhere, rather than use it to generate electricity. That is incredibly wasteful.
Also, forget nuclear power. No seastead in our lifetimes, or the lifetimes of our great-great-grandchildren, will ever have a nuclear reactor. You don’t just walk into the local supermarket and pick one off the shelf. You think ANY existing nation will ever allow a small group of radicals to have a floating nuclear reactor?
Focus on practical methods of electricity generation that can be purchased today in commercial markets.September 9, 2011 at 4:10 am #15379
No one is going to allow you to have a reactor sorrySeptember 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm #15401
What about the using the thermal temperature difference between air temp at sea level vs 30-40 degrees cooler a few thousand feeet down?
you could run a sterling type engine
you could use the cold water to help condensate fresh water out of sea level water
you could use the cold water as air conditioning for structures
you could pump the water up via wave motion and a mechanical pump for freeSeptember 9, 2011 at 10:47 pm #15405
This is something I’ve been attempting to design for a while. Really don’t need to go that far down though. The temperature starts a somewhat rapid decline from 100-200m below the surface. If you couple that with a solar refraction dish, you can increase the temperature differential by several hundred degrees without going nearly as deep. I have a design in mind, but I don’t have modeling software.September 10, 2011 at 5:29 am #15416
George, the technology you are describing is known as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion. It has been tested on land based installations as well as on a moored barge. It uses a conventional Rankine turbine linked to a generator to produce electricity. There are a couple of variations of the basic machine, either a closed cycle using a working fluid like ammonia or an open cycle which uses vacuum to boil wanter which then turns a turbine. Cold water (Deep Ocean Water) is pumped up from 3000 feet of depth and used on the condenser side of the machine and warm surface water (Surface Seawater) is used to boil the working fluid. Electricity from the generator is partially consumed to run the water pumps. Once you turn it on it runs forever producing baseload 24/7 power, barring maintenance, utilizing the solar heat stored in the surface water. It will work in tropical and subtropical oceans between 20 degrees north and 20 degrees south. Japanese scientists have experimented with solar enhancement using flat plate collectors to extend the range of latitude.
Deep Ocean Water (DOW) is currently being used to air condition buildings, produce freshwater through condensation and to fertilize algae crops. Goggle NELHA. It is envisioned that DOW pumped to the surface in the open ocean will fertilize an algae bloom which will create a zooplankton bloom which will stimulate populations of bait fish and ultimately allow the harvest of food fish. Micro and macroalgae fertilized with the nutrients dissolved in the DOW can be harvested and converted to biofuel. Seagoing OTEC plantships can produce hydrogen as well as several valuable industrial chemicals.
OTEC is the ideal power source for seasteading communities, provided they operate within the lattitude range and water depth, due to its ability to produce not only electricity but freshwater, air conditioning and seawater for mariculture . Abandoned oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico in 3000+ feet of depth might be an option. Electricity could be sent to shallower platforms or to shore via submarine cable to provide income. Designs for plants of 800 MW have been proposed and Hawaii is looking at a 100 MW pilot plant for Oahu. Smaller plants can be built now with off the shelf components.September 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm #15455
Just wanted to add some more info to prhain’s post on OTEC. It’s really gaining momentum. More Hawaiians are learning about it every day, along with tropical countries around the world. It won’t be long before we see commercial plants popping up. It’s emission free, 24/7 power, and the byproduct is clean drinking water. Truly revolutionary stuff. Check out The On Project http://tiny.cc/zd777 for lots more info on OTEC and to get on board!October 1, 2011 at 10:04 pm #15709
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