Methods and Effects of Artificial Upwelling
August 29, 2011 at 1:26 am #1612
I didn’t see any forum topics devoted to upwelling on this site. I want to discuss different methods (OTEC, wave powered pumps, salt fountains, alterating the sea floor) as well as things like avioding toxic algea blooms and optimum depth to upwell from.
As I’m sure you’re all aware upwelling is good for things like mariculture since the deep water being brought up is full of nutrients, and it can be used for things like power generation, air conditioning, and chilled soil agriculture to name a few, because it is colder than surface water.
Ocean thermal energy conversion uses the heat from surface water to boil a fluid. That steam turns a turbine and is then condensed by cold water brought up from way down deep. The concept’s been around for over a hundred years, and the first OTEC power plant was built in Cuba in 1930. It’s well understood and been shown to work. The problem is that the damn things keep sinking in storms. It’s horribly inefficient, which means it pumps up lots of deep water, which is good for mariculure and stuff. The Disadvantage is that these are expensive.
Wave Powered Pumps
The SeaDog from INRI is an example of a wave powered pump. Deep water isn’t necessary for them to function, but since deep water has almost the same bouyancy as surface water, it takes very little extra energy to pump it from way deep.
Perpetual Salt Fountain
Here’s a large pdf about it. Here’e the wikipedia that describes it. If you sink a vertical pipe so that the upper end is near the surface and the lower end is in a deeper ocean layer, fill the up with the deeeper water and let the water temperature equilized, then water will flow to the top. Flow rates of around 200 meters a day have been measured. Since the temperature has to equalize for the water to rise, this method of upwelling would not be good for power generation. However, it sounds way cheap and simple. You could always use it to boost yeild of the crop you use for biofuel and use that to make power.
Intellectual Ventures is looking into a thing called a Salter Sink. It’s a funnel with the upper portion raise slightly above the surface of the water, but low enough that waves will top it off. It pushes water down. You guys think it could be used to bring up to the surface the water that is displaced?
Altering the Sea Floor
Changing the shape of the ocean bottom could potentially bring deep current to the surface. I don’t like this idea.
You guys got any methods I haven’t covered?September 7, 2011 at 5:57 am #15300
Those nutrients from way down deep are nitrogen and phosphorus. My sources say that 300 to 700 meters is good for those. How does that jibe with OTEC depths? I am told that deeper than that (much?) you can get dissolved CO2 that will outgas. Of course that may sound good for an open cycle OTEC.
left my wallet on Enceladus.September 25, 2011 at 11:52 pm #15660
i think this is the primary business model for a sea-state, maybe we can use the used ones for this purpose?
Seem to remember he said the pipes were good for 200 launches, then you could use it for power generationOctober 10, 2011 at 10:55 pm #15806
Using the QuickLaunch cannon tubes for upwelling? Yeah, they should work alright, but I would be concerned that they would cost too much. Those tubes would be 1.1 km long and made of metal. I had something in mind more akin to a tarp wrapped into the shape of a straw. That’s what they tried on the Discovery Channel on their special Project Earth on the Hungry Oceans episode. Seems to work pretty well, except needed a little more reinforcement. I’d think it would be much more cost effective than a titanium or whatever metal tube.
left my wallet on Enceladus.October 13, 2011 at 3:18 am #15829
Use FRP, or Carbon-Fiber reinforced plastic, instead of metal. Lower tension on the cable reinforcing it, maybe fiberglass, or Carbon-Fiber rope would suffice?
Never be afraid to try something new…
Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.October 27, 2011 at 12:36 am #15980
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