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[edited with FlyingToaster's option on March 11 2011]
A large O shaped blimp with an ultralight pair of co-axial
contra-rotating kite wind-turbines, runs an electric
(dynamo) generator. The blimp carries a small salty
supply which is turned to Hydrogen and oxygen via
graphite electrodes. Sea water is
pumped up at the amounts being consumed.
Run from a boat (or ship) this would be extremely low
cost. The hydrogen, stored in secondary blimps could be
stored above, and gathered to a land power station. The
minerals from the brine can also be periodically removed
Benefits: Safe: (Hydrogen high up in sky), High and
constant wind power, Low cost energy storage, Low cost
Drawbacks: Hydrogen leakage (not that bad - as
demonstrated by the Zeppelins before the Hindenburg)
Electrolysis not efficient (debatable down to 20%!)
Hydrogen motors for electric generation costly? Not
probably low cost conversion of a gas turbine to use
From WkPDia: NREL found that a kilogram of hydrogen
(roughly equivalent to a gallon of gasoline) could be
produced by wind powered electrolysis for between $5.55
in the near term and $2.27 in the long term.
FlyingToaster's option: Have the electrolysis done at sea
level, and the hydrogen pumped up in lightweight pipes.
keep Cl2 in heavy industry where it belongs!!! [cowtamer, Mar 03 2011]
Same as toast's idea, but with electricity and a copter instead of kite (ingenious)
[pashute, Aug 12 2011]
||I like the idea but electrolyzing brine results in
chlorine and hydrogen -- nasty stuff...perhaps this
will work nicely in the great lakes, though
||//blimp kite// sp. "tethered blimp"
||Surely the weight of a pair of electric power wires plus a lightweight tube for carrying H2 along the tether would be much less than the weight of the O in the H2O plus a heavyweight tube for carrying said H2O plus the weight of an electrolyzing gizmo at the blimp end... ie: put the electrolyzer on the boat.
||But then the blimp looses elevation, here it builds its
own, and is safely stored high above.
||nah, you put a lightweight tube up to the blimp for H2, as opposed to a heavyweight tube for water.
||As soon as I saw //Sea water is pumped up// I knew this was a [pashute] idea.
||OK, I'll put that as an option.
||Obviously pumping up water is a theme of mine... so
I didn't think of pumping up hydrogen.
||why even pump it up? no one bats an eyelid twice at
huge oil refineries (until they explode). Think it
would be personally reasonable (and cheaper) to just
store the hydrogen on the ground. Not to mention
for efficiency it has to be stored at high pressure.
||//has to be stored at high pressure// Well... as long as I have a vested interest in this... Why does it have to be stored at high pressure ? Maybe it's a blimp refueling station or a full-service rotate-your-gasbags shop.
||link to analogous idea but with electricity and copter
replacing hydrogen and blimp