Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Atmospheric powerplant

  1. Sep 18, 2008 #1
    Please, write what is wrong with this reasoning:

    ATMOSPHERIC POWERPLANT

    The main idea of global warming is that greenhouse gases prevent the energy from leaving the surface of planet. In the same time the upper layers of the troposphere are much colder and successfully emit the infrared radiation to the outer space. So to stop the global warming it is necessary to organize the moving of the heat from the lower layers of the atmosphere to the upper layers.
    Also we know that the heat engine performs the conversion of heat energy to mechanical work by exploiting the temperature gradient between a hot "source" and a cold "sink". So the moving of the heat from the lower layers of the atmosphere to the upper layers can be done with some output of the mechanical work. The amounts of this mechanical work can be huge as we know on example of a tropical cyclone. The working body of the cyclone is simply the moist air, which releases the heat by water vapour condensation when rises. So to make the atmospheric heat engine it is necessary to make the construction in which the moist air is circulating in organized manner between the lower and upper layers of the troposphere. Therefore the height of this construction has to be about the height of the troposphere. Also this construction has to be able to withstand the strength of the winds. These requirements can make the creation of such constructions too expensive and non profitable.

    To solve the construction problems of the atmospheric heat engine the present synopsis suggest to use the principles of the hot air balloon. If the moist air, which is the working body, will have the average temperature, which is higher then the average surround air temperature, then the atmospheric heat engine will be buoyant. In this case the powerplant will travel with air and it will not be necessary to withstand the winds. Also in this case the construction will be as light and cheap as possible for such a device.
    To get the additional energy to keep the average temperature difference the atmospheric powerplant can convert some part of produced mechanical work back into the heat energy. Also to minimize the necessary temperature difference the device can be constructed as Rozière balloon which has separate chambers for a non-heated lifting gas (such as hydrogen or helium). While traveling over the water surface the atmospheric powerplant can replenish its hydrogen reserve by converting the water into the hydrogen and the oxygen. In this case some part of hydrogen can later be used as fuel to increase the temperature of the working body.
    The possible structure of the atmospheric powerplant is depicted as dissection on the picture:
    1 - chambers for a non-heated lifting gas
    2 - top part of the balloon, which dispose the heat to the top layers of troposphere
    3 - the lower part of the balloon, which absorb the heat from the lower layers of troposphere
    4 - turbine, which convert part of mechanical work into electricity
    5 - heating device, which works using electricity or hydrogen combustion
    6 - utility unit which works as ballast and can contain electrical accumulators, control system, pilot cabin, wires and pipes to connect with the ground, connection sockets, etc.
    To transfer the produced energy to the ground the atmospheric powerplant can convert mechanical work to the electricity and then use the cellular network of sockets. The connection and disconnection has to be made on the fly without stopping the powerplant using some device like helicopter. In the seas and oceans such sockets can be placed on special floating platforms with electrical accumulators or devices, which convert the water into the hydrogen and the oxygen.

    The illustrated synopsis:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcvrsh6t_17c859bsfm
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2008 #2

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Adding a vertical turbine won't create flow, it will restrict flow, harnessing energy that is already there. In this case, it would just be harnessing thermals. But no need: As your diagram correctly indicates, the flow is circular, so you can harness it at any point in the cycle, such as horizontally on the ground. Ie, with wind turbines.
     
  4. Sep 18, 2008 #3

    rcgldr

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Water vapor is the #1 cause of greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide is next, and although human activity contributes about 5% of the total production of carbon dioxide on the earth, most of the 95% of the carbon dioxide produced by nature, is also absorbed by nature absortion, and so the current average is about 30% higher than the long term average before 1750 (although there is evidence of high levels of CO2 from 7,000 to 10,000 years ago).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas
     
  5. Sep 18, 2008 #4
    Wind turbines depend on weather, sometimes calm, sometimes cyclone. Atmospheric powerplant will try to permanently maintain the cyclone inside .
    So it will try to make the windy weather all the time. :-)
    The wind turbines do not solve the global warming problem, because they do not change the current atmospheric activity, which is not high enough now to carry the surplus heat outwards the atmosphere.
     
  6. Sep 18, 2008 #5
    One of the byproducts of the atmospheric powerplant will be the precipitations,
    because the work of such a device will produce the mixing of the layers with different temperatures.
    The precipitations will increase the amount of water kept on the eath surface and decrease the amount of water kept in the atmosphere.
     
  7. Sep 18, 2008 #6

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    In order to make wind, you need a fan. So this device will not generate energy, it will consume it.

    Also, you misunderstand the issue of the thermal gradient. Thermals start as a bubble of warm air near the ground that rises because it is less dense than the cooler air just above it. But as the air rises, it expands and when a volume of gas expands without a change in energy, it cools. So there is a limit to the height that this air can rise due to the amount of energy in it.

    Remember: it is density differences, not temperature differences that create thermals. As I said above, thermals and wind are two parts of the same cycle and this cycle is powered by heat from the sun. It doesn't work at night or when it is cloudy because there is less/no solar heating.
     
  8. Sep 19, 2008 #7
    You describe the conditions for thermals. What about conditions for cyclones?
     
  9. Sep 19, 2008 #8

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Wind is wind. They all work basically the same way. Cyclones just get their energy from warm water instead of ground warmed by the sun.
     
  10. Sep 19, 2008 #9
    Only scanned the thread.. Tests with tall hollow cyclenders are taking place in such as Isreal.
     
  11. Sep 19, 2008 #10

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, those devices harness pre-existing thermals, though they trap air under huge tent-like structures to maximize energy capture. An intriguing idea worthy of some study, but I have my doubts about the viability of the concept due to the physical size requirement of these structures.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_updraft_tower
     
  12. Sep 19, 2008 #11

    stewartcs

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Hey Russ remember this one:

    http://www.enviromission.com.au/project/project.htm

    Unfortunately, I'll bet somebody is going to throw in the energy tower one soon! Oh wait, I just did...Opps!

    CS
     
  13. Sep 19, 2008 #12
    It is not the same way, because the ciclones use the moist air as the working body.
    Let's describe Carnot cycle of cyclone.
    Suppose we have only the dry air. When going up the temperature decreases, but the pressure outside also decreases, so our piston will not move.
    Then consider some greenhouse gas in the air. The decrease of pressure will not exactly correspond to the decrease of temperature, so our piston will move a little,
    producing the work, which correspond to the temperatures difference created by greenhouse gases.
    Then consider some water in our cylinder. At lower point it is the gas inside the air. 100% humidity inside. At upper point it will be drops of water. The piston will make a big move, will not it?

    The atmospheric powerplant will keep the circled pipe with the moist air in which the flow will go organized, in one direction.
    This circle will connect the cold and warm layers of troposphere.
     
  14. Sep 19, 2008 #13

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yep, that's the one. We've discussed it before. I was trying to be deferential regarding the concept (scientifically, there is nothing at all wrong with it). I was pretty explicit about what I really think about that particular corporation, though, in other threads about it.
     
  15. Sep 20, 2008 #14

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Your description is ok, but it doesn't address the claim you made initially: you claimed that your device would increse circulation while generating power. Ie:
    That's all true too, but it does not imply that it will increase the circulation, only that it will harness already existing circulation.

    The first law of thermodynamics applies: you cannot increase energy transfer while simultaneously removing eneryg from the system via an interruption of that energy transfer.
     
  16. Sep 20, 2008 #15
    That is strange, but how do you think the geothermal power stations work? :-)
    It is possible to increase the circulation and take only part of its power.
    The atmospheric powerplant will increase the circulation by placing more effective working
    body between the layers with different temperatures. You will have the tropical cyclone in Sahara, I promise. :-)

    For example, we have a circled pipe with moist air ( 10 diameter of circle, 1 km diameter of pipe ).
    Suppose the relative humidity around it is less then 100% and always 100% inside.
    A the top and bottom points we have the temperature and pressure equal to what we have around.
    At top point our moisture will be in form of droplets. If the humidity around it is less then 100% then at top point the air inside the pipe will have the density higher then around. So this will provide us with the force, which will pull our flow down.
    At low point our moisture will be in form of gas. If the humidity around it is less then 100% then at low point the air inside the pipe will have the density smaller then around ( H2O gas is less dense then air ). This will provide us with the force, which will pull our flow up.
    This is the Carnot cycle of cyclone from my point of view. We need to start the engine by moving the flow it one direction ( clockwise or counter-clockwise ).

    As a result the speed of wind inside the pipe will grow until at the top and bottom points we will not have enough time to equal the temperature and pressure.
    The device as a whole will work until it will have the 100% humidity around or all the layers of air mixed and having the same temperature ( stable column of air :-)

    Also I hope that Coriolis forces will spin it so it will organize the cyclone-like structure of winds around. As a result it will have the inflow of warm air at the bottom,
    the flow-out of warm air at the top and the state of stable column of air will never be achieved.
     
  17. Sep 20, 2008 #16

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    No, you won't. You are wrong on both counts.

    1. Your device won't increase circulation.
    2. You can't increase circulation while generating power.

    You didn't say how you think this is similar to geothermal power, but in any case, it isn't.
    None of that has any meaning that I can discern. It is jut word salad. Gibberish.
     
  18. Sep 20, 2008 #17
    You are fixed on isolated systems. In isolated system it is impossible to generate power by increasing the circulation. The geothermal power is not isolated system. The heat goes one way. Atmospheric powerplant is the same. The heat goes up and then leaves the planet by infrared.
    In isolated system if you generate the power you decrease the circulation because the both things are energy which cannot be changed in isolated system.
    You consider the atmosphere as isolated system and the wind power as a way to produce electricity by decreasing the circulation. Really, the wind turbines, which are using the trifling amount of atmosphere circulation will slightly intensify the global warming by decreasing the circulation and so decreasing the loss of heat by infrared.
    But the atmosphere circulation itself is not isolated system. Every storm or cyclone moves the heat up and so it gets over the greenhouse gases and then leaves the planet by infrared. This is the process which we need to intensify to fight the global warming.
    Anyway thank you for criticism, it was somehow informative for me. :-)
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Atmospheric powerplant
  1. The atmosphere (Replies: 2)

  2. Heat in atmosphere (Replies: 10)

  3. Atmospheric pressure (Replies: 3)

Loading...