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Tripe: Trans. Utility, Energy multi conduit system

Track+Pipe=Tripe for Transportation, Utilities, and Energy
(+3, -3)
  [vote for,

In my work with offshore wind and wave designs, I figured it would make more sense to send the energy ashore in pipes than try to transmit electricity intermittently, and over long distances. I settled on three new common usage fuels, Compressed Air, Hydrogen, and ORCA (oxygen rich compressed air). The rail system we now have is old, so we should be open to new systems. The Track Pipe, or Tripe system is meant to be a "200 year design" and would cost a lot. But the Tripe carries many infrastructure needs as it is a multi conduit system of energy storage and delivery, which doubles as utility carrier and transportation system: First we need and can have with this system a common denominator with our old and new energy systems. Most of the problems now are with energy storage, conversions, shipment, and not with energy creation. This system is not an energy creation system. The new wind and wave systems offshore can convert mechanical force easily to the new fuels and pipe the new fuels, which can augment old systems very easily. CAES (compressed air energy storage) is now being used for example with gas turbines. As a transportation design, the Tripe carries newer larger car luxury designs, and mono-rail and other systems do lend to pipe structures as useful for old and new rail applications. Current rolling stock need not convert with some tripe designs, and with others the designs call for gauge expansion to seven feet or two meters. The Tripe system will easily carry broadband cable in the multi conduits it offers. The multi conduits lend also to sewage issues, in that separate and more valuable bio product handling will be easily facilitated in that multi conduits are available for use. Please see the Tripe System Report at my web page www.environmentalfisherman.com
Steven J Scannell, Dec 30 2010

Tripe System Report http://www.environm...ipeSystemReport.pdf
[Steven J Scannell, Dec 30 2010]


       [po: thanks for the link correction. I've done what I normally do and fixed the main link; I've removed yours, which had become redundant as a result.]   

       Steven, why aren't you linking to the .pdf document directly?
jutta, Jan 01 2011

       Sorry, I don't know how.
Steven J Scannell, Jan 01 2011

       Hmm. I had a quick look at the pdf document - but I presume the key points are in the idea as posted. So, apologies if I'm asking questions which are clearly answered in the pdf.   

       If I understand it, the main idea is to link a transport infrastructure, an energy transport system, and other services like internet by using a common pipe system which carries gaseous fuel (or compressed air), acts as a rail for trains, and also contains other cables.   

       That's fine and dandy, but is it cheaper than other systems? If I want to build a railroad, I want cheap strong solid rails; making the rails hollow and complex costs a lot more to make, lay and maintain.   

       If I want to carry data, I probably want fibreoptic cables which can be draped around whatever obstacles are in the way; limiting them to railroad-straight lines will be a pain in the arse.   

       If I want to move energy, likewise, electrical cables that can follow any path or contour would seem simplest.   

       And, if I have a fault in one of these three systems, do I want to disrupt the other two systems while I fix it?   

       Finally, is it true that rail, energy and data always want to travel along the same routes?   

       I guess my question is - what's the cost of a mile of fibreoptics, plus a mile of power cable, plus a mile of regular railway track; and what's the cost of a mile of your combined system?   

       Finally, "tripe" is not the name I'd choose if I wanted anyone to latch on to this, although maybe that's just a British-English thing.   

       And finallyer (as an afterthought), how do you implement points on a railway where the rails are carrying interweb and compressed air?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 01 2011

       Steven, I've fixed up the main link to point directly to the PDF document. For future reference, to edit any link you've already posted to the halfbakery, click on the [edit] next to it; that'll bring up a form populated with the text strings that are currently in it. You can edit the values, then click "OK" to make the change permanent. The address of your document (which belongs in the "Destination URL" field of the halfbakery link), in this case, was right there on your website; it's that long string that starts with http://www.envi ... and ends with .. SystemReport.pdf. (Spelling and capitalization is important for this one.)
jutta, Jan 01 2011

       //tripe is not the name I'd choose// we could go with Colinear Rail And Pipe.
FlyingToaster, Jan 01 2011

rcarty, Jan 01 2011

       Bigsleep and FT Thanks for the Huge Laugh you guys gave me.   

       jutta, Thanks for fixing the problem, and teaching.   

       OK, The Big MaxwellBuchanan list: The real main idea is to solve the energy crisis and global warming. I was trying to do that with wind and wave machines. But I could not ship electricity, so that's where that stops. What could I ship from offshore? The three fuels of regular compressed air, lets say 2-8,000 psi, of course Hydrogen, and then there's the left over oxygen too, so mix that with regular compressed air for use in ICE's hybrid air and gasoline cars. How to pipe this stuff everywhere we needed it? Roads, High Tension easments, Rail easments? That's IT!! We need a new rail system anyway. Now, how much would you pay? The Track Pipe as I have it rigged uses a set of four foot dia pipes that straddle the iron rails. So the old rail system can stay IF we want that. We may look at models and want to go with more change, perhaps expand the gauge, for the sake of the next two hundred years of use. In the four foot pipes are twelve little conduits, which can carry broad band, and why not? Can carry grey water, urine, why not? can carry natural gas, crude oil, and especially water for emergency, drainage, irrigation, climate change etc. Can we all see that the cash flow for such a system is big? So that is the main idea, bundling many needs into one complex system design. Is this system cheaper than seperate systems? Yes, totally by far and away cheaper. The rail system with the conduits turns into mono-rails going to all manner of locations in country and suburbia, All of this is high use conduit system stuff, multiple cash flows feeding this system. Much of the mass of the composite pipe may be bamboo fibre if I get my models to work on the strength to impregnation ratios right. I have the old steel rails redesigned to be bigger, as seen in the illustrations, But this may just be my fantasy, many I'm sure will lobby hard to keep the old in place. The fibreoptic cable can go anywhere from the rails, or not in the rails, the option is there if you want to snake some cable it's quick and easy job if the tube or conduit is right there. In my area some broadband is comming in and it's going to cost more than thirty million dollars, just for the main bundles to be laid in, much complexity I'm sure with all those poles, and not so well protected either. The core of the track pipe may be able to carry superconduction cable where a vacuum is needed, there it is, ready. These rail path ways are pretty damn good. They hit most areas, are ready graded, it seems ideal to me. Of course electrical and other cable, and hoses can run anywhere we want them to run, between the standard tripe rails and the mono-rails, other easments, pathways aren't the real issue. Faults in the system, repair, depreciation, attack from bombs, pressure losses, leaks, inefficiencies in pumping air, water, or anything, All of these need better men than I to give credible answers. No same routes mandatory for the electricity, fibreoptics, rail, air, Hydrogen, let the common sense dictate to the situation or design needs etc. However the protection afforded with the one system is big. Cost per Mile, ratio to income per mile is the question, And I know the totals will be high on both expence and income. If I solved the energy crisis with the tripe, shouldn't I at least take a beating for the name? Don't deprive me please some simple pleasures.
Steven J Scannell, Jan 01 2011

       They're putting up poles just for the FO ?   

       Asked your local council how much your property taxes will go down, yet ? I mean, due to the property values getting dinked thanks to the new eyesore.
FlyingToaster, Jan 01 2011

       [sjs] click enter/return key twice to start a new paragraph (for easier reading).
po, Jan 01 2011

       Well, OK. But I still don't see:   

       a) How you're going to implement points and   

       b) Why it is so bad to move electricity around. It is a universal energy currency, is more or less directly useable by any user, and can be carried by relatively cheap conductors wherever it needs to go. There are issues of storage, but I don't think these are great enough to make it worthwhile converting all energy to (say) compressed air, pumping that around, and then converting it to electricity at the point of use.   

       More effective, surely, to store excess power as compressed air (or whatever) at the point of generation, then convert to electricity also at the point of generation (in a single large generator, which will be more efficient in every way) and then send electricity around the country?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 01 2011

       //I have to ask though whether this is just rather elaborate joke?// [bigsleep] - you have to ask whether the poster *realizes* that this is just an elaborate joke.
lurch, Jan 01 2011

       And as long as I have the podium... what's up with Right-of-Way ?   

       Arguably electric, gas, local-phone and postal are necessary services at a community level, but cableTV and internet are very predominantly shite and interactive shite, respectively.   

       And that's why I shot the Cable TV guy wandering in my yard, Your Honour.   

       [edit: oops, I accidentally deleted my annotation preceding this one, which was quite large]   

       If they're given right of way, that's commercial invasion of private property. Want to do that ? dig them underground in the middle of the street.
FlyingToaster, Jan 02 2011

       Flying Toaster: Poles? and Property Taxes? v. Solving the energy crisis puzzle ... Hello?   

       Big MaxwellBuchanan: The Best Questions: Points are implimented via junction boxes, which are safety valves also. Do I have the Question right? b. Why electricity? Greatest Question, which is as I always say the key in framing a question. Try to move power from green sources to the need. What do we always find? Electricity is the bottleneck. The intermittancy, the need to store, these are big. Move my power from wave to the need. How are you going to do it? If electricity ... How? I can't see it. I do love electricity. But it is in the conversions. We must store power, .... somehow .... But how? could compressed air fit the bill? What else is there? What else will work, even with apparent inefficiencies? I do like Hydrogen and O rich compressed air. The three to me are workable, and are easilly converted to electricity and all manner of usable needs for power. Conversions are a waste? yes. But that is the price for the ability to go from green to the need, and using the existing infrastructure. NO. no no. We need to ship the Compressed air to the need, and then the conversions to electricity, Why? no line drop in CA shipment. No intermitancy issues with bottled up air. The electricity grids are good, and need to be improved, and perhaps nuke may work well with tripe, using good baseline and good superconductor strategies. Thanks   

       Lurch, No Joke, been working hard on this for years. But on the other hand, if you are entretained, greatt.   

       FT: I do love the ColinearRailAndPipe (crap) I only wish I'd a thunk it up myself. Darn It. Yes, to hardening for heavier use, and thanks for that, as I didn't realize the need for greater weight capacity. As I read you post you seem to have absorbed and understood the system better than any previously, a breath of fresh air. Compressed air will become a commodity energy product with the tripe. The use of the CA does not relate to location, unless I'm wrong, but the supply and demand and unit price for the product will dictate.   

       The Upwind deal may be close to the mark. The pipe may itself work out to be a digester of the bio-product #2 from bessie the cow etc. or human #2. I always seperate my waste stream products, as it is my religion, see a book called Liquid Gold by Carol Seinfeld. This stuff is like the old organic gardening movement, no pun.   

       Disaster Relief: Water shipment is big, flood mitigation, emergency fire controls, remember the marriage between the systems of water shipment and Compressed Air is made in heaven, and for fire fighters the CA is convertable to hydraulic power easily enough, but the point is much water to the object at hand, fast and available if the system is close by. My boatbuilding instincts tell me the quake will not bust the system entirely, just slow it down, many safety valves, shut offs will be in place, the composite should bend OK.   

       Hydrogen Infrastructure: You seem to get it better than I do. This system needs the level of critique you (and MaxwellBuchanan) bring. Let's rip it up.   

       I hate fences. I don't have the design nailed there. This is your own brass ring just as much as anyone's.   

       As far as maintenance and security I have one owner responsible, which is the consortium. The rest is too funny with all the Rights of Way issues, Thanks.
Steven J Scannell, Jan 02 2011

       //No Joke// ... ok. Let me share with you an experience I had as a little tyke.   

       My Pa bought me a toy train set. It was the old Lionel O-27 guage, three-rail system. We upgraded it, so we had an oval with a reverse loop and a siding.   

       We later changed over to an HO guage layout. The track is about half as wide as the O-27. The layout was a double oval around a figure eight, reverse loops to a second level, five sidings, and a four-track yard.   

       Finally, we changed again - to N scale, which is close to half the size of HO. Our layout grew to two independent double-track mainline ovals, double-track crossovers, seven spur lines for "industrial areas" (Mom specialized in modeling buildings), and a fourteen-track switchyard, ten lines of which were double-entry. 110 switches (or "points", as [MB] calls them), and we could run 4 simultaneous trains without interfering with one another.   

       So what was the point of all that? Just this: those three train sets were all built inside the same physical dimensions. They were actually built *on the same board*. As the guage gets smaller, you can do much more without using more real estate.   

       You wish to put this principle into reverse effect by "guage expansion to seven feet or two meters". I see that as seriously crippling your rail capabilities.   

       //Why? no line drop in CA shipment.// A: Wrong. B: Bad.   

       A: If you compress air, it gets hot. (PV=nRT, P1V1/T1=P2V2/T2, right?) And therefore, now being hotter than the surroundings, it wants to lose its heat - which is a large portion of the energy you expended compressing it. If you have a VV Large Container, you can insulate it, slowing the losses. If you put it into a pipe, the surface area ratio increases dramatically - so you would need far thicker insulation on the pipe than you would on the container. And that thicker insulation would have to continue the full length of the pipe. Plus, you still have air friction in the pipe. (If you've developed a system which works otherwise, I can assure you there are some aeronautical engineers who Would Like To Talk To You.)   

       B. Did you know that high-pressure air tanks, when subjected to ultimate pressure testing, are always tested under hydrostatic (water) pressure, rather than with air? The "why" of that is why CA transport is *bad*.
lurch, Jan 02 2011

       //critique// sure.   

       - paragraph breaks
- grammar
- content

       Instead of presenting your idea, you presented some facets, including some trivial ones without providing a decent summary of what the idea actually is. Linking to what is presumably a more coherent presentation, instead of providing one, is pretty insulting.   

       Instead of editing it, I deleted the anno where I give my version of your idea. The edit and delete buttons are real close together. I'm trying to fit everything into a short one paragraph summary to repost. But I would suggest developing your presentation independently if for no other reason than that I can decide if our visions are different enough that I can post mine independently.   

       Currently I'm wondering how many greased cows per minute you could transport in a four foot pipe.
FlyingToaster, Jan 02 2011

       [SJS] I take your point about needing a way to store and distribute green energy to cope with the intermittency of production. I'm also happy to accept that pressurized air or some other fluid medium is the way to do it.   

       BUT - I still don't see why you want to do this in a distributive way. Suppose you have a windfarm generating power. Under your scheme (as I understand it), you use the windfarm to produce compressed air (for instance), pipe this around the country, and then have a large number of local devices to convert it to electricity. Each of these devices (as well as the pipelines) will be somewhat expensive and somewhat lossy.   

       The alternative is for the windfarm to make compressed air (or whatever), store it on-site, convert it to electricity on demand, and then distribute the electricity.   

       The conversions needed are the same under either scheme. The difference is that your scheme distributes the conversion infrastructure to all the points of demand, whereas my scheme concentrates it to the point of supply. I would contend that the latter is far cheaper, more efficient and safer than the former.   

       Let me put it another way.   

       Suppose in 50 years time, your system is fully implemented, and the old system is forgotten. I, as an entrepreneur, would come along and say to the board: "Hey, why don't we develop a more efficient centralised system for storing power as compressed air, distribute the power as electricity using cheap cables, and give the consumers the elecricity directly instead of asking them all to provide their own converters? It'll save money on all fronts, and the consumers will be happier!"   

       I think I'd be a big hit with the board.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 02 2011

       Lurch: Probably years ago you got it into your head that CAES system weren't good, and now you're stuck? Is this about right? I am guessing you think you're too above CAES to read the Tripe System Report, Is this about right? New information for you: SustainX has a gov grant for their innovative hydraulic air compression that gets around the thermo losses See their web page. Isothermal and adiabatic systems compared and contrasted. My systems of CAES are sea based, and similar to but better than these. This is the halfbakery, so I feel within my comfort zone here.   

       Smartgrid.gov has several major grants in progress dealing with the "smart grid" some are CAES, some battery, some interface systems with EV batteries, a couple of salt dome projects ongoing. Millions are being spent on CAES. Nothing for the tripe, yet.   

       The world is my own train board, in my head anyway. I would love to see the tripe system studied and modeled beyond my fisherman's talents. You have the train feel. Not me. I just needed a way to ship CA. I got kicked off of railroad.net after a couple of posts, for no good reason that I could see. Perhaps it was by people who have the world totally figured out. Another list which I am on is Fishfolk, and the tripe idea was discussed just a bit, but mostly theoildrum a list for peak oil etc discussions, I did learn a lot there, and got some good feedback, but also lots of "compressed air is no damn good" stuff too. I am still asking if we are to ship wind and wave power from the offshore continental shelf areas to inshore how are we going to do that? Electricity does not seem viable, due to the storage, line drop, and intermittancy issues. What else then?   

       You think like an old rail road man. Gauge change issues must be looked into if we are to renovate or redesign the rail systems based on our new needs for renewable energy. Real estate considerations, expenses, costs, must all be on the table with the benefits of such a system separate from the old way. The old rail system is just that ,,, old. It's just a rail road system. Tripe systems are more, better, harder to even think about because of the bundling of needs, and lots of interfaces and problems therein.   

       With the Tripe, comparable losses of line drop due to leaks, pipe friction, or demand load will be close to negligable. Hundreds of lines will act as tanks essentially. Hundreds, thousands of users and of inputs. The great plains will produce, Maine and Canada have awsome tides to compress air from 2 to 4,000 psi for instance. Nuke plants can use their reserves to compress air or to make Hydrogen, to input the tripe. Thousands of miles of easments are available for these pipes. The pressure and the pipes diameters will dictate the air pressure losses incured, which not being zero, probably in my minds eye will not suffer the harsh numbers associated with the electrical line drops.   

       Bad is OK with me, as long as it's better. While we disagree about the pipe-ability of Compressed Air, we may agree that we do need "something" better than coal and oil and gas as our energy backbone.   

       Tanks: I didn't know the testing was done with water. Keep the sense of humor.
Steven J Scannell, Jan 02 2011

       So Sorry Flying Toaster: I will work like grimmer hell on my grammar. You and I have in common that we are worried about how many greased cows can fit in a pipe. Anything can be piped.   

       You say the summary was not good, even to the point of this being an insult? Are you kidding? Did you read the 11 page illustrated Tripe System Report? This was done quality like, you know, professional like. Did you not think so? Check it out FT. THEN be insulted. OK? Jutta helped get the linc right for us.
Steven J Scannell, Jan 02 2011

       MaxwellBuchanan: After a further review of my sensibilities I have taken myself too seriously apparently enough. It seems to me that perhaps I was advocating for a decentralized approach to the generation of electricity using compressed air. As you point out the future may hold that the most efficient use may be to as you say distribute the electrical energy from closer to the Compressed air sources. My thinking seems stuck on the principle that "Air is everywhere" meaning homes and cars can load up just about anywhere for their energy needs. Cars will need CA to be everywhere, essentially to top up the Carbon Fiber Tank Frames. Our oil imports are mostly for cars and trucks. If the oil jumps to four hundred dollars per barrel, air being available essentially everywhere would save us tons of cash. I believe in mono-rail systems for public transportation, and their structures I contend may just as well be of the track pipe.   

       Initially I had thought that the best and highest use for lots of CA at enormous pressures would be to super-charge the power plants that produce steam, of course with some re-tooling, to meet our electricity needs.   

       Also I think there is enormous economic value to society of having the green fuels of CA, Hydrogen, and ORCA (oxygen rich compressed air) set by market supply and demand forces. By the way Ethanol can be shipped in the track pipes, which is essentially a propped up commodity. But would Tripe rail road tracks be worth the gains? How much do these systems cost even to model up? I do not know. Presently I am carrying the cost of the pencil and paper for this projects raw concept phase.   

       Cheaper, more efficient, and safer power will materialize, whether centralized, decentralized, or in some combination, with open markets for the 3 green fuels. But having said that the other can of worms to look at would be the monopoly utility needs of power regulation. Tis a complex area of economics, physics, and politics, as the Enron debacle proved. Even free markets for the electricity are proving to be no panacea if only due to the stresses incurred to the grid.   

       In short I do not have the answer as to wether or not the market can efficaciously handle the problems you set forth. I don't have the general answer in regards to a wind farm producing compressed air to be held on site and then converted to electricity (probably with some gas). I would guess that if pipes and markets were in place for ORCA and Hydrogen the wind mills of the Plains from Texas to the Dakotas, would be better to generate those and not try to compete with my super efficient sea based CA generators.   

       I wish bigsleep would jump back in, but I do thank you very much MaxwellBuchanan for the best tripe discussions I have had to date, on any list.   

       P.S. As a personal aside, my mother, a WWII veteran utterly refused me as a lad to buy the tripe for our families consumption; even at my continued insistence at the A&P, and this may have had, I believe, a certain impact on me. Thanks for you kindness and generosity.
Steven J Scannell, Jan 02 2011

       Welllll, I still don't think this is a winner.   

       The main feature of the idea is to be able to ship compressed air, ORCA, hydrogen etc around along rail routes, yes? Note that none of these is a green energy source in itself - they are all just methods of conveying energy (which you have to put in somewhere else).   

       There's no point distributing these things as an alternative way of distributing electricity - it's cheaper in both infrastructure, maintenance and conversion efficiencies to convert at source and distribute good old fashioned volts and amps.   

       So you're left with applications which can use these energy mediums directly, which really boils down to cars, planes and other things that have to carry their own fuel.   

       For cars, is compressed air ever likely to overtake batteries, let alone petrol? And for planes, some sort of hydrocarbon fuel seems inevitable for the foreseeable future, no?   

       So, the only thing which is worth distributing widely is hydrogen (or any other hydrocarbon). But then you have to weigh up the cost of building and maintaining a hydrogen pipeline, versus the cost of moving hydrogen around by other means (which, since hydrogen is energy- dense, isn't too inefficient).   

       If there were one central hydrogen producer in a large country, maybe some major spine-pipes would be a good idea. But one of the benefits of hydrogen is that it can be produced from local green power, so how far do you want to move it?   

       Also, if I understand, you're planning to run very large, fast trains on pipes reinforced with bamboo and filled with hydrogen under pressure.   

       Nothing personal, but I'd probably drive.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 02 2011

       Then there's the whole issue of carrying high- pressure hydrogen tanks (ie. bombs) in your vehicles.
RayfordSteele, Jan 03 2011

       //Lurch: Probably years ago you got it into your head...//   

       So, do you want to discuss the idea, or should we just have an ad hominem flame-war?   

       Yes, I read your PDF.   

       (//Linking to what is presumably a more coherent presentation, instead of providing one, is pretty insulting.// Quote from [FlyingToaster], who has a pretty good read on the sense of the community, I think.)   

       I actually would probably not have commented on the guage issue, just given the summary you made here. However, in the PDF, you mentioned the ability of going up to 28 feet in width with your rolling stock. So I tried to draw you a mental picture so you could relate to how that would work.   

       //you're too above CAES to read the Tripe System Report// What I wrote, you'll notice, was using CAES as the standard to which PDOCA (piped distribution of compressed air) cannot measure up. I'll spare you another personal journey, but let's just say I'm not entirely unfamiliar with compressed air systems.   

       //Tanks:// Aim your brain at this, and think about it seriously for a few minutes.
Say I take a 50 gallon storage tank, and pressurize it with water to 5000 psi, and the tank cracks. What happens? Loud noise, tank shifts a couple of inches, and I end up with 50 gallons of water on the floor.
Say I take a 50 gallon storage tank, and pressurize it with air to 5000 psi, and the tank cracks. What happens? Destroys the building, kills everyone within 50 yards, and throws shrapnel over a mile.

       And you want to turn that tank into a *railroad rail*? Pardon me while I shudder.   

       //New information for you: SustainX has a gov grant// well, whoop-te-do. I guess we can just toss those worthless old thermodynamics texts. (I spend most of my workday reading the results of studies supported by government grants. My level of respect for them has, uhhh, shall we say... diminished?) (Just - please! - don't tell me that it's Patent Pending as well. [jutta]'d excommunicate me for the rant I'd fly into.)
lurch, Jan 03 2011

       somebody with a physics text... if I increase the pressure from 1atm to 10atm (140something psi) I end up with air at ~ 2700C ? How does a bog standard 150psi air compressor work then without melting ?
FlyingToaster, Jan 03 2011

       OK, well you guys gave it a shot. Thanks for that. There is a need for what I call the common denominator to join the new green systems with the old systems, and that is what this tripe system is.
Steven J Scannell, Jan 04 2011


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