Showing posts with label Patrick McNulty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patrick McNulty. Show all posts

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Multiple Benefits Of Ocean Tunnels

By Sam Carana and Patrick McNulty

Comprehensive climate action will do more than just cutting emissions, it will also take further action, as pictured in the image below.

Comprehensive and effective action is discussed at the Climate Plan blog
Taking a broad perspective makes it easier for proposed projects to be assessed on their benefits in a multitude of areas.

Ocean tunnels can capture vast amounts of energy from ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream and the Kuroshio Current. These locations are close to areas with high energy demand, such as the North American East Coast and the coast of East Asia, which can reduce the need for long distance transmission lines.

Ocean tunnels provide clean energy continuously, i.e. 24 hours a day, all year long. This makes that they can satisfy demand for electricity both at peak and off-peak usage times.

  • Their ability to supply large amounts of electricity at times of peak demand will benefit the necessary transition from polluting to clean ways of generating electricity.
  • Their ability to also supply large amounts of electricity at off-peak usage times will help to reduce the price of electricity at such times, thus opening up opportunities for a number of activities that can take place at off-peak hours and that require large amounts of energy.

    Such activities include large-scale grinding of olivine rock and transport of the resulting olivine sand, and large-scale production of hydrogen through electrolysis to power transport (box right). Electrolysis can also create oxygen-enriched water that can improve the quality of waters that are oxygen-depleted.  
Hydrogen to power Shipping

Ocean tunnels can make electricity cheap at off-peak times. This will reduce the cost of recharging batteries of electric vehicles at night.

It will also reduce the cost of producing hydrogen at off-peak hours. To power ships crossing the oceans, hydrogen looks more cost-effective, as such ships cannot return to base for a nighly battery recharge. Such ships have plenty of cargo space to carry hydrogen, even when the hydrogen is not highly compressed. Some of the world's largest ports are close to strong ocean currents.

Ocean tunnels can generate electricity in two ways, i.e. by capturing the kinetic energy contained in the flow of ocean currents, and by means of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) using temperature differences between cooler deeper parts of the ocean and warmer surface waters to run a heat engine to produce energy.

Besides generating energy, ocean tunnels can assist with further activities, which will increase the value of ocean tunnels in the fight against climate change. Such activities include the following:
  • By reaching deeper parts of the ocean, OTEC can pull up sunken nutrients and put them out at surface level to fertilize the waters there, while the colder water that is the output of OTEC will float down, taking along newly-grown plankton to the ocean depths before it can revert to CO2, as described in the earlier post Using the Oceans to Remove CO2 from the Atmosphere.
  • Ocean tunnels can be used to distribute olivine sand in the water. The force of the currents and the turbines will help the process of transforming olivine into bicarbonate. This can reduce carbon dioxide levels in the water by sequestering carbon, while also reducing ocean acidification. Olivine sand contains silicate and small amounts of iron, allowing diatoms to grow that will capture additional carbon dioxide, while also raising levels of free oxygen in the water. The latter will stimulate growth of microbes that break down methane in the water before it reaches the atmosphere. Further nutrients can be added, as also discussed in this earlier post
  • Ocean tunnels can also assist with albedo changes. Ocean tunnels can act as the infrastructure to create water microbubbles along their track. Increasing water albedo in this way can reduce solar energy absorption by as much as 100 W m − 2, potentially reducing equilibrium temperatures of standing water bodies by several Kelvins, as Russel Seitz wrote back in 2010. There may also be potential for ocean tunnels to be used to spray water vapor into the air with the aim of brightening clouds over areas where it counts most.
  • The turbines in tunnels will also reduce the flow of ocean currents somewhat, thus reducing the flow of warm water into the Arctic. Furthermore, tunnels can be shaped in ways to guide the flow of warm water away from the Arctic Ocean down a southwards course along the Canary Current along the coast of West Africa. thus diverting warm water that would otherwise end up in the Arctic Ocean. This could also reduce the chance of hurricanes hitting the east coast of North America, as Sandy did in 2012.
The Gulf Stream, carrying warm water all the way into the Arctic Ocean

The video below is narrated by Dave Borlace and describes Ocean Mechanical Thermal Energy Conversion, the method conceived and developed by Patrick McNulty to generate electricity while cooling the ocean surface in the path of ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Climate change: Solutions to a big problem

Dorsi Diaz
By Dorsi Diaz

As the Arctic continues its full melt down for the first time in thousands of years, creative forward thinkers like inventor Patrick McNulty are exploring ways to restore the balance to our climate system which is on the verge of some monumental changes.

With abrupt climate change perhaps just a heartbeat away, McNulty has invented a tunnel idea that would hopefully help turn a glaring problem into a solution to the climate Armageddon that is bearing down on us. There's only one hitch though, Patrick's idea needs to have some further testing done, and that testing does not come cheap. What's needed is a University that's willing to take on Patrick's project and do some computer modeling with his tunnel idea.

McNulty, who has worked in the fossil fuel industry for over 20 years, has a background in solving problems as a production leader. His impressive bio gives us a clue as to why his tunnel idea needs a better look at it:

McNulty spoke with me and said, "I have worked in the fossil fuel power plant industry for 20 years at Florida Power And Light/ Nextera Energy as a production leader and control room operator and know why the burning of fossil fuels is so important to climate change and why we monitor Nitrous oxide, Sulfur Dioxide and CO2 exiting the stacks. The steam water cycle of the power plant is very similar to happens in our atmosphere and very similar to what hurricanes do to cool our climate."

Youtube video - If placed in the Gulfstream there are two phases of operation. Cooling and Non-Cooling phase. In cooling phase it upwells cooler water to the surface to regulate Sea Surface temps anywhere between 70 and 90 degrees to the nearest 1/10 of a degree while generating enormous amounts of hydroelectrical power from the Ke in the gulfstream current. In non-cooling phase just the warm water flows through it but it still generates the electrical power. They actually regulate climate.

In an interview yesterday with McNulty, he expressed what needs to happen with his invention to take it to the next step: Patrick says he needs, "A university that studies global climate, severe weather, drought and hurricanes that can computer model my idea. Once they input what my idea can do to sea surface temperatures in the Gulfstream, they can compute how they can change the climate to a more cooler one with very accurate solutions depending on what set point they input to the temperature controller of each tunnel."

McNulty goes on to explain how he got interested in coming up with a solution to the climate change challenge we now find ourselves in: "I started to think about how to weaken a hurricane first after Hurricane Hugo hit the Carolina's. Then Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida where I lived and I started to think more about it and communicated with the hurricane center in Miami about my idea. It was a simple idea and has evolved to what it is now after reading about Blaise Pascal and Daniel Bernoulli. Dr. Hugh Willoughby, the director of the Hurricane Research Center and now currently a professor at Florida International University (FIU), seemed somewhat impressed with my idea worked out a backdoor solution that said the idea can weaken a category 5 hurricane to a category 3 hurricane prior to landfall that would work on Hurricane Andrew type storms. The current director of the hurricane research center in Miami Fla. Dr. Frank Marks has also told me my idea should be computer modeled."

And this is why McNultys idea needs a closer look at it and a University to pick up and run with the ball. With the Arctic possibly being ice-free as soon as this summer, the window is fast closing to address the growing climate threat our changing climate presents - meaning even more extreme weather events on the near horizon.

And just how does inventor McNultys tunnel idea work? He gives us some clues here where he talks more about the logistics of the system: "It took me about 5 years between the time of Hurricane Hugo and Hurricane Andrew to come up with the idea. Since then and by accident I have found out how my idea can also restore our climate back to pre-industrial revolution temperatures by adding turbine generators to them. The kinetic energy in the Gulfstream is enormous and enough to displace fossil fuel power generation. I study the idea almost daily and have found the idea can reverse many of the ill effects of climate change that fossil fuels are bringing us today such as higher sea levels, higher sea surface temperatures, red tide, lower PH levels in our oceans, coral bleaching, loss of Northern summertime arctic ice, loss of albedo, skin cancer, lung cancer, war, heart attacks, stroke, asthma, loss of polar bears, sea lions, narwhals, walrus, kril, shrimp, rain forest's, soil moisture and more desertification etc. etc. etc."

With the threat of large pockets of methane gas being released in the Arctic and tipping us into runaway climate change, McNultys idea addresses this growing problem. He shared with me that: "The methane/CO2 issue in the Tundra and the methane ice is a big issue since it has 20 times the warming effect that CO2 has once released to the atmosphere. My idea keeps it frozen in place since it can restore the Arctic Ice to pre-industrial revolution extent/mass."

So with an idea brought forth to slow down our death march to Climate Armageddon, McNulty proposes an idea that could solve many of our problems. The only thing we need now is a bright team to take on the project and run some computer modeling on the tunnel idea.

With all the brilliant minds out there, who is interested in helping solve a world problem? And more importantly, be a part of saving the human race?

Patrick McNulty can be contacted through his Facebook page.