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Transclimate heat pipeline

Not just for oil
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There's plenty of hot and cold to spare in this world, but never in the right places. One place may require constant air conditioning, while a few hundred kilometres north, people are still running their furnaces.

Take a oil pipeline that runs north, and paint the southern half of it black. It will absorb the sun's rays, heating the petroleum inside. The northern half is insulated to help retain that heat.

Arriving at its destination, the pipe transfers its heat to water, which is heated to steam with the help of a traditional boiler. The steam can then be piped wherever heat is needed, at greatly reduced energy costs.

A southbound pipeline can be used as a "cold source". The northern half is covered with highly reflective metal to help radiate heat. The south end is again insulated. Heat exchangers provide a cold air or water source, supplementing regular air conditioning.

It may not be the most effective heat pump, but it's untapped energy at low cost.

Aq_Bi, Oct 01 2006

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       It doesn't work that way. Oil temp determines viscosity, so the oil is generally pumped hot, with insulation to prevent heat loss. In any case, the thermal capacity of oil is microscopic compared to its heating value.
ldischler, Oct 01 2006
  

       I like this, but maybe not with oil. I understand you were trying to use existing pipelines with other purposes to reduce the cost, but how about a large loop pipe carrying water, or salt water around the planet. This would provide an energy source similar to a water source heat pump model that has been around for years within a building or campus to provide heat source/heat rejection as needed.
cblunds, Oct 02 2006
  

       It might work better with water.
apocalyps956, Oct 02 2006
  

       /the pipe transfers its heat to water, which is heated to steam with the help of a traditional boiler/   

       Just how hot are you expecting this oil to be (especially after travelling all that way)?   

       /The northern half is covered with highly reflective metal to help radiate heat/   

       Surely not reflective, if the purpose is to radiate.   

       /Heat exchangers provide a cold air or water source, supplementing regular air conditioning/   

       Just how cold are you expecting this water to be (especially after travelling all that way)?   

       /untapped energy at low cost/   

       Wrong on both counts, I would say.
Texticle, Oct 02 2006
  
      
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