Here we will think about power generation for both above and under water.
Yet it would be nice to know where we will settle, I think it is a good thing if we would settle far off the coast near Reykjavik in Iceland. Here we can find tectonic plates causing cracks on the ocean surface and with the heat from under the surface we can use a thermal energy as a power source.
Here we will think about power generation for both above and under water.
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… and the typical storms of the North Sea, icebergs, etc.
We can harvest the liquid core to forge our metals.
We could make it an underwater base instead of a floating base. That way we could build in a lot of climates. We could make part out of pyrex, it is a kind of glass which gets more strength if put under pressure.
.Please post picture of what you actually built.
Power generation is probably not the primary subject.
It is interesting to talk about power generation.
A diesel engine is a good source of power. A gasoline engine
is a good source of power too. These engines need fuel.
With a generator it is possible to generate electricity with th engines.
The next source, I would think about is renewable generation,
photo-voltaic solar panels, wind generators and hydro generators with
led acid batteries. Lithium batteries are good too with proper attention.
The ultimate would be Fe/Ni KOH batteries because of the long life.
(probably 30 years).
Hydro generator would be like boat with an electric engine moored in
a current, and the propeller would be moved by the current and the
electric motor would work as a generator.
To start out, I would take these conventional kind of power generators with me,
I would take more than one of each.
And I would think of unusual new ways: OTEC, nitenol, Minto wheel, Radiometer,
and other kind of power generation systems.
I happened to prefer warm climate. It cut down on energy needs.
So for me, moving close to Iceland is not preferable. I would rather
use sunlight on the surface, than geothermal under water.
Being both available is probably the best. Same way with life under
water is good, if I do not have to do it for long. When weather permits,
I would rather stay on the surface. And it is a good idea to consider escaping
adverse weather going under the surface. So, I would think.
Currently researching into Thermoacoustic motors and applications. Granted, the small ones are low-power, but they can use solar heat and energy storage in batteries, same as normal off-grid designs. Flow-Batteries, if they become available, would increase energy storage, with tank storage, rather than complete battery assemblies, would be preferable.
http://www.hexicon.eu/ Floating Wind Turbines
http://www.oceanpowertechnologies.com/powerbuoy/ Wave power
Wave power, solar, and wind turbines are a base producer and cannot be used for peak loads (unless the wind Gods are on our side). But it does give a clean image to SS and can be profitable. I think diesel/gas generator are a good and necassary compliment to these “renewable” energy sources.
One aspect that goes hand in hand with power generation is energy efficient solutions. Being situated on water, heat pumps are by far the best for providing heating. And cooling can be made by pumping cold water and using passive baffles. I looked into this type of cooling as a school project (company ecoclime) and it proved itself against active baffles in both cost and efficiency.
Smart grid would also be a perfect for combining these sources and handling of peak loads.
I think an underwater base near iceland is a bit sci-fi.
For practical power generation the best thing to do is probably look at what yachts use: Mostly small wind turbines, solar panels and a diesel generator. All of those are off the shelf consumer items and the wind turbines in particular are easy to DIY.
I think solar can do everything.
Solar alone is problematic due to the huge surface area needed for solar panels & yet still limited amount of energy acquired from the massive amount of space used. Like some intelligent people are saying; a combination of sources would really be required… Or a big one like a nuclear/thorium reactor, but that’s no good in a self sufficient seastead community.
Wind, wave, & solar generation are all great, but what happens on a calm night with no wind & minimal water movement. Sure batteries are going to be needed to store up/buffer some power, but personally I wouldn’t want my livelihood relying upon intermittent power generation. Like @AnCaptain was saying, some other on-demand type of power generators will be necessary.
In a self sufficient concepts, some energy can be collected from decaying organic matter. Ergo human, animal & plant waste. When this gunk decays it gives off methane, albeit in limited amounts, but could supplement a multiple power generation method.
As always, the right solution will be location specific. That is; power generation for a seastead on the Atlantic will be different from one in the Gulf of Fonseca.
What is paramount in my thinking is actual Power Usage. What is the power to be used for?
Lighting - With LED bulbs this is probably the easiest thing to handle. Solar will work great. It will probably suffice for low power computing and newer led screens for entertainment.
HVAC - This is tougher than it looks. For bay locations like Gulf of Fonseca, the hot mid-day sun is going to be very uncomfortable for American expats. Keeping room temps of 72 degrees at night, in a climate that is 90 degrees in the day, will cost a lot of money. Likewise, in a northern location like Point Roberts, quite a few BTU are needed to keep a warm climate indoors on a windy day. Heat could be supplied by imported petro resources like propane. Cooling can be moderated with “swamp coolers”.
Desalinization - uses a lot of power.
Farm water pumps - Uses power
Hot Water - yeah, like a hot shower once a day.
Laundry - Need to clean those sheets, towels and clothes.
Cooking - Food preparation, baking, and cleanup (dish sanitizing). This may be another spot where imported petroleum fuel may be needed.
For pure power needs, I like the idea of wave generation. In particular, in using the motion of the floating units as a constant power source. This will provide power sufficient for lighting, and resident hot water. In my book Liberty Awash I use solar for this task.
For food production, my city uses a central meal facility. I can’t imagine that meal production in the individual units would be cost effective compared to a central food facility. Using propane tanks the facility can handle both the meals and sanitation, and also central laundry facilities. As a city grows, maybe there is a central food facility for every 4000 people or so.
Cafeterias tend to be the most food-wasteful means of food prep. Even restaurants with made-to-order throw out food that should never have been made. At least in-home food selection can be moderated. That salad so many love is generally toxic to me (Salicilates, etc.), meanwhile, what does my system right isn’t the best food for most people.
In many climates, hot water needs can be provided with solar, supplemented with back-up heating.
Reverse-Osmosis Desalination is one of the better means of water purification. distillation works, but needs aeration for the water to better meet biological needs.
Otherwise, energy production will tend to be location-specific. Some mixture of the various means, such as solar, wind, wave, current and biogas from sewage/waste-handling will probably be the most effective. Propane, being a fossil fuel, would have to be an imported luxury, and not necessarily a good energy source, due to expenses.
IMHO, solar-powered cryogenics, in the form of storing liquified air, makes more sense than battery storage. Generators using expansion type engines can provide variable power on demand, while some form of battery storage would be complimentary, such as flow batteries, which have proven themselves since the earlier electric vehicles, even by Henry Ford.
Wave-conversion has proven difficult and expensive, at best, as well as being high-maintenance.
I think we should only consider renewables. Especially in the ocean. and oil leak could be catastrophic for an entire civilization. Plus gas and diesel are just not sustainable over time. It was also make us dependent on other countries instead of self sufficient.
Yeah wave generation! Now were talking.
Power Storage is also a major concern. vanadium Redox flow-batteries have the capacity to be sized and increased with modular units, such as these, built into 20 ft shipping containers…
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