Water Pressure Energy

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

I recently watched a documentary on the Marianas Trench and took special note to the crushing capacity of the water pressure at up to 11km creating 16,000 psi of pressure. Being an avid mechanic, i work with today's combustion engine which can generate about 600psi in each cylinder, using the power in multiple cylinders to turn the crank. I have also worked with many spring operated mechanism when taking apart everything i see.

I am beginning to try and build a prototype engine who's cylinders are driven by water pressure, ballast and spring, any and all input would be greatly appreciated.

Equipment needed list:
* Battery1(will start with 0 charge) for receiving power from the engine, to be measure of success - surface
* Battery2(charged, used by the compressor when direct solar power < req) - surface
* anchor line from floor to the surface
* engine cylinder - anchor line runs through center of the engine platform
* spring - rated to Xatm connected to engine cylinder, maintains full open at Xatm
* mechanism to measure ATMs connected to engine
* ballast tank - attached to engine
* compressed air tank - attached/connected to the ballast tank
* underwater air compressor - attached/connected to the compressed air tank
- air line (strong structure req.)- connects underwater air compressor to the surface
- solar panel n line- connects underwater air compressor via power line the to surface

The concept being that the following actions would allow the engine to support its own function.
* engine underwater with ballast empty and spring under min load, will maintain depth generating Xatm - State: cylinder open, triggers the ballast tanks to open
* ballast tank is filled and reaches depth generating Xatm - State: cylinder closed
* battery receives the energy created by the cylinder moving from open to closed
* max atm measurement triggers compressed air tank to release into the ballast, expelling the water and raising the engine.
* the spring then resets the cylinder to its original position, starting the cycle all over again.

- the compressed air tank must be matched with the compressor to ensure the engine rises steadily back to the surface.(I think i can capture and use the air pressure lost by the ballast filling too somehow?)

- The solar panel must be able to run the air compressor as the engine is rising and charge Battery 2 while the engine is not rising. (recommendations appreciated)

Any thoughts and comments on the feasibility and possible issues to foresee would be greatly appreciated!

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
2019 Award
Sorry, but the only thing that actually provides energy is the solar panel. You would have a less expensive and more efficient system if you directly charged Battery 1 with the solar panel.
  • #3
is it because you would require as much energy to pressurize the air used in the ballast?
  • #4
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
It's a very simple example of a concept called "conservation of energy". The energy used to compress the air is equal to the energy that goes into the air plus the energy lost to heat. You don't want to lose energy to heat so you don't compress the air if you don't need to. Similarly, the energy available from a pressurized fluid, be it air or water, is equal to the energy that is produced by that fluid by depressurizing it plus the energy lost to heat. So again, you don't want to lose energy to heat so you don't want to use that energy that's available in the form of pressurized fluid if you don't need to.

That means, the most efficient production of energy is where it is produced (the solar panel). Might as well charge your battery with that and be done with the losses.