# Thought experiment - water at the bottom of the sea

Ilythiiri
I like the air brakes example, but it is single use, so not much energy. But are machine shops ever really run with stored compressed air (besides the surge tank?)? Are there portable air tools?

Yes there are. For safety in explosive environments though, not for energy storage aspects.

Laminar flow - i meant when process/flow is stable, constant across the length of pipe.

In essence, i hoped dissolved gas phase transition would give additional usable energy(idea from decompression sickness).
Anyway, apparently this doesn't happen spontaneously(for example with underwater volcanos), so no cake here.

Back to clathrates i guess (:

russ_watters
vaidya14
The work that you would have to put into forcing that empty pipe to a depth of 2km would be the same as the work you would get out. As compressed water is admitted into the empty pipe, it will expand to its normal density (a bit of an incidental, actually) pressure at the bottom will force more and more water into the pipe and the water will accelerate. By the time it reaches the surface, it will still have a vertical velocity so you can expect it, indeed, to shoot out at the surface if the pipe is wide enough to cause low drag. If the pipe end is significantly above the surface then the movement will carry the level high than the sea surface but then the level will fall back until there is equilibrium. The level will oscillate and will reach equilibrium as the kinetic energy is dissipated. This is the same with water in a U tube.
To my understanding if the pipe is open on both is its end the water will not go beyond the sea level(as you depict oscillate). This is because..let it see in the form of energy...the total energy, the upward flowing water will be less than or equals to the energy of the water body exerting this energy.(here the sea water). I would like to know your thoughts about it..
Thanks.

Gold Member
To my understanding if the pipe is open on both is its end the water will not go beyond the sea level(as you depict oscillate).
If the pipe starts full of just air, the water entering at the bottom will be under pressure all the time the pipe is filling up. It will gain speed unless the pipe is extremely narrow. That Kinetic Energy will be in addition to the GPE it will have gained on the way up. It will 'keep going' until the KE is used up in giving the column extra height above the top of the pipe. This process can be seen in any U tube in which the levels start off unequal and will be an oscillation that dies down as losses take the mechanical energy away.

CWatters and jbriggs444
Ilythiiri
Water capacity for dissolved gasses considerably increases with pressure, but below sea level there's no source of nitrogen to saturate that increased capacity, only diffusion from surface layers.
Any vertical mixing will decrease dissolved atmospheric gas concentration in deeper water layers, counteracting diffusion.
Resulting equilibrium is far from saturation.

Special case would be gasses created underwater.

Pick lake or sea with little mixing, resulting anoxic bottom environment and subsequent H2S saturation by bacterial activity - for example Baltic sea. Stick aforementioned pipe to the bottom. Expend energy to create initial flow. Oversaturation and bubbles happen, sustaining process. Harvest excess energy from this process.
Since releasing H2S into atmosphere will create abundant sulphuric acid rains anyway, separate and burn H2S. Energy and profits!

Obviously this would require adopting common corporate practice of ignoring hidden costs - "pollution is not my problem as long as there's no fines, then some lobbying expenses" (: