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Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

02/18/2009 6:46 PM

I have developed and patented the first system that allows deep-ocean hydrothermal vents to be used for commercial energy production. The energy density is enormous, at least 3.3 x 10^6 more intense than solar radiation, and the energy is constant. In fact, it is the only green energy source that works 24/7/365 with equal intensity.

It works by capping the vent and feeding the output into an insulated pipe through which it is carried to the surface. An oil-type platform is stationed above the vent, and generating equipment is located aboard the platform. Undersea cables then carry the energy to shore.

It is simultaneously and without modification also the first practical deep-sea mining system, as well as perhaps the most efficient water desalination system ever devised.

You can see an animation of the system at www.marshallsystem.com, and a full description of its potential is also available for review.

I've opened this discussion because the questions were coming up in another group forum, and I felt it's more logical to put them here than to divert attention from the other discussions under way.

If anyone has comments, suggestions, or questions, feel free to post them here.

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#85

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

02/24/2009 4:59 PM

Sir well put.

First off,

From bcmarshal:

"Many of you migrated to this discussion from the wind energy topic, and I spoke out quite strongly against wind. That's not because I wouldn't love to get the clean, renewable energy that it offers, but because it is glaringly obvious that we can never switch away from the constant sources of power we're using now and replace them with wind generators. The basic power source, the wind, fluctuates dramatically and therefore the system output fluctuates as well. That is what I consider to be a rational, explainable, quantifiable, and ultimately disqualifiable reason, and that's why I oppose spending money on wind generation."

Don't get me started on wind energy…

From bcmarshal:

"Solar power is another one. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the sun goes down at night and that solar panels won't work. It can never supply the constant base load, but it has one huge advantage over every other source. As the sun comes up and they start producing, it corresponds precisely with society's usage, which also increases during the day. For that reason, it makes clear, logical sense to invest in solar power, but only on the understanding that its primary function will remain mitigating peak demand."

3rd generation solar has some promise. Though perhaps it does take a rocket scientist to realise how solar can work at night. Check out some of the extended spectrum solar research going on in Canada, the US and Australia. IR can be collected from off the earth.

From bcmarshal:

"I don't mean to imply that every individual vent has an infinite life span, nor do I in anyway suggest that there are not serious challenges to be overcome, but hell...isn't that what engineers are for? That's what you're trained to do, what you spend your careers doing, and some of you will probably at some point be working out the tiny details that will make this system a reality. But work, it will. In over eighty postings by very intelligent and knowledgable people, I haven't heard anyone suggest that it won't."

I'm not an engineer but a physicist and chemist. I don't like figuring out all the little details any more then you do. I'd rather come up with the concept and let other pull out their hair to make it work.

From bcmarshal:

"Second, I think that there will be a distance limit around those population centers beyond which the vents will be impractical to utilize, so there are a very finite number of vents or vent systems that will ever be under consideration for human control."

I think your underestimating the drive of profit. Look at the engineering fetes we as a society have undertaken for gold and other mineral. Not to mention tunnelling through mountains just to cut down on commuter times.

From bcmarshal:

"Every one of us understands that there are serious issues to be addressed. Think about that very first nuclear power plant. It was understood that it had the potential to power cities and provide energy on an incomaprable scale. The basic physics were unquestionable."

I think you may misunderstand my opinion. I think this is a clever idea that has a great opportunity to work. The main obstacle I see is capital. My concerns aren't if it will work they are should it be done. Those same nuclear power plants that had projection to provide energy on an incomparable scale also only operate at about 50% capacity. At least the ones in my area. While the benefit may seem worth the negative impacts when the technology operates perfectly this isn't the case. So at what point is the technology not worth developing? Where is the line that separates beneficial from a harmful?

From bcmarshal:

"While I know there are some environmental consequences to hydrothermal energy, I understand also that society needs and demands more energy, and it will be gotten from somewhere. For that reason, I think it's logical to focus on both the drawbacks of hydrothermal, and the comparative drawbacks of producing the same amount of energy from any other system."

This is logical, but if we only focus on those two variables then soon enough we will out grow the capacity of hydrothermal as well.

I'm sure that this argument has been discussed before when the enormous potential of oil was discovered, or even hydro electrical. The benefits may seem to out weight the consequences. If we can learn anything from the exploitation of oil is that these ramifications should be considered very carefully.

From bcmarshal:

"Also, if the closed loop design is ultimately selected, the only issue is the amount of heat removed. Biospheres are not destroyed, and minerals are not removed."

I find the closed loop to be a far more ingenious invention then the other system. It is simple and as you stated far less of an impact. Or so we hope. Like I said it is very hard to model the effects of heat loss on the ocean. Like Chinese water torture every drop counts and this could be the same for the ocean currents. I'm not saying this is a problem I would just study this in great detail before I release my own creation.

From bcmarshal:

"I didn't mean to imply that the energy is absolutely without cost when I stated that it is free, but once the system is built there is no additional ongoing cost to produce the energy."

The equipment will need to be maintained, labour costs, etc.

I know I'm picking so disregard that I know what you mean, but as I found out in my early 20ies this can be the difference between cost effective and no one will fund or licence your technology.

From bcmarshal:

"I have created a concept, a vehicle by which hydrothermal energy can be harnessed. "

I think this is fundamentally why I decided to post here. This is your creation, you will always be known for it. You personally want to licence it and move on, leaving all the problems for others to decide and with any luck receive a pay check to continue on with your inventions. I could be wrong but this is what it seems. Not that there is anything wrong with the leaving the technical problems to others, but I believe as inventors, or if you will creators, you need to respect a certain moral obligation to weight the consequences of your actions. This is very difficult when it is your creation and you have already sold yourself on its practicality and benefits. Either way if you do licence your creation out what ever comes of it will ultimately be on your shoulders, because you chose to give up control before you completely evaluated the situation.

Yes this is a lot on one person, and perhaps if we had morally or even socially responsible corporations controlling the majority of the wealth instead of profit driven corporations then you could release a concept out into the world and know it will be taken care of properly. This isn't the case.

Anyways I've gone off topic and said more then enough on the entire situation.

ADDITION:

From Isti80:

"When I saw all the madness about the rapid development of those wind turbines offshore, in the north-sea, and recently a detailed controversial & damning study report by Dutch experts about it, who also thoroughly got involved in that venture, then there's no real renewable energy to look forward to in the near future on a large scale that otherwise we badly need."

Don't even get me started… That's similar to the wisdom of governments that run hydroelectric on every waterway within their boarders…

From Isti80:

"When a renewable source of energy like Hydrothermal comes as abundant as this might as well seize it, if we can of course because this is what I meant by - this could be the ultimate solution - as long as the engineering challenges can be resolved, which I believe will be, there's no reason why it could not be the ultimate since it is more powerful than a nuke power station even."

Let me clarify my definition of ultimate solution. This would be a (virtually impossible) energy source that could supply civilization until the very end. I'm not going to get into why it isn't an infinite source and why after a great many years of using this technology, especially if new vents are created, this could cause irreversible damage to our planet. I will however point out that the same thing was probably said about the potential energy generated from a nuclear power plant.

We may over crowd the planet before we reach the maximum output of energy from hydrothermal, but in no way will it completely satisfy our energy needs forever.

Ok here is a question for you both.

If the money spent developing this technology and actually taping into it was spent on conservation and developing energy efficiency which would have the greater benefit?

I can't answer that question, but it is something to consider.

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#87
In reply to #85

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

02/24/2009 6:40 PM

"If the money spent developing this technology and actually taping into it was spent on conservation and developing energy efficiency which would have the greater benefit?"

The energy it is proposed to conserve is still limited, and the human population is likely to grow for the foreseeable future. (If you strongly want human population to decrease, I suggest you commit suicide to set an example) Even with conservation, we will still need energy, probably more per capita, since water will be desalinated, minerals will be harder to extract and refine, etc. We do not want to condemn billions to a near stone-age existence. So, if hydrothermal power is better than, say, coal, let's have it.

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#88
In reply to #85

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

02/24/2009 6:41 PM

This is a really fascinating forum to me. The lively discussions and the amazingly thoughtful postings are a challenge to be sure.

First off, you're right about my ultimate goal with this. I want to license it, collect royalty checks and licensing fees, and move on. But I hope you'll recognize that I don't have the means or the resources to answer all the questions that might be posed. They will ultimately be answered by others or remain unanswered because I simply can't do it all alone.

It's precisely because of the engineering feats that have been accomplished that I'm so certain that this also can be realized.

When you ask me or anyone else to define where the line is that separates beneficial from harmful, you're asking a question that, as was said in the song If I Were a Rich Man, from Fiddler on the Roof, "would cross a Rabbi's eyes"!

I'm simply recognizing what we all know intuitively. If the power to our homes or businesses were cut, you know that we'd all be up in arms, demanding that "something be done", and we all know that something will be done, most likely building more coal fired plants.

I haven't offered a panacea here, but I do think that ultimately the environmental issues will be decided by putting this system on a balance scale and comparing it with anything or everything else.

The capital is certainly an issue but the money is there and it's only a matter of time before it's put together. I honestly see this as being inevitable.

If I were a betting man I'd bet that the first system will be closed loop.

I agree with your comments about inventors or creators having an obligation to weigh the consequences of what they offer. I have a very strong environmental conscience personally. Hell, I participated in the very first Earth Day celebration in 1970. If I believed that what I had was more harmful to the planet than what we have now I honestly wouldn't have offered it. I live here just like all the rest of you do, and I'm trying to make things better, not worse.

Your comments about corporate interests coincide with my thoughts as well. When the time comes I'll do my best to exercise some influence on the manner in which it's used, but remember that my patent only lasts for 20 years. These vents will play a role in our energy future far longer than that.

You ask whether the money spent on these systems might not be better spent on conservation and energy efficiency. I don't think they're mutually exclusive and I think both need to be pursued.

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#90

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

02/24/2009 7:32 PM

Relative to 3000 foot pipes in the ocean, see this.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.06/craven.html

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#98
In reply to #90

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

02/25/2009 11:35 AM

great article!

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#95

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

02/25/2009 9:18 AM

From esbuck:

"If you strongly want human population to decrease, I suggest you commit suicide to set an example"

Awesome, you are clever!

From bcmarshal:

"But I hope you'll recognize that I don't have the means or the resources to answer all the questions that might be posed. They will ultimately be answered by others or remain unanswered because I simply can't do it all alone."

I hope you realise that this is the problem. Not your problem but a problem which plagues development world wide.

From bcmarshal:

"When you ask me or anyone else to define where the line is that separates beneficial from harmful, you're asking a question that, as was said in the song If I Were a Rich Man, from Fiddler on the Roof, "would cross a Rabbi's eyes"!"

Ok that made me laugh my * off! It is very true, the complexity of the problem doesn't mean it should be ignored or passed off but that it should be tackled in a clever fashion, perhaps with the help of others. You have received help from others for free so far? Why not try and trade some more good will to answer the remaining questions?

I haven't actually looked at your patent yet, but I may have a suggestion.

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#96
In reply to #95

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

02/25/2009 10:43 AM

The problem of lack of resources is daunting indeed. I'm sure there are a lot of excellent ideas that go by the wayside because funding can not be obtained. I just hope this isn't one of them.

I love your suggestion about accepting help from others, and I didn't mean to shut down the help line, so to speak. Every question I can answer rather than defer is surely important.

I'm definitely open to any suggestions you might have.

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#106

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

02/27/2009 1:09 PM

I have a request for the members of this group.

I've made some high level contacts and things are moving forward slowly and steadily, but I really need a list of names of people in science, academia, and business who believe in and support the concept that I have proposed in order to give me added credibility.

If any of you are willing to add your names to the list of people I already have willing to vouch for the concept that I've offerred, I certainly would appreciate hearing from you.

I'd like to receive an email sent to info@marshallsystem.com with your name, email address, phone number, and your affiliation or credentials. I in turn will put those names together in a list that I can send to interested parties. If I have a large group of highly qualified and respected people willing to stand behind this system, it forces those groups and individuals who are interested to take it more seriously than if it's just coming from me.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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#107

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

02/28/2009 3:29 AM

Very interesting stuff. Congrats.

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#110

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

04/07/2009 9:49 AM

Just in case anyone is interested:

http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=114510&govDel=USNSF_51

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#114
In reply to #110

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

04/11/2009 12:24 AM

Thanks for the link. It was interesting, and the first I've heard of mud volcanoes.

They seem to be different in several ways from hydrothermal vents. There was no mention of temperature, but certainly they are not superheated and sometimes supercritical seawater.

They seem to be similar in that there is a wide variety life forms that surround them, with extremophile organisms that rely on chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis as their basis, but I honestly don't think they are referring to the same thing.

However they are fascinating phenomena and I learned quite a bit about mud volcanoes that I didn't know before.

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#115
In reply to #114

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

04/11/2009 11:38 AM

when I watch the video clip on the right side of the page with the bubbling mud volcano in the rice paddy, look close, I can see orange flames shooting out 3 times..and steam laying around..so it is at least hot, with volatile gases that combust on exposure to air.

can anyone else see the flames?

Chris

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#116
In reply to #115

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

04/11/2009 1:24 PM

Yes, I can if you watch the other video posted by another guest in #111!

It looks pretty amusing to say the least if you watching it closely.

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#117
In reply to #115

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

04/11/2009 2:03 PM

I really know nothing about mud volcanoes, but I have no doubt that they're hot relative to the surrounding water. At 600m of depth the water will be only a degree or so above freezing, and even 50o C mud would appear extremely hot. I don't know that temperature for a fact. It's just an assumption on my part, but were they hundreds of degrees C hot I'm fairly sure they would have mentioned it in the article.

Wikipedia has an article about them at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mud_volcano, but it's primarily speaking of above ground structures.

They're certainly a part of the same basic plate tectonics that creates the hydrothermal vent systems, but for an energy source they appear to leave much to be desired, with very little apparent flow. The methane gas could be a very lucrative proposal perhaps, but I don't see the potential for capturing the heat energy.

Who knows? Maybe someone out there will figure a way to harness them, too.

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#111

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

04/10/2009 7:41 AM

have u got any interested parties about your concept yet? if not just look ahead and look if you can see the invisible invisible

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#112
In reply to #111

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

04/10/2009 10:34 AM

?

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#113
In reply to #111

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

04/10/2009 9:48 PM

I've actually had quite a few parties interested, but no one has yet bitten the bullet. However, the interest is coming from overseas, not from within the US. It's difficult for me to tell whether there is any effort behind the scenes at suppression. I haven't seen it yet, but of course it's unlikely that I would.

I have a company currently talking about licensing for one of the major Asian countries (I decided not to name it just in case there are strings being pulled behind the scenes), and I have good strong interaction with several other entities, all in the Asian or European theaters.

Time will tell whether something positive will happen, but I am working on it.

It's interesting that the video you linked to has Hungarian subtitles...I'm half Hungarian!

Thanks for your concern, but there isn't a lot I can do about it if they are manipulating things from behind a curtain. I believe it will stand or fall on its own merits, and I have to believe that it will find its way into common usage on its own strengths.

Thanks for your input.

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#118

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

08/29/2009 2:31 AM

Hi Marshall, this is a brilliant idea that will make you very comfortable for the rest of your life.

I actually stumbled upon this thread while thinking of practical solutions to the inevitable energy crisis that will be caused by a peak in worldwide oil production. I have sat around feeling depressed about the prospects of civilization until I started thinking about possible solutions. I realized that making use of the Earth's heat would be essential as it is already there and we just needed a means of exploiting it. I thought about using lava somehow but realized how ridiculous of an idea it was. I just graduated from college and was looking for a career in geothermal energy and for some reason I googled hydrothermal energy and came upon this.

I have since notified several widely read peak oil blogs including "Peak Oil Debunked"
and "The Oil Drum" of your invention. Hopefully you will receive more publicity for your idea. Anyways, if you are looking for somebody to help you market your idea don't hesitate to shoot me an email :)

-Bryan

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#119
In reply to #118

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

08/29/2009 3:26 AM

Thank you for your kind words.

I really do believe this is a solution...a part of the solution. We are going to need every tool in the toolbox humming along if we're going to actually put a dent in our oil consumption and offer green power on the scale of nuclear energy or greater.

Thanks for passing it on to others, and yes, I'd like to talk to you about marketing. You can email me at info@marshallsystem.com.

Bruce Marshall

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#120

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

11/19/2009 8:44 AM

If you mean by an electricity runs under water or an electrity runs beneath the sea;it was already done in Quezon,Quezon Philippines way back in 1980's. It was the first in the Philippines and was the headline in the newspaper during those time.Currently, it is currently and perfectly use by the residents. gem69 Phils

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#121
In reply to #120

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

11/19/2009 10:09 AM

Whether it runs under water or under sea what's the difference, water is wet by nature, is it not?

Unless you have a suitable under-sea cable to carry ultra-high power you have a problem.

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#122
In reply to #120

Re: Hydrothermal Energy is Now a Reality

11/21/2009 4:16 AM

Since I started this thread, I should state that it's always been envisioned that specially-designed submarine cable would be used. It is a proven and reliable technology.

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