Author: Kenny Hawley
Date: 04/26/2005 10:11 PM
My original ideas,going back some years, for harnessing the sun for
"alternative energy" focused originally on building a "solar
energy" project in the State of Nevada USA.
What I thought could be achieved there were a number of things - the first being : (1) Using solar energy to bring more drinkable and irrigation "water" to that desert region and (2) to create electrical energy as a "by-product" of making more "drinkable" water! Of course at this point in my letter this all sounds like some kind of fantasy or half baked fiction. But as you'll see I didn't intend to "make water" in the desert by any kind of "magic"!
Heres the crux of my idea: What I originally thought or imagined could be done was to build a "pipe-line" from California - and pipe in "sea water" from the Pacific Ocean (or waste (sewer) water from Los Angeles etc.) to the deserts of California or Nevada (or Arizona).
The piped in sea water I imagined could be used in a "closed in" or "covered" system - something like the massive "green-house" of your Solar Tower Project or like a Big Glass Bubble! The sea water would be "heated" in this desert green-house by the hot desert sun. This would have a number of "effects"!
One is that in the heating process "fresh desalinated water" would "evaporate" up and out of the salty sea water.This "de-salinated" water could be vaccumed off & "collected" and used for drinking and irrigation purposes!
Secondly in this "closed" green-house system - the "heated" sea water would produce a lot of "vapour" and even "steam" (*with ground temperatures at 150 degrees farenheit in Nevada in summer or even hotter in other world deserts,it could easily be turned into steam) that could be collected and directed to turn an "electricity producing" turbine!
(I envision building maybe a number of large shallow pools over areas of hundreds or even thousands of acres. These pools would be covered over or "sealed" in say a clear glass or plastic bubble or "cover" that allows sunlight through to heat the water - also this plastic bubble or cover would collect all the water "vapours" given off and direct or channel them for use in (1) turning an electrical turbine and (2) would also in the process - then direct some of the steam (or even the steam that passes through the electrical turbines) to a cooling and "precipitating" section which would turn these vapours back into a source of fresh water! Part of the cold(er) sea water could aid in this cooling process.
These desert sea water "pools" could be filled to any optimal level, anywhere from inches to feet, where the sun's heat would have its maximum effect. Also high, sun "reflectors" could be built around these sea water pools to direct more of the sun's heat onto the sea water,incr easing heat and speeding up evaporation.)*Theres a lot of little details I've considered but that I'm not including at this time.
Thats my basic idea for making alternative "solar electrical power" (and fresh water) by pumping sea-water and or waste water to the hot desert. I've since imagined that this system could also work in the hot deserts of California or Australia or the Sahara;Sudan etc.. The exact specifics of building or engineering such a system is something that is beyond my expertise - and I really don't know if it could work or if it would even be feasible to do! (But I suspect it could!)
Also I have one further "alternative" use for this "solar sea water" system and that is I considered that a large city - like say Los Angeles California (or Las Vegas etc.) could build a pipe-line and pipe all its waste or "sewer water" (which now goes into and pollutes the Pacific Ocean) to the hot deserts of Nevada or California.There the waste or sewer water could be put through this solar green-house and "fresh water" could be evaporated off from the polluted sewage water and then collected
and reused - if only for irrigation purposes!
Also the "vapours" or "steam" produced could be used to turn a turbine to generate electricity and further the solid wastes that the sun "dries out" from the sewage water could maybe be profitably recycled?
Anyway thats it and thats all...so far!
I hope you will find some of this interesting
or intriguing and I would appreciate any critical comments you could offer me!
Canada V6A 1G