Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Gulf stream to fresh water

Use gulf stream to create power for reverse osmosis
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Two soon to be scrapped oil tankers are anchored in the gulf stream with a platform built across them to make a giant catamaran. Large underwater parachutes are attached to long cables, the cables to winces. As the gulf stream pulls one cable out it powers a hydraulic pump as well as rolls up another cable with a collapsed parachute on another cable. As the collapsed parachute makes it back the first is collapsed and the latter expanded. The power from the hydraulic pump powers reverse osmosis systems. The fresh water is stored in sanitary containers in the oil tankers. Wind turbines at the four corners of the platform generate electricity and the platform has pleasure gardens on the greenhouse level with casinos and berths beneath. Spiff it up a bit.
cjacks, Oct 09 2006

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       So you're really just using the gulf stream as an energy source... right?   

       I can't see how this would be efficient. might as well hang turbines off the tankers, or run generators off the turbines to generate hydrogen via electrolysis, to be later put into fuel cells to desalinate water at coastal plants.   

       No really, as far as the whole system is concerned, this isn't really cost-effective, is it?
Custardguts, Oct 09 2006

       Either that or it should have been titled "Hullamaran".
jurist, Oct 09 2006

       Giant turbines in the water are a maintenance nightmare. You can’t bring them up to work on them so you have to work on them in the stream. Stopping their rotation puts torque on parts somewhere that is an accident waiting to happen and it creates eddy currents that are a hazard for the divers. Don’t even think about maintenance on rotating turbines. Sure you can use variable pitch to reduce the problem but at the cost of a significant increase of complexity and therefore maintenance. And you haven’t eliminated the currents and the forces they create entirely. My system allows everything to be brought on deck for maintenance. Winch the parachutes on deck. Disconnect one, reconnect another, work on the first in a workshop while the other continues production. Except for the parachutes all the technology is mature and off the shelf, therefore cheaper initially and running. You can also size the parachutes for weather conditions and they aren’t likely to be a hazard for wildlife like dolphins and whales. Miami is already moving toward sea water extraction for its fresh water and it is a costly business. A string of these a mile or two off shore could provide both fresh water and a platform for offshore wind turbines. A giant cat like that would be very stable even in hurricane conditions.
cjacks, Oct 09 2006

       Are tankers retired whilst still seaworthy?
Galbinus_Caeli, Oct 09 2006

       The peak velocity of the Gulf Stream is only 5 knots, and to get that, you need to get a lot further offshore than one or two miles.
ldischler, Oct 09 2006

       Great idea and we gotta remember ocean currents contain the momentum the River Amazon many times over. So if your parachutes are big enough - you can have massive amounts of electricity or hydrogen.   

       You don’t need to be by the shore either; create hydrogen and then ship it to shore for use as fuel in power stations, cars or domestic heating systems etc.etc
WaveyDave, Oct 10 2007


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