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Brinolectric Dams

Underwater damnation
  [vote for,

The trouble with hydroelectricity is vast. But, undersea pools of high density water will not interfere with salmon or drown villages. So set up undersea hydroelectric dams, and tap the power of density differential on the sea floor.
mylodon, Aug 25 2023

Abstract for Black Smoker Power https://onlinelibra...1002/anie.201003311
[minoradjustments, Aug 25 2023]


       Aren't the high density parts of the sea already at the bottom?
pocmloc, Aug 25 2023

       How does one tap this power?
21 Quest, Aug 25 2023

       Even if you did find a localised undersea depression filled with high-density salt water which you could make fall into a nearby, much deeper, chasm with the aim of powering a hydroelectric generator, I'm not sure this would work. I think the energy you'd gain per cubic metre of water falling is proportional to the difference in density between that water and the thing it displaces - so in a normal hydroelectric dam this is air, but under water it'll be a very slightly less dense form of water.
hippo, Aug 25 2023

       The greatest density differential is closest to the surface, is minuscule, and water is non-compressible (mostly) so the density doesn't change, just the pressure. No delta, no work.   

       What you want is a sharp temperature differential, like a Black Smoker. If you had an insulated collar, a torus, or a cylinder of some length that caught the heat on the inside and the cold on the outside, you'd have plenty of delta for a self-contained generator that circulates media over turbines and generates scads of power. Anchored to the bottom and connected to wherever you wanted the power, it's cleaner, less intrusive, fewer environmental impacts, than anything on the surface. Run it up and down on anchored cables for maintenance. Average depth of Black and White Smokers is ±2100m (1.3 miles), which is manageable. Cool. [+] for getting the discussion started.
minoradjustments, Aug 25 2023

       //water is non-compressible (mostly) so the density doesn't change// - yes, water is not compressible so the density of water doesn't change when you put it under pressure, but the density of water does change with its salinity. Whether you'd ever find areas of water of greater salinity to make this idea feasibly is unlikely though.
hippo, Aug 25 2023

       There are fresh water aquifers under the ocean. Perhaps the salinity difference would be great enough there.   


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