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

John the deep ocean heat sink is at least 300 times greater than the top 10 meters where 80 percent of the solar radiation is absorbed in the ocean. For OTEC to function you need a temperature difference of at least 20C between the heat source and the heat sink.

A recent Scripps Instiute study relying on an array of about 3500 Argo buoys from 2006-13 shows temperatures warmed at about 0.005 degrees a year down to a depth of 500 metres and 0.002 degrees between 500-2000 metres. . Levitus has pointed out to a depth of 2,000 meters the oceans warmed by an average of 0.09 ºC over the 55 year span (1955 -2006) of his study but if that 0.09 °C was instantly transferred to the lower 10 kilometers of the atmosphere, it would warm on average 36 °C. 

I think from this data you can see you can move an awful lot of heat into the deep without having much impact on the delta T.

You are right though there is some degradation and that is why it was originally thought you could only get about 5 terawatts of power from this source but that has been almost tripled per http://hinmrec.hnei.hawaii.edu/ongoing-projects/otec-thermal-resource/

It is also pretty clear we are a lot better of with .09C in the ocean as opposed to 36C in the atmospehre.

February 24, 2015    View Comment    

On A Lesson in Oil Pricing

Geoffrey, it never ceases to amaze that industry invariably refuses to take the effective measures that might protect the interests of its shareholders. I suggested one here for hydrocarbons and coal but have also seen the nuclear industry fail to act on its waste and proliferation problems and the consequences. The nuclear assisted hydrocarbon production method would have gone a long way towards solving the cost and emissions problems currently overhanging Alberta's oil sands. Both Canada's nuclear and petroleum industry's have suffered for a lack of addressing the issues and fossil fuels in general will likely, ulimately, suffer a similar fate?

Or they could act to protect their interests with effective measures, of which CCS isn't likely to be one.

February 23, 2015    View Comment    

On Can Humanity Coexist With Rising CO2 Levels?

Jim, I don't recall making any comment about a carbon tax. Governments however are bringing in a lot of money from leases, royalties and taxes on the development and sale of fossil fuels. One of the things about OTEC is that it occurs in noone's backyard. That means it generates power outside of any government's tax jurisdiction as well. What I was trying to get at is: if governments lose their income from fossil fuels to a product manufactured outside of their jurisdiction, they will be forced to figure a way to tax the imported product, probably with some kind of duty.

February 20, 2015    View Comment    

On Can Humanity Coexist With Rising CO2 Levels?

EP I haven't forgotten the accumulation problem. Levitus has pointed out to a depth of 2,000 meters the oceans warmed by an average of 0.09 ºC over the 55 year span (1955 -2006) of his study but if that 0.09 °C was instantly transferred to the lower 10 kilometers of the atmosphere, it would warm on average 36 °C. This would spell our demise and that of most other species, but fortunately this transference won’t happen all at once. Rather, just as the oceans are slow to warm, it will take a long time for them to cool by giving back the hypothetical 36 degrees to the atmosphere. It is currently believed it will take at least a thousand years for the oceans and the atmosphere to come back into equilibrium. OTEC first converts about 3 percent of this heat continuously to energy (over the period of 1000 years this is 3000%). When this is used some of it will dissipate to space like any other source but OTEC is the only one that first converts the heat that would otherwise destroy us to work. Second it attacks the GHG problem because it is emissions free and supergreen electrolysis sequesters CO2. Third it can expand the 1000 year period it will take for the ocean and atmosphere to come back into equilibrium. The slower this occurs, the less the impact will be.

Interesting you want those not making any money, yet wanting to address the problem, to fund this research. The object of the piece is, it might be in the interest of those that are making the money and creating the problem to finance a solution that not only mitigates the damage they have created, could keep them in the energy game after the fossil fuel era runs out, whatever the reason for that might be.

February 18, 2015    View Comment    

On Can Humanity Coexist With Rising CO2 Levels?

I did thanks. Edit button doesn't come up however to fix it.

February 18, 2015    View Comment    

On Atomic Balm: Some Prominent Environmental Veterans are Talking up Nuclear Power as a Climate Change Solution

Thanks Joris, it can be a  long, thankless and painful wait but it makes for restful nights.

February 18, 2015    View Comment    

On Can Humanity Coexist With Rising CO2 Levels?

NOAA estimated the oceans are accumulating about 330 terawatts worth of heat annually. If you produce the same amount of energy as we currently get from fossil fuels, about 14TW, you convert this much heat to work and move at least 280TW of heat into the deep. Essentially you not only make a dent in the problem you eliminate it.

Contrast this to producing 14TW nuclear and 28TW additional waste heat to the ocean?

Hockey is a big deal in Canada. One of the most important metrics is goals for and against when you are on the ice. In that vain I will take a the +294 scorer over the -28 defesive liability any day.

 

 

February 17, 2015    View Comment    

On Can Humanity Coexist With Rising CO2 Levels?

Spec, the big driver for sea level rise is going to be icecap melting. There is the potential for 80 meters there. The poles are warming faster than anywhere and past evidence suggests they warm about 3 times more than the global average The heat is collected in the tropical ocean and then flows in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics to the cclder region. Often the mechanism for this is tropical cyclones. By moving this heat instead into the deep, the other cold sink, you shortcircuit this movement to the poles and the icecap melting. The coefficient of thermal expansion of sea water is also half at 1000 meters what it is at the surface so you reduce sea level rise that way as well. To get this power to market you have to electrolyze the sea water to produce hydrogen, which is as much a water carrier as it is an energy carrier, and bring this water/energy to shore, where it is reconstituted, you reduce sea level rise that way as well. In fact reducing sea level rise is one of the main reasons why I came up with this approach in the interest by my progeny.

I would be interest to hear what you are doing for yours in this regard.

 

 

February 17, 2015    View Comment    

On Can Humanity Coexist With Rising CO2 Levels?

Do you want to address the problem of climate change, which is esentially ocean heating, or do you want to exacerbate it by producing more waste heat?

February 17, 2015    View Comment    

On Can Humanity Coexist With Rising CO2 Levels?

Hops, acidification is a big problem. Deep waters however contain far more CO2 than the shallower waters where most of the damage is being caused. It is when upwelling occurs that the problems with shellfish is most prevalent. As pointed out below you need to perform electrolysis to bring power from the best sites to shore. When you do this with a "Supergreen" process like the one Greg Rau's team developed then you neutralize the acidification as well. The TEC articleCarbon Sequestering Energy Production addresses this approach.     

February 17, 2015    View Comment    

On Can Ending Energy Poverty Abroad Create Jobs at Home?

Justin, OTECAfrica.org in association, whith the University of Borås in Sweden is about to publish a book, OTEC Matters 2015, at the end of the month. I have tried to make many of the points you put forth in this article in one of the chapters.


I hope you and interest TEC followers have the opportunity to read a copy after the release.

 

February 16, 2015    View Comment    

On Atomic Balm: Some Prominent Environmental Veterans are Talking up Nuclear Power as a Climate Change Solution

Answered question - nuclear waste disposal.

Amongst the few solutions to the problem described in Wikipeia are:

The subductive waste dispoal method - described as the most viable means of disposing of radioactive waste. and

The nuclear  assisted hydrocarbon production method.

Both invented here but unfortunately industry turned its back on both.

Possibly that has something to do with Wall Street's wariness.

If you won't use the most viable solution to your greatest drawback, your business model would seem to be more than a little suspect.

February 16, 2015    View Comment