OMG!!! 6 Mile High Conduit Generates More Electricity Than The USA!!!
One of my more intellectual friends forwarded to me a proposal she put together that totally stunned me. It's one of those concepts that is so wide ranging and amazing that you first wonder why no one thought of it before, and then you wonder about the type of mind that can come up with this stuff in the first place. I wish I could conceive of projects of this magnitude but unfortunately I'm just not in this lady's league.
She submitted it to the GE Ecomagination Challenge which is an innovation project funded to the tune of $200 million where individuals can share their best ideas on how to develop the next-generation electrical power grid, with the possibility of getting the ideas (or at least the concept development) funded by major venture capital firms, including Foundation Capital, KPCB, Emerald Technology Ventures, and Rockport Capital.
Her idea is now listed on the GE website:
So check it out and comment on it. Personally I think that this could be a space elevator type of idea. The Space Elevator concept was originated by scifi legend Arthur C. Clarke who famously stated that "It will be built 50 years after everyone has stopped laughing." It seems that the 50 years may be up as there are various parties seriously considering constructing it now! This is just as stunning a concept and could possibly be even more revolutionary and momentous than the Space Elevator: A power source that uses no fuel and will work forever as long as it's maintained. The construction costs are massive, but the cost for electricity amortizing the construction costs would come out to one-seventh that of nuclear power plants.
Let's just get onto her proposal. It's all in there and it's all amazing:
We can utilize Bernoulli's Equation to calculate the siphon parameters for a soft drink being sucked through a straw. Exactly the same math can be used to determine the siphon effect of a conduit which has one end in air at 14 psi and the other in air at 3.5 psi. The air will be drawn from the area of higher pressure to the area of lower pressure.
This proposal centers around an enormous conduit which extends from nearly sea level to the top of the world's 7th tallest mountain, and actually continues upwards for an additional 1,700 metres (m). Air rushes through the conduit at nearly supersonic speeds and drives internal wind turbines to generate extreme levels of electrical power with no fuel and no pollution of any kind for as many years as the conduit remains functional.
The conduit measures 620 m in diameter at the base and tapers to 270 m as it rises to its maximum height. It is engineered with internal baffle structures to keep the airflow from reaching Mach 1. It is lined with many thousands of calibrated Helical Axis Wind Turbines throughout its 11,000 m length. Given an average wind speed inside the conduit of 1000 kilometers per hour (km/h), and the acknowledged wind power density of approximately 2 kW at 50 km/h over a 50 m turbine, with reasonable spacing for the turbines in a multiple pronged radius pattern, the amount of electricity generated should exceed 500 million kW/h, which is an amount greater than the entire electricity usage of the United States of America.
The conduit runs from a point of 500 m elevation which is excavated from the Lowest Existing Point 1,695 m +28° 31' 57.00", +83° 41' 2.40" and runs up the existing river valley 1,000 m to the existing 1,900 m elevation and continues to the ridge which begins 1,700 m southwest (Annapurna South) of the Highest Current Point (Annapurna I) 8,091m +28° 35' 43.00", +83° 49' 11.00" and terminates at the current peak. This serves as the triangulated base for the extension which reaches 1,700 m further up with a tube of 2,400 m and an outlet at 9,800 m.
This engineering challenge dwarfs any on Earth, but with costs for potentially dangerous nuclear power plants exceeding $7,000/kWe, the anticipated cost to build and operate the conduit is 500 billion US dollars or $1,000/kWe. It would cost 3.5 trillion US dollars to generate that electricity via nuclear power.
Bountiful electricity with no fuel, no pollution, and no radioactivity, forever. All it takes is the ability to dream and the will to make it happen.