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Re: Energy storage for wind and solar power

Interesting radio show a day or two back.
Another inventor, complete with middle European accent, was explaining that because air is so much less dense than water, a water turbine to produce the same amount of electricity as a wind turbine would be so much smaller.
His proposal was that we have fleets of sailing ships exploiting the more extreme weather conditions and with water turbines fitted to the hulls to take advantage of the consequent 4-5m/sec speed through the water.
The electricity is then used to electrolyse the sea water to produce hydrogen which is compressed.

Questioned about the dangers of operating in the more severe weather conditions, he said the effects on larger vessels would be less. He accepted that robot ships would be desirable.

He is apparently working on the costs.

SO this is another "nice" idea.

A long chain of conversions. No discussion of efficiency and apparently it is all "established" technology.

No question about how big the vessels need to be nor how many to generate a usable amount of electricity nor the energy (CO2) now committed to producing wind-jammers of the type last seen in the pre-war years.
And if they are following the worst weather there is the prospect of vast fleets of vessels marauding the seas and likely causing all sorts of issues for other shipping.

Re: Energy storage for wind and solar power

A quick google finds a few sources on this.
http://conservationmagazine.org/2010/08/power-on-sail/
"“Such a project has to be calculated very carefully,” he says, “and compared to other renewable energy sources regarding the cost per kilowatt hour.” "
But not to conventional energy sources?

Of course, this is fully to be trusted since it appears in that paragon of scientific authenticity, the New Scientist https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18970-sailing-ships-could-harvest-fuel-from-the-oceans/
which says the idea originates with Max Platzer and Nesrin Sarigul-Klijn at the University of California.... (not Nether Wallop, but close?).

The Radio 4 program is "The Power of Wind" http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b076nx1l (start in around 16 minutes)

Now maybe this is all perfectly feasible, perfectly valid but down the years I have become ever more cynical and ever less trusting of what scientists say. The proof ought to be in the pudding, in the eating, but......

....and however plausible the basic technology, the missing element is the cost benefit.

Re: Energy storage for wind and solar power

Revenue > Expense. You can amortise the expenses to make the equation work, you just have to make sure that maintenance and upkeep are part of it.

Re: Energy storage for wind and solar power

It helps when for "revenue" you can rely on subsidies.
I would guess that some of these schemes are really trying to source subsidies and grants. It beats making something that is cost competitive. On the other hand I wonder if all that ingenuity that goes into these various schemes might not be better employed pursuing better solutions.