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In my work with offshore wind and wave designs, I figured it
would make more sense to send the energy ashore in pipes
than try to transmit electricity intermittently, and over long
distances. I settled on three new common usage fuels,
Compressed Air, Hydrogen, and ORCA (oxygen rich
air). The rail system we now have is old, so we
should be open to new systems. The Track Pipe, or Tripe
system is meant to be a "200 year design" and would cost a
lot. But the Tripe carries many infrastructure needs as it is
a multi conduit system of energy storage and delivery, which
doubles as utility carrier and transportation system: First
we need and can have with this system a common
denominator with our old and new energy systems. Most of
the problems now are with energy storage, conversions,
shipment, and not with energy creation. This system is not
an energy creation system. The new wind and wave systems
offshore can convert mechanical force easily to the new fuels
and pipe the new fuels, which can augment old systems very
easily. CAES (compressed air energy storage) is now being
used for example with gas turbines. As a transportation
design, the Tripe carries newer larger car luxury designs, and
mono-rail and other systems do lend to pipe structures as
useful for old and new rail applications. Current rolling
stock need not convert with some tripe designs, and with
others the designs call for gauge expansion to seven feet or
two meters. The Tripe system will easily carry broadband
cable in the multi conduits it offers. The multi conduits lend
also to sewage issues, in that separate and more valuable
bio product handling will be easily facilitated in that multi
conduits are available for use. Please see the Tripe System
Report at my web page www.environmentalfisherman.com
Tripe System Report
[Steven J Scannell, Dec 30 2010]
||[po: thanks for the link correction. I've done what I normally do and fixed the main link; I've removed yours, which had become redundant as a result.]
||Steven, why aren't you linking to the .pdf document directly?
||Hmm. I had a quick look at the pdf document - but I
presume the key points are in the idea as posted. So,
apologies if I'm asking questions which are clearly
answered in the pdf.
||If I understand it, the main idea is to link a transport
infrastructure, an energy transport system, and other
services like internet by using a common pipe system
which carries gaseous fuel (or compressed air), acts as a
rail for trains, and also contains other cables.
||That's fine and dandy, but is it cheaper than other
systems? If I want to build a railroad, I want cheap strong
solid rails; making the rails hollow and complex costs a lot
more to make, lay and maintain.
||If I want to carry data, I probably want fibreoptic cables
which can be draped around whatever obstacles are in the
way; limiting them to railroad-straight lines will be a pain
in the arse.
||If I want to move energy, likewise, electrical cables that
can follow any path or contour would seem simplest.
||And, if I have a fault in one of these three systems, do I
want to disrupt the other two systems while I fix it?
||Finally, is it true that rail, energy and data always want to
travel along the same routes?
||I guess my question is - what's the cost of a mile of
fibreoptics, plus a mile of power cable, plus a mile of
regular railway track; and what's the cost of a mile of your
||Finally, "tripe" is not the name I'd choose if I wanted
anyone to latch on to this, although maybe that's just a
||And finallyer (as an afterthought), how do you implement
points on a railway where the rails are carrying interweb
and compressed air?
||Steven, I've fixed up the main link to point directly to the PDF document. For future reference, to edit any link you've already posted to the halfbakery, click on the  next to it; that'll bring up a form populated with the text strings that are currently in it. You can edit the values, then click "OK" to make the change permanent. The address of your document (which belongs in the "Destination URL" field of the halfbakery link), in this case, was right there on your website; it's that long string that starts with http://www.envi ... and ends with .. SystemReport.pdf. (Spelling and capitalization is important for this one.)
||This is all very interesting and inspiring. I like it. Is
there any factoring in of airships? And also, canals?
||//tripe is not the name I'd choose// we could go with Colinear Rail And Pipe.
||Bigsleep and FT Thanks for the Huge Laugh you
guys gave me.
||jutta, Thanks for fixing the problem, and
||OK, The Big MaxwellBuchanan list: The real main
idea is to solve the energy crisis and global
warming. I was trying to do that with wind and
wave machines. But I could not ship electricity,
so that's where that stops. What could I ship from
offshore? The three fuels of regular compressed
air, lets say 2-8,000 psi, of course Hydrogen, and
then there's the left over oxygen too, so mix that
with regular compressed air for use in ICE's hybrid
air and gasoline cars. How to pipe this stuff
everywhere we needed it? Roads, High Tension
easments, Rail easments? That's IT!! We need a
new rail system anyway. Now, how much would
you pay? The Track Pipe as I have it rigged uses a
set of four foot dia pipes that straddle the iron
rails. So the old rail system can stay IF we want
that. We may look at models and want to go with
more change, perhaps expand the gauge, for the
sake of the next two hundred years of use. In the
four foot pipes are twelve little conduits, which
can carry broad band, and why not? Can carry
grey water, urine, why not? can carry natural gas,
crude oil, and especially water for emergency,
drainage, irrigation, climate change etc. Can we
all see that the cash flow for such a system is big?
So that is the main idea, bundling many needs
into one complex system design. Is this
system cheaper than seperate systems? Yes,
totally by far and away cheaper. The rail system
with the conduits turns into mono-rails going to
all manner of locations in country and suburbia,
All of this is high use conduit system stuff,
multiple cash flows feeding this system. Much of
the mass of the composite pipe may be bamboo
fibre if I get my models to work on the strength to
impregnation ratios right. I have the old steel
rails redesigned to be bigger, as seen in the
illustrations, But this may just be my fantasy,
many I'm sure will lobby hard to keep the old in
place. The fibreoptic cable can go anywhere from
the rails, or not in the rails, the option is there if
you want to snake some cable it's quick and easy
job if the tube or conduit is right there. In my
area some broadband is comming in and it's going
to cost more than thirty million dollars, just for
the main bundles to be laid in, much complexity
I'm sure with all those poles, and not so well
protected either. The core of the track pipe may
be able to carry superconduction cable where a
vacuum is needed, there it is, ready. These rail
path ways are pretty damn good. They hit most
areas, are ready graded, it seems ideal to me. Of
course electrical and other cable, and hoses can
run anywhere we want them to run, between the
standard tripe rails and the mono-rails, other
easments, pathways aren't the real issue. Faults
in the system, repair, depreciation, attack from
bombs, pressure losses, leaks, inefficiencies in
pumping air, water, or anything, All of these need
better men than I to give credible answers. No
same routes mandatory for the electricity,
fibreoptics, rail, air, Hydrogen, let the common
sense dictate to the situation or design needs
etc. However the protection afforded with the
one system is big. Cost per Mile, ratio to income
per mile is the question, And I know the totals
will be high on both expence and income. If I
solved the energy crisis with the tripe, shouldn't I
at least take a beating for the name? Don't
deprive me please some simple pleasures.
||They're putting up poles just for the FO ?
||Asked your local council how much your property taxes will go down, yet ? I mean, due to the property values getting dinked thanks to the new eyesore.
||[sjs] click enter/return key twice to start a new paragraph (for easier reading).
||Well, OK. But I still don't see:
||a) How you're going to implement points and
||b) Why it is so bad to move electricity around. It is a
universal energy currency, is more or less directly useable
by any user, and can be carried by relatively cheap
conductors wherever it needs to go. There are issues of
storage, but I don't think these are great enough to make it
worthwhile converting all energy to (say) compressed air,
pumping that around, and then converting it to electricity
at the point of use.
||More effective, surely, to store excess power as
compressed air (or whatever) at the point of generation,
then convert to electricity also at the point of generation
(in a single large generator, which will be more efficient in
every way) and then send electricity around the country?
||//I have to ask though whether this is just rather elaborate joke?// [bigsleep] - you have to ask whether the poster *realizes* that this is just an elaborate joke.
||And as long as I have the podium... what's up with Right-of-Way ?
||Arguably electric, gas, local-phone and postal are necessary services at a community level, but cableTV and internet are very predominantly shite and interactive shite, respectively.
||And that's why I shot the Cable TV guy wandering in my yard, Your Honour.
[edit: oops, I accidentally deleted my annotation preceding this one, which was quite large]
||If they're given right of way, that's commercial invasion of private property. Want to do that ? dig them underground in the middle of the street.
||Flying Toaster: Poles? and Property Taxes? v. Solving
the energy crisis puzzle ... Hello?
||Big MaxwellBuchanan: The Best Questions: Points are
implimented via junction boxes, which are safety valves
also. Do I have the Question right? b. Why electricity?
Greatest Question, which is as I always say the key in
framing a question. Try to move power from green
sources to the need. What do we always find? Electricity
is the bottleneck. The intermittancy, the need to store,
these are big. Move my power from wave to the need.
How are you going to do it? If electricity ... How? I can't
see it. I do love electricity. But it is in the conversions.
We must store power, .... somehow .... But how?
could compressed air fit the bill? What else is there?
What else will work, even with apparent inefficiencies? I
do like Hydrogen and O rich compressed air. The three
to me are workable, and are easilly converted to
electricity and all manner of usable needs for power.
Conversions are a waste? yes. But that is the price for
the ability to go from green to the need, and using the
existing infrastructure. NO. no no. We need to ship
the Compressed air to the need, and then the conversions
to electricity, Why? no line drop in CA shipment. No
intermitancy issues with bottled up air. The electricity
grids are good, and need to be improved, and perhaps
nuke may work well with tripe, using good baseline and
good superconductor strategies. Thanks
||Lurch, No Joke, been working hard on this for years.
But on the other hand, if you are entretained, greatt.
||FT: I do love the ColinearRailAndPipe (crap) I only wish
I'd a thunk it up myself. Darn It. Yes, to hardening for
heavier use, and thanks for that, as I didn't realize the
need for greater weight capacity. As I read you post you
seem to have absorbed and understood the system better
than any previously, a breath of fresh air. Compressed
air will become a commodity energy product with the
tripe. The use of the CA does not relate to location,
unless I'm wrong, but the supply and demand and unit
price for the product will dictate.
||The Upwind deal may be close to the mark. The pipe
may itself work out to be a digester of the bio-product #2
from bessie the cow etc. or human #2. I always seperate
my waste stream products, as it is my religion, see a
book called Liquid Gold by Carol Seinfeld. This stuff is
like the old organic gardening movement, no pun.
||Disaster Relief: Water shipment is big, flood mitigation,
emergency fire controls, remember the marriage between
the systems of water shipment and Compressed Air is
made in heaven, and for fire fighters the CA is
convertable to hydraulic power easily enough, but the
point is much water to the object at hand, fast and
available if the system is close by. My boatbuilding
instincts tell me the quake will not bust the system
entirely, just slow it down, many safety valves, shut offs
will be in place, the composite should bend OK.
||Hydrogen Infrastructure: You seem to get it better than I
do. This system needs the level of critique you (and
MaxwellBuchanan) bring. Let's rip it up.
||I hate fences. I don't have the design nailed there. This
is your own brass ring just as much as anyone's.
||As far as maintenance and security I have one owner
responsible, which is the consortium. The rest is too
funny with all the Rights of Way issues, Thanks.
||//No Joke// ... ok. Let me share with you an experience I had as a little tyke.
||My Pa bought me a toy train set. It was the old Lionel O-27 guage, three-rail system. We upgraded it, so we had an oval with a reverse loop and a siding.
||We later changed over to an HO guage layout. The track is about half as wide as the O-27. The layout was a double oval around a figure eight, reverse loops to a second level, five sidings, and a four-track yard.
||Finally, we changed again - to N scale, which is close to half the size of HO. Our layout grew to two independent double-track mainline ovals, double-track crossovers, seven spur lines for "industrial areas" (Mom specialized in modeling buildings), and a fourteen-track switchyard, ten lines of which were double-entry. 110 switches (or "points", as [MB] calls them), and we could run 4 simultaneous trains without interfering with one another.
||So what was the point of all that? Just this: those three train sets were all built inside the same physical dimensions. They were actually built *on the same board*. As the guage gets smaller, you can do much more without using more real estate.
||You wish to put this principle into reverse effect by "guage expansion to seven feet or two meters". I see that as seriously crippling your rail capabilities.
||//Why? no line drop in CA shipment.// A: Wrong. B: Bad.
||A: If you compress air, it gets hot. (PV=nRT, P1V1/T1=P2V2/T2, right?) And therefore, now being hotter than the surroundings, it wants to lose its heat - which is a large portion of the energy you expended compressing it. If you have a VV Large Container, you can insulate it, slowing the losses. If you put it into a pipe, the surface area ratio increases dramatically - so you would need far thicker insulation on the pipe than you would on the container. And that thicker insulation would have to continue the full length of the pipe. Plus, you still have air friction in the pipe. (If you've developed a system which works otherwise, I can assure you there are some aeronautical engineers who Would Like To Talk To You.)
||B. Did you know that high-pressure air tanks, when subjected to ultimate pressure testing, are always tested under hydrostatic (water) pressure, rather than with air? The "why" of that is why CA transport is *bad*.
||- paragraph breaks
||Instead of presenting your idea, you presented some facets, including some trivial ones without providing a decent summary of what the idea actually is. Linking to what is presumably a more coherent presentation, instead of providing one, is pretty insulting.
||Instead of editing it, I deleted the anno where I give my version of your idea. The edit and delete buttons are real close together. I'm trying to fit everything into a short one paragraph summary to repost. But I would suggest developing your presentation independently if for no other reason than that I can decide if our visions are different enough that I can post mine independently.
||Currently I'm wondering how many greased cows per minute you could transport in a four foot pipe.
||[SJS] I take your point about needing a way to store and
distribute green energy to cope with the intermittency of
production. I'm also happy to accept that pressurized air
or some other fluid medium is the way to do it.
||BUT - I still don't see why you want to do this in a
distributive way. Suppose you have a windfarm generating
power. Under your scheme (as I understand it), you use
the windfarm to produce compressed air (for instance),
pipe this around the country, and then have a large
number of local devices to convert it to electricity. Each
of these devices (as well as the pipelines) will be
somewhat expensive and somewhat lossy.
||The alternative is for the windfarm to make compressed
air (or whatever), store it on-site, convert it to electricity
on demand, and then distribute the electricity.
||The conversions needed are the same under either
scheme. The difference is that your scheme distributes
the conversion infrastructure to all the points of demand,
whereas my scheme concentrates it to the point of
supply. I would contend that the latter is far cheaper,
more efficient and safer than the former.
||Let me put it another way.
||Suppose in 50 years time, your system is fully
implemented, and the old system is forgotten. I, as an
entrepreneur, would come along and say to the board:
"Hey, why don't we develop a more efficient centralised
system for storing power as compressed air, distribute the
power as electricity using cheap cables, and give the
consumers the elecricity directly instead of asking them
all to provide their own converters? It'll save money on all
fronts, and the consumers will be happier!"
||I think I'd be a big hit with the board.
||Lurch: Probably years ago you got it into your
head that CAES system weren't good, and now
you're stuck? Is this about right? I am guessing
you think you're too above CAES to read the Tripe
System Report, Is this about right? New
information for you: SustainX has a gov grant for
their innovative hydraulic air compression that
gets around the thermo losses See their web
page. Isothermal and adiabatic systems compared
and contrasted. My systems of CAES are sea
based, and similar to but better than these. This
is the halfbakery, so I feel within my comfort zone
||Smartgrid.gov has several major grants in progress
dealing with the "smart grid" some are CAES, some
battery, some interface systems with EV
batteries, a couple of salt dome projects ongoing.
Millions are being spent on CAES. Nothing for the
||The world is my own train board, in my head
anyway. I would love to see the tripe system
studied and modeled beyond my fisherman's
talents. You have the train feel. Not me. I just
needed a way to ship CA. I got kicked off of
railroad.net after a couple of posts, for no good
reason that I could see. Perhaps it was by people
who have the world totally figured out. Another
list which I am on is Fishfolk, and the tripe idea
was discussed just a bit, but mostly theoildrum a
list for peak oil etc discussions, I did learn a lot
there, and got some good feedback, but also lots
of "compressed air is no damn good" stuff too. I
am still asking if we are to ship wind and wave
power from the offshore continental shelf areas to
inshore how are we going to do that? Electricity
does not seem viable, due to the storage, line
drop, and intermittancy issues. What else then?
||You think like an old rail road man. Gauge change
issues must be looked into if we are to renovate
or redesign the rail systems based on our new
needs for renewable energy. Real estate
considerations, expenses, costs, must all be on
the table with the benefits of such a system
separate from the old way. The old rail system is
just that ,,, old. It's just a rail road system.
Tripe systems are more, better, harder to even
think about because of the bundling of needs, and
lots of interfaces and problems therein.
||With the Tripe, comparable losses of line drop due
to leaks, pipe friction, or demand load will be
close to negligable. Hundreds of lines will act as
tanks essentially. Hundreds, thousands of users
and of inputs. The great plains will produce,
Maine and Canada have awsome tides to compress
air from 2 to 4,000 psi for instance. Nuke plants
can use their reserves to compress air or to make
Hydrogen, to input the tripe. Thousands of miles
of easments are available for these pipes. The
pressure and the pipes diameters will dictate the
air pressure losses incured, which not being zero,
probably in my minds eye will not suffer the harsh
numbers associated with the electrical line drops.
||Bad is OK with me, as long as it's better. While we
disagree about the pipe-ability of Compressed Air,
we may agree that we do need "something" better
than coal and oil and gas as our energy backbone.
||Tanks: I didn't know the testing was done with
water. Keep the sense of humor.
||So Sorry Flying Toaster: I will work like grimmer
hell on my grammar. You and I have in common
that we are worried about how many greased cows
can fit in a pipe. Anything can be piped.
||You say the summary was not good, even to the
point of this being an insult? Are you kidding?
Did you read the 11 page illustrated Tripe System
Report? This was done quality like, you know,
professional like. Did you not think so? Check it
out FT. THEN be insulted. OK? Jutta helped
get the linc right for us.
||MaxwellBuchanan: After a further review of my
sensibilities I have taken myself too seriously
apparently enough. It seems to me that perhaps I
was advocating for a decentralized approach to
the generation of electricity using compressed air.
As you point out the future may hold that the
most efficient use may be to as you say distribute
the electrical energy from closer to the
Compressed air sources. My thinking seems stuck
on the principle that "Air is everywhere" meaning
homes and cars can load up just about anywhere
for their energy needs. Cars will need CA to be
everywhere, essentially to top up the Carbon
Fiber Tank Frames. Our oil imports are mostly for
cars and trucks. If the oil jumps to four hundred
dollars per barrel, air being available essentially
everywhere would save us tons of cash. I believe
in mono-rail systems for public transportation,
and their structures I contend may just as well be
of the track pipe.
|| Initially I had thought that the best and highest
use for lots of CA at enormous pressures would be
to super-charge the power plants that produce
steam, of course with some re-tooling, to meet
our electricity needs.
||Also I think there is enormous economic value to
society of having the green fuels of CA, Hydrogen,
and ORCA (oxygen rich compressed air) set by
market supply and demand forces. By the way
Ethanol can be shipped in the track pipes, which is
essentially a propped up commodity. But would
Tripe rail road tracks be worth the gains? How
much do these systems cost even to model up? I
do not know. Presently I am carrying the cost of
the pencil and paper for this projects raw concept
|| Cheaper, more efficient, and safer power will
materialize, whether centralized, decentralized,
or in some combination, with open markets for
the 3 green fuels. But having said that the other
can of worms to look at would be the monopoly
utility needs of power regulation. Tis a complex
area of economics, physics, and politics, as the
Enron debacle proved. Even free markets for the
electricity are proving to be no panacea if only
due to the stresses incurred to the grid.
||In short I do not have the answer as to wether or
not the market can efficaciously handle the
problems you set forth. I don't have the general
answer in regards to a wind farm producing
compressed air to be held on site and then
converted to electricity (probably with some gas).
I would guess that if pipes and markets were in
place for ORCA and Hydrogen the wind mills of the
Plains from Texas to the Dakotas, would be better
to generate those and not try to compete with my
super efficient sea based CA generators.
||I wish bigsleep would jump back in, but I do thank
you very much MaxwellBuchanan for the best tripe
discussions I have had to date, on any list.
||P.S. As a personal aside, my mother, a WWII
veteran utterly refused me as a lad to buy the
tripe for our families consumption; even at my
continued insistence at the A&P, and this may
have had, I believe, a certain impact on me.
Thanks for you kindness and generosity.
||Welllll, I still don't think this is a winner.
||The main feature of the idea is to be able to ship
compressed air, ORCA, hydrogen etc around along rail
routes, yes? Note that none of these is a green energy
source in itself - they are all just methods of conveying
energy (which you have to put in somewhere else).
||There's no point distributing these things as an alternative
way of distributing electricity - it's cheaper in both
infrastructure, maintenance and conversion efficiencies to
convert at source and distribute good old fashioned volts
||So you're left with applications which can use these energy
mediums directly, which really boils down to cars, planes
and other things that have to carry their own fuel.
||For cars, is compressed air ever likely to overtake
batteries, let alone petrol? And for planes, some sort of
hydrocarbon fuel seems inevitable for the foreseeable
||So, the only thing which is worth distributing widely is
hydrogen (or any other hydrocarbon). But then you have
to weigh up the cost of building and maintaining a
hydrogen pipeline, versus the cost of moving hydrogen
around by other means (which, since hydrogen is energy-
dense, isn't too inefficient).
||If there were one central hydrogen producer in a large
country, maybe some major spine-pipes would be a good
idea. But one of the benefits of hydrogen is that it can be
produced from local green power, so how far do you want
to move it?
||Also, if I understand, you're planning to run very large, fast
trains on pipes reinforced with bamboo and filled with
hydrogen under pressure.
||Nothing personal, but I'd probably drive.
||Then there's the whole issue of carrying high-
pressure hydrogen tanks (ie. bombs) in your vehicles.
||//Lurch: Probably years ago you got it into your head...//
||So, do you want to discuss the idea, or should we just have an ad hominem flame-war?
||(//Linking to what is presumably a more coherent presentation, instead of providing one, is pretty insulting.// Quote from [FlyingToaster], who has a pretty good read on the sense of the community, I think.)
||I actually would probably not have commented on the guage issue, just given the summary you made here. However, in the PDF, you mentioned the ability of going up to 28 feet in width with your rolling stock. So I tried to draw you a mental picture so you could relate to how that would work.
||//you're too above CAES to read the Tripe System Report// What I wrote, you'll notice, was using CAES as the standard to which PDOCA (piped distribution of compressed air) cannot measure up. I'll spare you another personal journey, but let's just say I'm not entirely unfamiliar with compressed air systems.
||//Tanks:// Aim your brain at this, and think about it seriously for a few minutes.
Say I take a 50 gallon storage tank, and pressurize it with water to 5000 psi, and the tank cracks. What happens? Loud noise, tank shifts a couple of inches, and I end up with 50 gallons of water on the floor.
Say I take a 50 gallon storage tank, and pressurize it with air to 5000 psi, and the tank cracks. What happens? Destroys the building, kills everyone within 50 yards, and throws shrapnel over a mile.
||And you want to turn that tank into a *railroad rail*? Pardon me while I shudder.
||//New information for you: SustainX has a gov grant// well, whoop-te-do. I guess we can just toss those worthless old thermodynamics texts. (I spend most of my workday reading the results of studies supported by government grants. My level of respect for them has, uhhh, shall we say... diminished?) (Just - please! - don't tell me that it's Patent Pending as well. [jutta]'d excommunicate me for the rant I'd fly into.)
||somebody with a physics text... if I increase the pressure from 1atm to 10atm (140something psi) I end up with air at ~ 2700C ? How does a bog standard 150psi air compressor work then without melting ?
||OK, well you guys gave it a shot. Thanks for that. There
is a need for what I call the common denominator to join
the new green systems with the old systems, and that is
what this tripe system is.