- The surface of the ocean 20 degrees north and south of the equator is warm.
- 1000 meters deep, ocean waters are at 4 degrees Celsius.
- If this deep ocean fluid can be brought to the surface (using a pipe)
- combined with the warm surface fluid, electricity can be produced through the temperature differential
- this effluent from the deep is pathogen free at high mineral concentrations in the exact ratio of "fertilizer" to promote new growth in the photic zone (where the sun shines)
- under certain conditions, with the possible need to add some nitrogen, carbon dioxide can be removed from the atmosphere to reduce global warming
- as the end result is a cooling of the ocean surface, there is reason to believe that hurricane formation can be prevented
- Thus, this system can be engineered to produce a wide range of co-products in addition to electricity.
- These floating platforms powered by OTEC can ultimately become floating cities.
- Someday there should be more countries at sea than on land.
No one in our team had any experience working with Japan on cooperative research. To quickly summarize (click on this for the full story):
- Senator Matsunaga, a Democrat, voted with the Republicans on a free trade bill.
- As reward, Republican President Ronald Reagan asked Matsunaga to join him on a G8 summit meeting in Tokyo.
- Sparky could only fit-in a ride on Air Force One from DC to the West Coast, where he asked Reagan to please work out with Prime Minister Yasu Nakasone an agreement for the two countries to partner on developing OTEC. (This is a particularly interesting part of the story, involving intrigue and luck.)
- The bottom line is that PICHTR got $1 million/year for eight years from Japan, mostly to perfect OTEC. The U.S. Department of Energy provided the remainder of the funding for a $25 million open cycle OTEC facility at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii. The team succeeded in completing a 103 kW net open cycle OTEC power plant and produced freshwater as a co-product.
First International Workshop on Very Large Floating Structures in 1991. In many ways, this was the first official mention of the Blue Revolution in a conference proceeding. Senator Matsuura had a PhD in agriculture and had worked with Norman Borlaug on the Green Revolution, which won a Nobel Prize in 1970. Then in 1992 I ghost-wrote THE AMERICAN BLUE REVOLUTION for Senator Inouye in Sea Technology.
workshop sponsored by NSF and NOAA on the Blue Revolution, where the distinguished group arrived at the following conclusions:
- The optimal size of the first floating platform to conduct experiments would be abut one hectare or 2.5 acres or 100,000 square feet.
- There are huge food, energy, materials and ocean space benefits, with a potential for positively affecting the environment.
- Certainly, the Ultimate Ocean Ranch, as one of the promising ventures, could reverse the current trend where fisheries were in decline.
- International cooperation will facilitate progress.
- The enterprise would take half a billion dollars, about half the cost of a B-2 bomber.
- The key to the whole system would be an OTEC system.
- Potential for OTEC Plantships to Prevent Hurricane Formation (1993)
- Next Generation Fisheries (1997)
- International Ocean Alliance Floating Platform Summit (1998)
- First National Science Foundation Workshop on Engineering Solutions for Utilization of Exclusive Economic Zone Resources (Hawaii, October 1986)--after this gathering I joked that if Texas and Hawaii counted our EEZ space, Hawaii was twice the size of Texas
- EPA/NOAA Planning Workshop on Mitigation of Global Climate Change (Hawaii, March 1989)
- NSF and Republic of China National Science Council International Workshop on Artificial Upwelling and Mixing in Coastal Waters (Taiwan, June 1989)
- NSF and Japan Science and Technology Agency Workshop on Artificial Upwelling (Hawaii, March 1990)
- NSF First International Workshop on Engineering Research Needs for Off-Shore Mariculture Systems (Hawaii, September 1991)
- NSF Franco-American Program Development Workshop on Ocean Engineering, Marine Biotechnology and Mariculture (Maryland, October 1991)
- Huffington Post articles
- A 20-minute presentation I gave at a Seasteading Institute gathering San Francisco on the Pacific International Ocean Station.
Yet, the reality is that the Blue Revolution has actually been the Blue Evolution. My current feeling is that we might be generations away from any kind of major break out.
For now, though, I continue to fantasize, but still envision a torus, more in the conformity of a bicycle tire than the below donut, as the initial shape:
Tropical Cyclone Gita remains at 135 MPH and has battered a few low-lying islands south of Fiji.