Staying focused

A somewhat acrimonius debate on halfbakery mostly with jhomrighaus, with constructive work by Ling. Lots of questions and I wrote a lot of answers, usually too long winded and some respondents didn't get the point. It seems to have died down. I now have two entries in other/thermal energy, one with highest rating, one with lowest. They weren't all that different in principle. Replying there did keep me working on the problem.

I also started a new page on Renewable Energy Design, titled Hydrostatic Stirling cycle air compressor. It is aimed toward producing compressed air instead of raising water for a hydro plant to convert to electricity.
I do see that finding the largest delta T available is important, since equipment cost varies with amount of heat transferred, but output energy varies with delta T. I have been thinking about building a heat pipeline carrying waste heat up the mountain with cold refrigerant draining back down to create a cold reservoir at a hot location at base of mountain. It might include a gas compressor to increase the rate of heat transfer by pushing the gas upward faster. This also increases the rate of condensation on cold surfaces by increasing the concentration of gas in the neighborhood of the surface. The rate of evaporation depends only on the temperature, so the net rate of condenstation increases.

A compressed air pipeline from a location good for running the hydrostatic compressor (cold and hot nearby) to a very hot location might be useful. At the hot location, the compressed air would produce the maximum amount of work. Hmm. Does this do better than steam at a nuclear plant? Need to calculate that answer.

It still seems to me that the mechanical efficiency problem for an air compressor ought to be solvable, so that a net profit can be made off relatively low delta T. 


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