7 Aug 2008 ncm   » (Master)

More Transient Power Storage

There are plenty of idle shipyards. Turn them to building 100-meter diameter spherical, floating pressure vessels. Power generated anywhere at sea, whether by wind, solar, tides, deep currents, or ocean-thermal can go to pumping air into them. Pumped to capacity, they can be towed cheaply by tugboat to any coastal city to operate turbines there.

Oil (supplied by an offshore platform on-site), methane (extracted from solid deep sea-bed deposits), or even coal may be burned far out to sea without climatic consequence, if the resulting carbon dioxide is pumped deep under the sea, there to condense to solid form, or to dissolve far from vulnerable coral.

For cheaper transport, put a loose membrane through the middle of the sphere, dividing it in half, and fill with hydrogen on one side. When the sphere is fully pressurized, the hydrogen is pressed between the membrane and the wall; when the pressure is released, the hydrogen-filled tank is nearly weightless.

Given efficient electrolysis (e.g. using the new MIT process), put your power generation sites in oceanic dead zones caused by fertilizer runoff. Pressurize the tanks throughout with hydrogen which may be delivered the same way to turbines on shore, and dissolve the waste oxygen into the water to restore fish habitat.

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