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Evaporative seawater fountains

Propel masses of seawater into the air to evaporate and form clouds
  (+18, -2)(+18, -2)
(+18, -2)
  [vote for,

This idea is for drought-stricken countries surrounded by ocean (like, say, Australia).

The idea is to use giant (perhaps at least partially tide-powered?) fountains in the ocean to fire masses of water into the air to evaporate and form clouds (at least some of which would then drift inland to provide much-needed rain).

The fountains would be carefully optimised for evaporation between turning the seawater into a fine spray and propelling it to a massive height.

The area around each fountain would be fenced off so no fish or other sea life gets sucked into the fountains.

They would be strategically positioned far enough from land that any salt would fall back into the ocean, but close enough for the water vapour to drift back in.

Irrevenant, Aug 08 2008

Cloud-making plan to reverse global warming http://findarticles...080309/ai_n24934697
Professor Stephen Salter suggests spraying sea water droplets into the atmosphere to form clouds as a means of mitigating global warming [xaviergisz, Aug 08 2008]

Apparatus for enhancing wave height in ocean waves http://www.patentst...60/description.html
One of the free patent sites, listing the idea for using constructive interference to concentrate ocean wave energy [talldave, Aug 09 2008]

Lake Nyos http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Nyos
Not a nice place [8th of 7, Aug 09 2008]

More about Nyos http://www.pbs.org/...no/01/indexmid.html
Scary ... [8th of 7, Aug 09 2008]

RAF Rainmakers Kill 35 people! http://www.guardian...on.physicalsciences
[mecotterill, Aug 10 2008]

Mist Rainmaker
[xaviergisz, May 11 2014]

mmm doughnuts... https://www.youtube...watch?v=_GL3xAaIcvI
...is there anything they can't do? [2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 11 2014]

1500 Cloud Seeding Ships http://io9.com/5046...ming-say-scientists
[AusCan531, May 19 2014]

them old style sun metres http://en.wikipedia...0%93Stokes_recorder
[not_morrison_rm, May 19 2014]

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       Evaporation also cools. (Evaporation, ah, so cool!)
Zimmy, Aug 08 2008

       Suppose this method has a 10% chance of delivering water to where it's needed. Then you'd want it to use 10% of the energy of the alternative means which you can be pretty sure will deliver water where it's needed, such as a desalination plant and some pumps and lots of irrigation pipes.
hippo, Aug 08 2008

       A giant metal petri dish under the surface of the water that lifts a foot deep of water out would require less energy and would serve to cook the water quickly and naturally. Viable option?   

       Bonjour a partir de demi-boulangerie monsieur [Irrevenant].
theleopard, Aug 08 2008

       A series of strategically place pylons could act like a 2-D version of a Fresnel Zone plate and so use constructive interference to focus and concentrate water waves into your misting device.
talldave, Aug 09 2008

       // it does a good job of evaporating itself //   

       Well, no. It's a function of energy input and surface area. Small droplets evaporate faster because their surface area is large compared to their volume (square-law versus cube-law, that's why bigger animals tend to live in colder climates) and they can acheive total internal reflection, concebntrating ebergy.   

       The notionally planar (but fractal) surface of the ocean does a good job of distributing thermal energy through its bulk. If all the incident solar energy were captured at the surface the rate of evaporation would be much higher.   

       On some volvanic islands, natural blowholes form, spraying atomised droplets high into the air. This is a rare and freakish natural phenomenon. But there are plenty of hot places on the planet where the force of surf could be harnessed through simple passive conical pipes with vertically-aimned nozzles to increase evaporation.   

       See also the techniques for degassing of deep volcanic lakes by use of a gas-syphon.
8th of 7, Aug 09 2008

       No, it doesn't, it's rubbish. The droplets are too big, and they don't go high enough.
8th of 7, Aug 09 2008

       See link. There was a series of experiments in the 1950s in Britain to make rain but they were halted following a disaster at Lynmouth and all such research has been halted since then.   

       Interesting how they were trying to develop it as a 'weapon'.
mecotterill, Aug 10 2008

       Yay for salt encrusted coastal areas?   

       I mean evaporation of salt water means that airborn salt is suddenly a concern.   

       The goggles do nothing!
Giblet, Aug 10 2008

       I was wondering if you did this powered off wind farms whether you could generate the clouds WAY offshore and then have them blow in.   

       Also I was wondering what this would do to effect Hurricanes. Would localized cooling kill them off where they "breed"? This would basically cool the air and cool the water by blocking sunlight with clouds. obviously you'd need a lot of them, but after Katrina money could probably be found.
MisterQED, Aug 11 2008

       Could you evaporate the water using heating coils instead of using a fountain? No moving parts and you get around the salt spray issue. Dunno if the vapor would stay aloft long enough to make landfall, or just condense back on the ocean surface though.
gdeckert, May 11 2014

       hmm, thermal tower buoys could accelerate evaporation passively and if you want to keep the water vapor cohesive until it reaches altitude then use the action of the waves to launch vortex rings of steam like that factory in the Netherlands, (at least I think it's the Netherlands), is doing so the population can visualize pollution.   

       I will find a [link].
<later>It's in Denmark.

       How about this! 1: Find desolate desert area (like Australia) 2: There needs to be strong prevailing winds blowing landward. 3: Place black thermal mass just below sea level. Maybe it floats; tides and what have you. 4: Ginormous reflectors to heat up said thermal mass. Seals camping out on it overnight will get wise and move on at sunrise. Barnacles not so much. The mass will cause overlying water to steam and evaporate. Clouds of pure water will blow inland and cause blooms of life!   

       No moving parts! All natural and organic!
bungston, May 11 2014

       //Ginormous reflectors to heat up said thermal mass//   

       //No moving parts!//   

       Not sure how that works. If you want to track the sun you need to move the mirrors.
xaviergisz, May 11 2014

       Interesting; wonder if the energy required would be more or less than desalination combined with pumping, for a specific mass of water relocation.
FlyingToaster, May 11 2014

       //No moving parts!//   

       //Not sure how that works.   

       Plan 1 - like one of them sun meters (see link*), with a reflector that focus the light onto paper and the more burnt the paper, the stronger the sunlight was. NB of no use whatsoever in England.   

       Plan 2 - Move the sun instead.   

       * Hell on the tropical fish as well, I can tell you.
not_morrison_rm, May 19 2014


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