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SCI/TECH: Unlimited Energy.(Tapping the Icy Waters of the Deep)

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posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 01:40 PM
John Pina Craven, PhD in ocean engineering and former chief scientist for the US Navy's Special Projects Office, has a plan to harness the "unlimited energy" found in the Earths' oceans. He (Craven) believes that the dramatic temperature difference between ocean water below 3,000 feet and the much warmer water and air above it can be "exploited" to create an endless supply of energy.
"The potential of OTEC is great," says Joseph Huang, a senior scientist for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and an expert on the process. "The oceans are the biggest solar collector on Earth, and there's enough energy in them to supply a thousand times the world's needs. If you want to depend on nature, the oceans are the only energy source big enough to tap."
Stephen Oney, vice president of Ocean Engineering and Energy Systems in Honolulu, which will design CHC's Saipan pipes, agrees: "The technology is there, and the science is there. It just needs to be improved." Oney, who recently inked a deal with the Pentagon to build an OTEC power plant for a US naval base on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, envisions a day when floating OTEC platforms produce enough hydrogen to meet all of the world's energy needs.
Craven likes the way they think, but he believes there are simpler, cheaper, and more immediate applications of cold-water technology. He favors building systems in ideal locations, such as islands adjacent to deep water with no continental shelf. Sink a big pipe, crank a pump, and - voilĂ ! - you've entered a world powered by ocean water. Once primed, the pipe acts like a giant siphon, requiring relatively little energy to keep an inexhaustible supply of cold at hand. Already, 39-degree-Fahrenheit water courses through the Natural Energy Lab's newest pipe - a 55-inch-diameter, 9,000-foot-long polyethylene behemoth - at the rate of 27,000 gallons a minute, 24 hours a day.
Running the frigid pipes through heat exchangers produces unlimited air-conditioning that costs almost nothing. Draining their sweat yields an endless supply of freshwater for drinking and irrigation. The cold water also creates a temperature difference between root and fruit that Craven believes speeds growth. And by turning the flow on and off, Craven has found he can further accelerate the plants' growth cycle by forcing them in and out of dormancy - he can get three crops of grapes a year and pineapples in eight months instead of the usual 18. Feeding some of the water through a contraption Craven calls a hurricane tower generates clean electricity. "What the world doesn't understand," says Craven, still zigzagging through the parking lot, "is that what we don't have enough of is cold, not heat."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Craven hopes that work will begin within a year on the island of Saipan, the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. Craven has allready been granted $75 million from venture capital firm Alpha Pacific and $1.5 million in federal funds. Currently two projects are being developed to test the viability of Craven's ideas, a vineyard in Kona(a district along the western coast of the island of Hawaii.) to grow table grapes for local restaurants, and a more complex, much larger-scale version on Saipan. Although "tapping" the oceans' energy is not a new idea, Craven is definately at the forefront of research into making this theory into a reality. The implications to our current "energy crisis" and our dependance on fossil fuels are promising, to say the least. Links(below) to more information on this and other theories on harnessing the unlimited power of the Earth's oceans. What say you, ATSers? Do you see a future solution to the "energy crisis" here, or just wishfull thinking not likely to be anything significant anytime soon?

Related News Links:

[edit on 8-6-2005 by Rren]

[edit on 8-6-2005 by Rren]

posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 03:57 PM
Fantastic news. It cant be a load of balloney if the Pentagon is building a similar design. Good news alround

posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 08:55 AM
I was definately surprised that this was being built. I assumed these ideas were mostly in theorists heads still, and not yet ready for large-scale implimentation. Seems like this guy has a good idea and the financial backing to make it happen.

posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 09:42 AM
What a great news posting. As a futurist (and yes, lets not forget I am also a progressive too) I have always believed the Earth could comfortably support upwards of 40B people with all attendant needs. It is just a matter of interfacing with nature like this brilliant chap has done.

As an aside, I have visualized the future on more than one occasion, as I am sure others here have done. Bridges across oceans whose piers double as cities. Other cities designed as inverted spheres. Mass production of protein from algae. Wireless network brain interfaces. Teleportation, gravity control, weather modification, terraforming, tritium mining of Venus's upper atmosphere with ramjets for fusion power, diamond mining on Neptune with organic "robots", Dyson sphere construction, black hole construction near the Oort cloud, interstellar solar sailing ships, cylindrical and doughnut cities in L zones, ah, forever the future is with us.

So, this is a first good step. Perhaps someone else will convert the Aral Sea into a solar farm next. Or maybe palmtop fusion will be made efficient for a change. I am eager with anticipation!

posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 10:55 AM
Here's a supporting link to an ATS discussion on this topic:


posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 11:43 PM
I agree that the ocean is a vast almost completely untapped supply of energy. This idea is maybe 20 years old so this nothing new.

As far as producing energy, you don't just drop a pipe into the water and it starts running a generator. It's more involved than just that, but it can be used to produce electricity, but I don't know if it will produce very large amounts.

It can be used for refrigeration, but only for short distances. If you have to move the cold water very far, it will warm up and will not be any good to use for refrigeration.

Cravn claims"Pipes carrying cold water run beneath fields of crops, sweating freshwater to irrigate plants and chilling their roots, promoting faster crop cycles." This is completely false. You may have cold water pipes that sweat fresh water only for short distances, but the water will quickly warm up. Chilling the roots DOES NOT promote faster growing cycles, it does just the oppisite, it slows plant groth.

This is a great idea for producing fresh water though and will work great.

I would like to know how to get the amount of money that he did for an idea that I have that WILL produce large amounts of electricity cheaply. I checked with a senator's office about a grant and was told that they don't give grants to individuals for this kind of project, only corporations. This doesn't seem fair.

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