- A zero carbon future for our planet
- An alternative to coal fired power stations
- No necessity for nuclear power
- Solar Hydrogen fuel production for transport
- Solar electricity production at any point on the planet
- A zero pollution future for our planet
- An eternal energy solution

Martin John  8th April 2015

Project Overview  2nd March 2013

M Solar Hydrogen Renewable Energy System

The M Solar Hydrogen Renewable Energy System is based upon my design for a full efficiency solar turbine/generator, if proven to be successful.  The turbine design attempts to convert close to 100% of input heat or energy to the turbine into usable grid connected electricity.  This would surpass current solar efficiencies by a factor of 5 and coal fired power stations and nuclear by a factor of 2.5  The turbine can run on a range of refrigerant working fluids depending on the temperature range of application.

This webpage outlines how the M Solar Hydrogen System would most likely be applied or implemented in our world today.  The path forward will become a little clearer as time progresses, as we have a few options to carefully evaluate and consider.

Implications

The implications of a full efficiency turbine are staggeringly enormous.  If unlimited cheap solar electricity can be generated it can be used to make cheap hydrogen for transport also.  Some of this hydrogen can be combined with nitrogen extracted from the air to make cheap Ammonia, NH3.  85% of the world's ammonia production is used for fertilizer to grow food.  Cheap solar electricity can also be used to desalinate water in relative abundance.  Energy, food and water represent the basic requirements of life and living standards for all people on our planet.  This project lends itself most importantly to underdeveloped countries and economies where such priorities are critically greatest and costs are very low.  The underdeveloped nations can become the renewable energy providers for the future of our world, bringing income and wealth to their communities and at the same time providing an important highly cost effective renewable energy solution to the whole world and all people.

A Guaranteed Investment

Because energy, food and water are the basic necessities of life, such an operation represents an almost guaranteed investment.  There are no circumstances where we can live without the things that sustain life.  Barring an Alien invasion, World War III, or meteorite impact, once the working details of such an operation are clearly defined it becomes as close as practically possible to becoming a guaranteed investment.  World oil reserves currently give us only 30 years supply, without major new finds, or major growth in consumption considered.  Now is the time to begin to establish the eternal energy solution for our world.

The Self Sufficient Solar Community

In application, my vision is to begin by creating a self sufficient solar community.  A group of modular solar electricity generating factories (see below) can be assembled somewhere on the planet, container access required and some source of water.  At the centre of this group, modular apartments, houses, and a community centre, i.e. supermarket assembled.  Around the complex, clear plastic bubble top factory farms can be assembled.  These farms can produce 90% of food required by this community including most vegetables, chickens, lambs, beef and dairy etc.  Factory farms optimize water usage and eliminate natural afflictions such as weather conditions, frosts and insects.  This arrangement is designed to work in semi arid desert regions.  I also have a plan for an incorporated sewerage system.  Solid matter is combined with organic waste compost process.  Soluble nutrients are converted to algae in an incorporated algae farm.  Remaining throughput water can then be safely used for parks and gardens.  This community is now mostly self sufficient without any harm to the environment.  This community can utilize land of virtually no value.  This community can employ all of its' people, both women and men, to run each of these community operations.  There is no need for unemployment.  The community can provide basic medical and education.  The operation provides a nice low cost apartment, employment, and a guaranteed moderate life style for all people in the community.  This community can exist on a fraction of the energy it generates, and can therefore export renewable energy to the world.

Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell car

 

 

 

 

Tesla Model S Electric Car

 

Ocean Heat Power Station

The greatest opportunity to collect solar heat or energy is the Earth's oceans or waterways.  This is due to the fact that water has a very high specific heat.  The oceans are storing, as heat, mind blowing amounts of solar energy.  The Ocean Heat Power Station, very simply, has an input pipe sucking water from a source, extracts heat, and returns colder water via an exhaust pipe.  Based on an arbitrary flow of 1m³ per second, 60m³ per minute, if we were to extract 10 degrees of heat from this flow of water, we would be extracting 42Mw of power.  With a full efficiency turbine we could potentially deliver 40Mw of electricity.  This is assuming that our air tight siphon water circulation pump consumes 2Mw of power which I think is over the top if the entire circulation system is at or even below sea level.  The beauty of the Ocean Heat Power Station concept is that it can run non stop generating grid connected electricity 24 hours per day.

Heat can be extracted from the input water flow by heat exchangers which boil a refrigerant to then spin the turbine.  This is exactly the same front end process as already used in commercially available “Water Source Heat Pumps”.  These systems are designed to take low grade heat from a water source by boiling the refrigerant, “amplify” it by the heat pump compressor, and heat water to as hot as 90°C.  The M Solar turbine uses the same front end principle of boiling a refrigerant, but applies this instead to spin the turbine and generate electricity.

I live in Melbourne on Port Phillip Bay.  Port Phillip Bay offers a perfect opportunity for Ocean Heat Power.  Melbourne receives a quoted solar insolation of 1600 Kwhr/m² per annum.  The entire surface area of Port Phillip Bay is collecting this amount of solar radiation making it a huge solar energy collector and potentially an enormous source of solar power.  By my calculations a city like Melbourne can easily cover its’ entire energy needs, including electricity, all transportation and heating, entirely from onsite solar renewable sources.

The Ocean Heat Power Station is a mass produced, screw together, modular factory filled with turbine generators probably of a capacity of each 100Kw to 1Mw based on size, handling and operating convenience.  The building ideally would be completely buried in the foreshore behind the beach.  This would satisfy two requirements, firstly to minimise environmental cosmetic impact and secondly to allow the water circulation system to be close to sea level.  The only evidence of the power station will be a driveway into the dunes somewhere and shallow dome plastic inlet pick ups on the sea floor in relatively shallow water, or even just below the low tide level amongst the rocks of rocky outcrops.  The outlet ideally would be a couple of hundred metres further out on the bottom in deeper water.

The Ocean Heat Power Station could also be fitted with hydrogen production.  Generated electricity can immediately be used to split water by electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen.  This process can be achieved currently at about 70% energy conversion efficiency.  30% normally is lost as heat losses.  The advantage of a full efficiency turbine is that these heat losses can be collected, recycled and turned back into electricity making this conversion process closer to full efficiency also.

The next stage is to compress or liquefy the hydrogen gas depending on requirements.  Hydrogen boils at a very low -253°C.  A relatively large amount of input energy is required for this compression process.  With another full efficiency turbine, or series of turbines, we can extract this heat input potentially converting this extracted heat into electricity once again.  The advantage of a full efficiency turbine is that the principle can be applied to each energy conversion stage, recycling heat losses, and potentially achieving close to 100% energy conversion at every stage.

Toyota FCV hydrogen fuel cell car

The power station factory could then be fitted with hydrogen bowsers or outlets to supply direct to motorists with hydrogen powered vehicles.  Already several manufacturers including Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai have commercially available Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles with a range of 500 – 600 Km.  BMW also has had a dual fuel Hydrogen/Gasoline vehicle for several years.

M Solar Manufacturing and Assembly Factory with Full Solar Roof

The M Solar Factory is a modular building system where all components of the factory are manufactured in factories, transported by container, and screwed together on site.  This includes steel reinforced concrete slab floor and wall sections as well as a full solar roof.  The solar roof is in fact a twin skin steel roof.  Each roof section is effectively a steel tube, and filled with water the whole roof becomes a water roof collecting 99% of solar radiation as heat in the water.  The roof could potentially be covered with glass tiles to prevent heat loss by wind convection if necessary.  This would depend on chosen operating temperature.  The roof also has full rain water collection that can be stored in wall cavity plastic tanks.

Water is circulated through the roof collecting solar heat in a closed loop system connected via vacuum glass tubing to a series of large vacuum insulated concrete storage tanks inside the factory.  The purpose of this concept is to store solar heated hot water so that turbines can run generating electricity non stop 24 hours per day grid connected.  Rather than storing energy as electricity in batteries, it is much easier to store energy as heat in water.  I envisage that our operating temperature would be around 40°C to 50°C.  Ideally a low temperature differential will ensure minimal heat loss.  The amount of floor space required by the tanks and turbines is about 15% of total.  85% of factory floor space can then be utilised for turbine and modular factory component manufacturing and assembly.

In Melbourne with solar insolation quoted at 1600 Kwhr/m² per annum, and a 500m² factory roof area, this equates to up to 90 Kw of continuous power generation.  The option of additional “air source” as well as driveway power generation exists.  Assembly factories also can be fitted with hydrogen production and bowsers or outlets for motorists.  A network of such factories providing on site hydrogen production would totally eliminate the need for hydrogen transportation.  Dedicated hydrogen production outlets could potentially be built anywhere that there is grid connection.

Turbine Design                                                                                                          

My current turbine design is a vertical axis configuration based on storm system research.  It attempts to replicate naturally occurring rotating storm systems.  The current semi completed prototype (now superseded) is expected to generate about 1-6 Kw, and is designed for operating pressures of perhaps over 1,000 psi.  The spinning cylindrical impellor is mounted on opposing Neodymium ring magnets, therefore is almost totally frictionless, suspended in space.  Consequently it rotates very smoothly and almost silently.  The turbine is in fact turbine and electricity generator in the one unit.  Because the impellor is suspended in space, there is no need for a shaft to an external generator.  The impellor has two sets of 12 neodymium magnets top and bottom and precision fits very snugly into a cylindrical flanged pressure vessel made up of three sections.  The top and bottom sections cannot be made of any metallic materials in the region of the magnets because eddy currents form defeating the whole process.  These sections are made of fibreglass moulded into stainless steel flanges top and bottom.  Each fibreglass section has an external laminated stator with 9 coils.  This arrangement will provide a 3 phase output.  The idea is that magnetic flux passes through the fibreglass wall and induces current into the external generator coils.  We have tested this with a PVC wall without any interference to motion.  The stator will double as external reinforcement for the fibreglass section.  The central section of the turbine is made entirely of stainless steel and includes the turbine driving jets.

Turbine Images (superseded)

Refrigerant Working Fluids

Ideally natural refrigerants like CO2 would be used.  CO2 as a refrigerant is cheap and environmentally friendly.  However it is expected that less desirable refrigerants like R-125, R-507A and R410A initially might more easily achieve the full efficiency objective because of big molecular mass and very low latent heat of vaporization, but perhaps not.  I consider that these moderately high GWP refrigerants could be used initially with strict refrigerant accounting practices.  Every effort must be made to ensure that there are no losses.  These refrigerants are expensive.  It is envisaged that production turbines may be of hermetically sealed construction.  As long as carbon emission reductions achieved by renewable energy generation significantly outweighs any Global Warming Potential due to refrigerant losses, I would consider this satisfactory.  Ultimately, the end goal would be to use natural refrigerants entirely.  It will depend on being able to achieve the necessary efficiencies required for the full efficiency turbine principle.  Because the entire turbine will be enclosed in a secondary housing and vacuum insulated, any refrigerant escaping the turbine will find its way into the surrounding evacuated space.  This provides the opportunity for a refrigerant decomposition process which destroys any presence of refrigerant at the evacuation stage.  I imagine that a catalytic converter much like that used on car exhaust systems could be implemented and eliminate any risk of refrigerant escaping to atmosphere.

Contact me Martin John: mrack@tpg.com.au
Telephone:  61 3 9754 3051