The Hydrogen Economy
Wed, 27 Aug 1997 15:17:30 -0400 (EDT)

Having <nothing better to do>...a little while ago...I cruised the Web
extensively... (I loooooooove the net....just THINK of a question...and you
can FIND OUT!!!...If Id'a had this as a KID!!) with hydrogen on my mind.

And lo and behold...

there are a dozen or so companies working on Fuel Cells which do or could run
off hydrogen...producing electricity and distilled water as the only

There is an Ocean Thermal Energy Converter alive and well at the University
of Hawaii...It's rated at 200KW of which 20KW is left over after
overhead...<Twenty Kilowats of FREE electricity...didn't cost anything for
fuel...didn't cause ANY pollution...didn't deplete ANY natural <what other
kind is there?> resources> They don't say anything (I don't think) about
electroliysis...but what's to stop it?

There are several dozen modified Buses currently running off Hydrogen.

Gas or Diesel engines need only slight modification to run off Hydrogen.

(But everyone seems to be waiting for Government ASSistance.)

Here's a possible scenario....(<since I have nothing better to do>...when I'm
not bashing government...I design my head...the rest of me is
busy driving)

Some bright boy (or girl) designs a Von Neuman OTEC....a seed...this seed
need not be small...In fact I evision something in size between that of a
semi-tractor trailer rig and small freighter (ship)..factory
the ???<dozen..hundred??>

Take the OTEC seed and place it in deep (the deeper the better) tropical
water relatively close to the equator..there must be a minimium of 36degree
temp differential between the bottom and surface....not rare...LOTS of ocean
fits the bill)

The OTEC seed hits bottom and unfolds (or hangs suspended and
unfolds..details..details).. a tight mess of wires , the "skeleton" of the
pipe reaching from the frigid depths to the sultry surface knits itself into
structural forms (stiff leg sea structures) borrowed from the oil
patch...once assembled the "wire frame" is electrically charged (Solar Panel OTEC...diesel generator...<details..details>.

A property of sea water is that charged wire tends to accumulate depositions
of minerals from the water...sea-ment. This seament can be extremely
strong...structurally strong. Strong enough (with the wire "re-bar" for the
structure of the OTEC...only the "guts" need be transported to the site. The
rest "grows".

Eventually a tube condenses from the bottom to the surface...a low pressure
high volume electrically powered pump (Turbine?)(installed via telepresense
remote?) pushes the frigid water, into the tube, to the {(or near....probably
better to be beneath storm surge depth) [but the equatorial tropics have
mostly vertical air storms are rare
]<???seems logical????>)} surface. There the rest of the Open Cycle Ocean
Thermal Energy Conversion unit is located. (Vacum Pumps...Steam
Turbines...Electrical Generators...Condensation Units ....government health
inspectors <NOT>).. for specifics of the technical details dial up OTEC on
your search engine...check out the Hawaii research center.

Three immediate products arise from the OTEC...distilled water (five times
less salt than tap water)...Electricity...and nutrients from the depths
(surface tropical waters are typically nutrient poor) An infinite
<well...lots and lots and lotss> amount is available.

Use your imagination as to the disposition of these there primary products..
I imagination includes the on-site production of Hydrogen..(and
oxygen?).it's liquidification..and transport to sea side pipeline terminal by
a fleet of WIG's (Wing In Ground Effect craft..(I figure water propulsion
would be most fuel effecient..prop or water jet)..{.there's web pages on them
too) fueled by the "boil off" of the liquid Hydrogen...upon arriving at the
pipeline terminal they offload the majority of their load saving enough for
one craft to make the return trip....then queing and connecting to be towed
back to the OTEC for another fuel costs...possibly robot craft
.(except for one crew...or maybe not)

The offloaded Hydrogen is then transported via natural gas pipeline (after
boiling to ambient temp) <seems like some use of the tempeture differential
could be found..such as electrical generation? to run the feed
into the grid?> to points of use. (natural gas has a high Methane
content...which itself has a high Hydrogen content...the addittion of
molecular Hydrogen to the natural gas should cause no problems I would
guess..for the time being..eventually the Hydrogen could be kept pure and
sold and used as is...(thus elimating the creation of COtwo...and hastening
the next Ice Age...which would lower sea levels , bury Alaska under a glacier
and cause Texas to double in size...such a deal!!!)

Other minor side-effects of the OTECs might be unlimited Lobster
Thermidor...or other "domesticated" species..grown in the Sea Farm made
possible by the nutrients brought to the surface...

"We Have The Technolgy...We Can Rebuild Him"...

<ooops sorry...wrong scenario.>