Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Power Earth Science Technology

The World's First Osmotic Power Plant 262

Posted by timothy
from the it-oozes-power-into-the-bucket dept.
ElectricSteve writes "Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway officially opened the world's first osmotic power plant prototype on November 24. The prototype has a limited production capacity and will be used primarily for testing and data validation, leading to the construction of a commercial power plant in a few years time. Statkraft claims that the technology has the global potential to generate clean, renewable energy equivalent to China's total electricity consumption in 2002 or half of the EU's total power production" What's osmotic power? Wikipedia to the rescue!
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The World's First Osmotic Power Plant

Comments Filter:
  • by MrNaz (730548) * on Friday November 27, 2009 @12:44AM (#30242662) Homepage

    That's not sustainable, as they're just more efficient, not a closed infinite loop. Entropy always increases. In this house...

  • by timmarhy (659436) on Friday November 27, 2009 @12:48AM (#30242680)
    safey: nuclear power stations have an outstanding saftey record. CHECK.http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html

    expense: nuclear power costs very little. CHECK. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html [world-nuclear.org]

    operating life: nuclear power stations have a long life span, plants built in the 60's are still going. CHECK. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf08.html [world-nuclear.org]

    ouput: do i even need to provide a reference on this one? nuclear power runs whole nations such as france.

    it would seem good sir, that you are the one spreading bullshit. I call you out on your anti nuke nonsense, you know nothing about the subject past what greenpeace has shoved down your throat.

  • by goodmanj (234846) on Friday November 27, 2009 @12:53AM (#30242708)

    I was skeptical of the numbers, so I looked around to figure out how much energy we're talking about here. This link [tripod.com] discussing desalinization is pretty useful... what we're talking about here is a desalinization plant run in reverse.

    The short answer: 0.66 kcal (2760 joules) per liter of salt water converted to fresh water, so you'd get the same order of magnitude of energy *back* with an osmosis plant. The Mississippi river flow rate is 17 million liters per second at New Orleans, so the maximum possible energy output is 47 GW!

    I don't see any obvious efficiency-loss factors here: it should be possible to do this pretty efficiently.

    Another way of looking at the problem: the osmotic pressure difference between fresh water and seawater is 28 bar, which is equivalent to 280 meters of hydraulic head. That's roughly the same pressure gradient as is found across the Hoover Dam.

    Now, the technical challenge of building miles and miles of carefully-folded osmotic membrane, and keeping it clean, is a bit daunting. But in theory, it should work!

  • by Lorens (597774) on Friday November 27, 2009 @02:39AM (#30243118) Journal

    ouput: do i even need to provide a reference on this one? nuclear power runs whole nations such as france.

    Last time I looked France even had a 40+ year old tidal hydro power station near Le Havre as well as a wide variety of other power plants. Try harder.

    79% of electricity produced in France is produced in nuclear reactors.

    http://www.planete-energies.com/contenu/nucleaire/production-consommation.html [planete-energies.com]

    Another source says that out of all energy consumed in France (including fuel for cars and such), 44% is of nuclear origin.

    Maybe it is not correct to say that nuclear power runs the whole nation, but the nation sure wouldn't run without it.

  • by paul248 (536459) on Friday November 27, 2009 @02:53AM (#30243186) Homepage

    Starcraft was not the first Starcraft:
    http://www.utopiasales.ca/assets/rv%20trailers/DSC00168.JPG [utopiasales.ca]

  • Re:Impact (Score:5, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) on Friday November 27, 2009 @03:32AM (#30243366)

    You do realize this is located at the mouths of rivers, where fresh water was and will continue to mix with salt?

    You had to read ALL THE WAY down to the 4th Paragraph to find:

    such power plants could be located wherever sea water and fresh water meet, such as the mouth of a river. They run without producing noise pollution or polluting emissions

    So any mixing of fresh and salt has been going on in these very same locations for millions of years and is perfectly normal.

    Somehow I think the Local Ecology will survive.

  • Re:Impact (Score:3, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) on Friday November 27, 2009 @03:35AM (#30243382)

    So much handwringing...

    From TFA:

    Such power plants could be located wherever sea water and fresh water meet, such as the mouth of a river. They run without producing noise pollution or polluting emissions.

    Look, its simple. The river water was flowing into the sea for millions of years. The fish have adapted.

    Calm down.

  • Re:Impact (Score:2, Informative)

    by Unnamed Chickenheart (882453) on Friday November 27, 2009 @04:07AM (#30243528)
  • Re:Impact (Score:5, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) on Friday November 27, 2009 @04:37AM (#30243654)

    But did you actually READ that wiki link?

    All it says is that salty water will be discharged into SALTY WATER.

    Further this will all happen at the river's mouth where fresh water is mixing with salty water already.

    It won't be any saltier than the sea water, because it is a mixture of fresh and salt water, discharged directly to where fresh and salt water have been mixing for millions of years.

    Osmosis does not create or destroy any salt content. Fresh river water is mixed with salt water from the sea and discharged EXACTLY where it would have been discharged by nature with the EXACT same average salinity as the mixed water at the rivers mouth.

    Any animal that can't tolerate this would not be there. Because the mixing has been going on at least since the Pleistocene all local animals are already adapted to it.

    The wiki article says nothing, and seems to suggest the author is not cognizant of the fact that these facilities are planned for locations where river water meets the sea. But then it is wikipedia.

  • by Carewolf (581105) on Friday November 27, 2009 @04:42AM (#30243674) Homepage

    France consumed 447.27 Billion Kilowatt-Hours in 2007, but produced 542.41 Billion Kilowatt-Hours, 430 Billion Kilowatt-Hours were produced by nuclear power plants. They export electricity, but nuclear alone essentially covers their consumption. "France runs on nuclear power" would be an accurate statement.

    Nope, it is not even close. Nuclear power produces base-power, it can not produce peak-power. Most electricity is used during peak hours where you need electricity produced from sources than can be turned on and off during the day. Currently only oil and coal have that ability. Some nuclear plants can at best have the turbines disengaged letting power waste, but you can't just turn them off.

    Sweden similarly produces more electricity than they consume, but if Denmark replaced their coal-plants with windmills and nuclear power, major parts of Sweden would have a brownouts every single day during peak-hour, because in reality Sweden is buying coal-based electricity to fill the holes hydro and nuclear power can not, and due to an environmental policy of not building power-plants based on fossil-fuels they are entirely at the mercy of more pragmatic neighbours.
     

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2009 @06:34AM (#30244194)

    It's merely the first with a proper marketing scheme... :p

    Since 2005 a 50kW test installation has been working in Harlingen, the Netherlands. This is a POS (pressure retarded osmosis) installation just like the Norwegian one. A 10kW RED installation has been installed not 20km away in the Afsluitdijk barrier dam.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TGK-4MDGP8H-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1111993059&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=a85c6a42fb58101cbda1cb384456dd18

  • by slim (1652) <john@nOspam.hartnup.net> on Friday November 27, 2009 @07:34AM (#30244440) Homepage

    Most electricity is used during peak hours where you need electricity produced from sources than can be turned on and off during the day. Currently only oil and coal have that ability.

    And hydro. Which can also store surplus base power (by pumping water uphill).

  • by youroldbuddy (539169) on Friday November 27, 2009 @08:39AM (#30244666)
    Hydro is better than Coal at providing for swinging demand. Hydro just turns the tap to a turbine and stores the energy (unless there's and overflow).

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

Working...