Generating electricity on the sea floor?

(Chad Elwartowski) #1

Any thoughts on a way to generate electricity on the sea floor? It has come up before for a few things on electricity use underwater and most things have tended toward a wave based or ocean current solution. But what about on the floor itself with minimal current?

Could geothermal be used for a Stirling engine? How deep does one have to go into the earth to get a significant enough temperature difference? And would the temperature difference dissipate?

Any other thoughts on this?

One application I can see this for is Biorock for artificial reefs.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #2

@Elwar | the heated seawater that comes out of hydrothermal vents is exactly in the conditions (300-400 degree Celsius and very high pressure) as needed for efficient power generation and many chemical and industrial fabrication processes…

It also contains interesting optimal mining grade concentrations of metals, minerals, and exotic things like Helium 3.

New Atlantis can definitly be powered, financed, and sustained, this way. ( as mid ocean ridge industry mining power generation, and chemical fabrication, settlement, cluster ) part of the discussion is on the Internet and in the forums under the term coined by marine business pioneer Phil Nuytten - “Vent Base Alpha”.

DME fuel production platform - CleanCarbon Energy
(.) #3

OTEC with a Minto wheel. Instead of floating on the surface and sucking up
cold water; to build it on the sea floor and bringing down warm water.
If I remember right a Minto wheel can work on temperature difference of
5 deg F. I did build one for a hobby project. It worked. Other people build things
like this too. You can see it on youtube. All I have left is a youtube video of it.

It is a heat engine. The second law of thermodynamics is still good here.
It is a super low maintenance machine. For chemical components I would use
water solution of sodium bicarbonate and carbon dioxide gas. These circulate within,
and nothing is released during normal operation.

(Chris) #4

Currents can be exploited with hydro turbines as well. One thing to think about though is that energy needs on the ocean floor will be much higher. You will need a constant source of light and a constant source of heat. You’ll also need redundant energy generation because a loss of energy can be catastrophic.


(Chad Elwartowski) closed #6

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