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Desalinization and power?

Have your lake and heat it, too.
  [vote for,

Here in Southern California, population is outstripping the supply of water, also as was fairly well publicized electricity is at a premium during certain times of the year. Third problem, offshore oil rigs to be decommissioned in ten or so years. Solution. Electrolysize sea water in the evening when rates are lowest. Store the energy as hydrogen in balloons, floating sacs, compressed gas cylinders, whatever. During peak electricity usage hours, use fuel cells and inverters to return the energy back into service as demanded. Byproduct, good, clean, and hot water/steam to be further used to drive small steam turbines if possible or simple injected into the underground water tables or fresh water lakes for use. More energy efficient than reverse osmosis, and you get much of the energy back by storing it, the real difficult part of the energy equation.
Spare parts, Jun 22 2004

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       I like that idea, too. It requires little or no purchased electricity and has the benefit of solar power meeting the demand at the very time of day you really need it. I don't know which would be more efficient, solar collection with steam generation with the inherit mechanical losses, or direct photovoltaic electrolysis with its inherit inefficiency.
Spare parts, Jun 22 2004

       Tell the kids, "The hot air coming from the vents in the floor comes from California, where else?"
dpsyplc, Jun 22 2004

       We will need more water than we can steal from the Colorado River and we need a way to store vast amounts of "regenerable" energy so we can buffer the loading demand on peak days. Conservation is important but limited. The original idea was for the practical application of good solid technology that is still improving. There are already plans for desalination plants to service coastal communities. So if your already going to flush that energy down the toilet (or the lawn, or wash the car,...)then why not get some of that energy back when you need it. Rectifiers and inverters will only improve in efficiency with advances in electronics and materials, as will fuel cells. A system can be modular and as equipment improves a municipality can sell its old equipment to smaller towns to defray the cost of new equipment and diffuse the technology to other areas.
Spare parts, Jun 23 2004

       Bye bye fish.
harderthanjesus, Jun 23 2004

       Actually I would make the argument that the net effect would be environmentally beneficial. If the concern is the localized concentrations of salt, then smaller units, spread out could have a distributive effect. Some species thrive in higher salinity. Look at the many coastal salt flats that are rightly protected from development. I use this only as an example that animal can thrive in this kind of condition. This is not a chemical treatment process unless you take the next step and electrolytically remove some the chlorine from the brine and use it to treat the municipal water supply. The water produced by the fuel cells is by far purer then the water from the tap. The only other concerns I think need to be addressed are the materials for the electodes would need to be inert as to not dissolve any metals into the system and to electrically isolate the electrolysis chambers from the open ocean. If the fresh water were stored in open resevoirs then lake ecosystems could thrive in areas that have been drain for years. The technology needs early adoptors to advance. If coastal communities can use the water around them then that frees up the water for use inland and quite possibly areas that were water consumers could be net water producers.
Spare parts, Jun 23 2004

       It is possible to combine desalination and energy production where by the sea water is converted into steam and then used to run a turbine generator and condensed into drinking water used in the middle east.
travbm, Nov 01 2015


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