Ocean Based Solar-To-Hydrogen Energy Conversion Macro System
This paper* is an attempt at an initial conceptualization of an ocean based solar-to-hydrogen energy conversion facility. It is proposed to use hydrogen as an energy carrier to be delivered to the spectrum of energy-using sectors, instead of electricity, because of hydrogen’s advantages of transportability and storability. These make hydrogen and solar energy natural adjuncts.
It is further proposed that the solar-to-hydrogen conversion process be conducted on the open ocean, and not in the traditional desert location. The advantages, we suggest, far outweigh the drawbacks. In addition to well-established marine engineering know-how, we foresee the need for a new class of large ocean stable platforms upon which to base the industrial complex.
It is not yet apparent to us what specific solar energy conversion mode, or combination of modes, should be selected among the several direct and indirect techniques available. Economics and available technology will control this choice as illuminated by further study.
In addition to the exportation of hydrogen-energy, in the form of cryogenic liquid hydrogen and oxygen transported in tankers, it is highly likely that a number of coproducts can also be profitably supplied by the ocean complex were it appropriately outfitted. Among the possibilities are: seafoods via open ocean mariculture, minerals and chemicals such as salt and fertilizers, and certain finished materials (especially those which are energy-intensive) such as magnesium and aluminum.
KeywordsSolar Energy Energy Conversion Solar Collector Conversion Mode Solar Energy Conversion
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.“An Assessment of Solar Energy as a National Energy Resource,” Summary report of the NSF/NASA Solar Energy Panel, Document PB-221659 (NTIS), December 1972.Google Scholar
- 2.Salzano, F. J., R. J. Isler, E. A. Cherniavsky, K. C. Hoffman, “The Role of Hydrogen in Electric Energy Storage,” presented at The Hydrogen Economy Miami Energy (THEME) Conference, Miami Beach, 19 March 1974.Google Scholar
- 3.Gregory, D. P., “A Hydrogen-Energy System,” Institute of Gas Technology Report on American Gas Association Project ItM-6, Catalog No, 121173, August 1972.Google Scholar
- 4.Anderson, J. Hilbert, “The Sea Plant—A Source of Power, Water and Food without Pollution,” Solar Energy, Vol. 14 No. 3, February 1973.Google Scholar
- 5.Anderson, J. H., Jr., “Economic Power and Water from Solar Energy,” American Society of Mechanical Engineers Paper 72-WA/Sol-2, presented at the Winter Annual Meeting, New York, N.Y., 26–30 November 1972.Google Scholar
- 6.Zener, Clarence, “Solar Sea Power,” Physics Today, January 1973.Google Scholar
- 7.Heronemus, W. E., “Power from the Offshore Winds,” presented at the Marine Technology Society 8th Annual Conference and Exposition, Washington, D.C., 11–13 September 1972.Google Scholar
- 8.Escher, William J. D., “A Macro System for the Production of Storable, Transportable Energy from the Sun and the Sea,” Paper presented at the American Chemical Society l63rd National Meeting, Symposium on Non-Fossil Chemical Fuels, 13 April 1972, Boston.Google Scholar
- 9.Lof, George O. G., John A. Duffie, and Clayton O. Smith, “World Distribution of Solar Radiation,” Report No. 21, Solar Energy Laboratory, The University of Wisconsin, July 1966.Google Scholar
- 10.Schmidt, P., “Floating Nuclear Power,” Paper presented at the Marine Technology Society 8th Annual Conference and Exposition, Washington, D.C., 11–13 September 1972.Google Scholar