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  • Power generation

    Is power generated by solar panels or is there a generator?

  • #2
    I would love to experiment with smaller scale boosted OTEC on a project like this.

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    • #3
      "boosted"? please elaborate

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      • #4
        We have 6 solar panels of 200 Watt each. Plus we have a gasoline generator for backup. Plenty for a small house.

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        • #5
          By boosted on OTEC, I mean the following. To increase temperature Delta on the warm sea water side of things (open cycle) I included some vacuum evacuated solar tubing to preheat incoming warm sea water. That raises the warm side temp Delta, increasing flash rate of water vapor, while keeping size semi-manageable. Another technique to improve efficiency, at least in limited simulations, was removing auxiliary vacuum equipment. As pressure lowers in flash chamber, more water is able to change phase to vapor. Traditionally, this pressure drop is accomplished with vacuum pumps. I stole a technique from the simple man's lab, and used exhaust flow from my cold sea water draw to run an aspiration style vacuum from the flash chamber. There are also a few other improvements, but they are mostly to maximize magnesium salts production, and maximizing off shelf component use.

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          • #6
            elwar I'm under the impression that you're currently not trying for full autonomy from your local government quite yet?

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            • #7
              OTEC, why not, at the end of the day the ocean is nothing more than a giant thermodynamic engine

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              • #8
                Originally posted by elwar View Post
                We have 6 solar panels of 200 Watt each. Plus we have a gasoline generator for backup. Plenty for a small house.
                i can blow a 1200 watts power budget like it didnt exist. and 1200 watts is only part of the time of course. i am extremely power hungry, im heavy into computers, audio gear (including pro level audio gear and other assorted studio gear and such) and power amps, communications gear, and more. any options for more panels? even with a second unit and its panels thats only 2400 watts. climate control alone would kill that when in use. and climate control is not an option for me its a necessity.

                i suppose i could supplement power with a generator as needed but thats inelegant. and im figuring the "as needed" will be several hours a day if not more.

                so one extremely good smallish 2000 watt sine wave generator for that as needed stuff, plus a more beastly one as a backup for the whole thing (easily a 7000+ watt that includes the extra capacity for charging the battery banks when needed in addition to the normal power load).

                and of course that means several days (at least) of fuel at full load for the generators, which would need regular replenishment. maybe a diesel for the big one, so two storage tanks..
                Last edited by vapourminer; 01-14-2019, 12:56 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AndrewKKozak View Post
                  I would love to experiment with smaller scale boosted OTEC on a project like this.
                  im very interested in anything that boosts the efficiency of needed infrastructure. any place to read up on this?

                  no problem with experimental stuff. thats half the fun. after all this project is more or less experimental, so what better place to real world test it.
                  Last edited by vapourminer; 01-14-2019, 01:05 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Andrew. Using solar gain to increase delta on the hot side makes a lot of sense. Is there added pump load involved in your vacuum technique?

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                    • #11
                      Solar panels are only good enough for back-up.
                      For seasteading better alternatives exit but not commercial available like vacuum tube in combination with Peltier units.
                      https://www.ebay.com/itm/5PCS-TEC1-1...5eU:rk:26:pf:0
                      One site is heated with the tubes and distilled water the other is cooled with seawater a little pump. I have all the bits and pieces but never had time or place to put together.
                      In computer cpus the peltier units are used in reverse, some mini camper fridges use them also, power hungry but to the job, efficiency at 80+%.
                      Downside how to protect the tubes, fragile and in heavy sea may damage even if covered with plastic fresnel lens.
                      Better alternative still available. Will look into the seastead thing later in the year in more detail.

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                      • Marc de Piolenc
                        Marc de Piolenc commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Have used peltier modules for cooling, but not yet for power generation. Will you keep us up to date on this project?

                    • #12
                      jojo69, as far as I can tell, the vacuum is a byproduct of the cold water flow, instead of wasting it on discharge I put it to use lowering evap chamber pressure. I assume it does put a little over head on the pump(s), be but I have found it to be within reasonable levels.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by vapourminer View Post

                        i can blow a 1200 watts power budget like it didnt exist. and 1200 watts is only part of the time of course. i am extremely power hungry, im heavy into computers, audio gear (including pro level audio gear and other assorted studio gear and such) and power amps, communications gear, and more. any options for more panels? even with a second unit and its panels thats only 2400 watts. climate control alone would kill that when in use. and climate control is not an option for me its a necessity.

                        i suppose i could supplement power with a generator as needed but thats inelegant. and im figuring the "as needed" will be several hours a day if not more.

                        so one extremely good smallish 2000 watt sine wave generator for that as needed stuff, plus a more beastly one as a backup for the whole thing (easily a 7000+ watt that includes the extra capacity for charging the battery banks when needed in addition to the normal power load).

                        and of course that means several days (at least) of fuel at full load for the generators, which would need regular replenishment. maybe a diesel for the big one, so two storage tanks..
                        Ya. For power it is slightly better than boats that people currently live on as opposed to data centers.

                        As the seastead community grows we can use p2p power selling.
                        We can add a few more panels. Air con is not as popular outside the US so not a big deal here. A data center could be done with bigger more expensive platforms. But let's get things started before having ideal land conditions on the sea.

                        Blue Frontiers made the mistake of trying to accomodate everyone's requests. To the point that there was no way they could build anything. We are just going to build seasteads and grow from there. I likely see air conditioning as an add on option. Living on a boat, if you get hot...you go for a dip.

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                        • #14
                          vapourminer , the manual I make regular use of is "Renewable Energy From The Ocean: A Guide To OTEC" by William H. Avery and Chih Wu. ISBN 0-19-507199-9

                          Some of the US Dept of Energy conference materials are good reads as well

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                        • #15
                          Whilst, a handful of seasteads utilising OTEC, won't make much of difference to overall ocean temperature, it would be interesting to know what would happen with a large scale implementation of OTEC.
                          How would that affect ocean temperature? At the end of the day, heat exchange has to go somewhere....

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