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idea for renewable energy off-shore platforms - is this possible?

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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-03-07 06:06 PM
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idea for renewable energy off-shore platforms - is this possible?
I am not an engineer, and I would appreciate input from any here. I've had this idea for a while, but I'm not sure if it is feasible or even possible.

I propose building multi-purpose off-shore platforms. On the top of the platforms, we place Solar panels and intersperced between them we place Wind turbines.

Underneath the platform, we have vertical shafts which use the temperature differential between the upper ocean layers and the lower layers to create circulation to drive turbines. We also place horizontal turbines to take advantage of the tidal currents.

Most of the electricity would be piped directly into the grid, but some of it could be used to turn collected seawater into hydrogen that may be able to be piped but may have to be shipped to shore, depending on whether we can build a pipeline that wouldn't leak the hydrogen.

Is this feasible? Comments?
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Mendocino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-03-07 06:59 PM
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1. Interesting
I'm not an engineer either, so I'm just guessing. My first thought is that a windy offshore marine environment might be a bit rough for relatively fragile solar panels. Also salt spray might coat them, reducing their efficiency.

The hydrogen pipeline shouldn't be a great problem. Pressure dependent check valves could be built in so that if a leak occurred, the loss of pressure would shut down the line. Some hydrogen would escape but should disperse upon reaching the surface.

Tidal generators might be a problem. Since tidal action is strongest in shallow waters, the placement of turbines there could have an adverse effect on sea life. The most biologically diverse waters are also the shallow areas.

Again I'm just guessing, perhaps someone with more expertise can comment. Sounds good though.
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lurky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-03-07 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm a software engineer...
Does that count? ;-)

Anyway, I can't speak for the other stuff, but it seems like transporting the electricity across the open ocean would be pretty challenging. (Undersea high-voltage cables? Is that feasible?) Could be wrong, though.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-03-07 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. Google OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion)
http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/renewable_energy/oc...

"In May 1993, an open-cycle OTEC plant at Keahole Point, Hawaii, produced 50,000 watts of electricity during a net power-producing experiment."

Yes, there's a WIKI:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_thermal_energy_conve...

I don't see why you couldn't add wind, wave, and solar power to one of these platforms, except that the Oilwellians are running the White House.
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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-03-07 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Good information! Thanks for the links. nt
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