Monday, July 7, 2014
Engineering Vast Quantities of Fresh Water to North and Central China
Engineering Vast Quantities of Fresh Water to North and Central China The Same Engineering Will Work for Providing New Water Resources to the American Southwest Lex Loeb Contributor Network . Billions of cubic feet of fresh water go to waste pouring into the oceans in Siberia. One of the great rivers of the world is the little known Lena River in Siberia . It has a huge out flow into the largest arctic delta on the planet. The river is not one of the least "developed " major rivers on the planet and it flows more than 3000 miles . Some of the water will certainly need to go feed the estuaries and tundra in the arctic delta there to retain the natural characteristics but a good part of it can be diverted to places like China where it will produce revenue for Russia and possibly Mongolia too. Building a canal or aqueduct might seem to be an impossibility with the little mountain range between Russia and China but it may not be as much of a challenge with a hybrid hydro-electric system, Environmentalists don't want anyone to know about hybrid hydro-electric systems because once they start getting built the character of the earth's surface will be forever changed. Not only can northern water resources be moved into parched places in China for agricultural, urban and industrial needs the same thing can happen elsewhere on earth including sending vast amounts of water to the mid east and even into the Sahara deserts. Of course there is a growing water shortage in the American Southwest and elsewhere. We get to see the Mississippi river go into a hundred year flood stage and all that water get wasted when it could otherwise be saved and used when water supplies are not so plentiful. Hybrid hydro-electric facilities use water both to generate electricity and then to use the electric power produced to pump the water up to higher elevations to store in reservoirs. This water retains the potential kinetic energy of having been lifted to the higher elevations. Instead of just sending the water back down in an aqueduct or pipeline as a water resource the hybrid hydro-electric facility allows the water pumped to a higher elevation to be reused to produce electricity as it is discharged to the new location at lower elevations. There is some energy lost in the process and that is essentially the cost of the water plus any fees and royalties to the host countries such as Russia with it's Lena River. The electricity generated from the higher elevation water can actually be engineered to be released though tunnels or aqueducts such that immediate drop in elevation is higher than it would be from the original pumping dam's generators. A lot of the energy lost to pumping water up to the higher elevation is regained. This electric power should not be used to pump the water after electricity is generated as gravity can be used to get it the rest of the way down to where it will be used at lower elevation. That electricity is best not sent long distances to china because of loss of energy due to electrical resistance. That means its best that the power be used somewhere close to the co-generation second tier dam which places that closer to Russia or Mongolia. There is still a net hydroelectric power generation going on and free flowing water resources diverted. Dams on the Lena river would not pump water from below the dam but from, above the dam even a more significant distance above the dam which means plenty of water will have to remain in the river system for this plan to work. It is cheaper in terms of energy to pump higher elevation water than to pump lower elevation water. This type of hybrid co-generation water pumping has also been developed for Wind power generators as a means of storing higher elevation water to act like a battery energy reserve to run a second generator later when ever electricity might be needed and the wind is not blowing. It is a great way to save electricity for when it is needed. A system on the Lena or the Mississippi or Columbia or even the Nile could just be a series of water wheel generators and not a large scale dam with low out put and perhaps a water tower for secondary power generation from elevated water reserves. Hybrid co-generation of power on demand plus moving fresh water to market where the water has substantial value has economic implications that cannot be ignored by countries like Russia that possess these great undeveloped river resources. Aqueducts can be tunneled though mountains to retain plumb grade as required or left open to flow though concrete channels. In order to build large canals the canal itself should be designed as a platform for trucks and /or trains to run on top of for building them and servicing them . The energy can be provided by electric lines that link the system dams. The canals can also possibly allow down stream water transportation of goods possibly with encapsulated carriers that can pass though any underground system at any elevation drops that bypass the generators and bypassing locks can be installed where needed. You might want to engineer the trains to only run up hill on electric and then ride back down on the buoyancy of the water. If it is possible to pump water into the bottom of a reservoir into existing reserves of water to retain the water surface at a high level it may even be possible to increase co-generation power with higher elevation water flow. It might even be possible to increase power effects and distance velocity of water using siphon technology and pipe lines. pumping water into the bottom of a reservoir that raises the surface could be accomplished with an engineer dry water free lock that uses atmospheric air pressure in a locked area to allow water to fall into the bottom of the tank without putting pressure on the inflow. It works like an under-sea diving lock which is sort of like a diving bell which is just an inverted structure like a cup that retains the air as a bubble that keeps the water out. Flow of water though such an engineered lock and be used to create a vacuum to keep fresh air circulating or even to raise the air pressure without much energy used. If parts of the Gobi desert are below sea level water can be diverted to areas like that for even more hydro-electric capacity. Natural Underwater aquifers can also be reloaded with the added ability to produce more power by increasing the drop down to that level with tunneling. There the water would be allocated to those areas because at lower elevations those aquifers already feed natural springs instead of having to re-pump the water to the surface. The system could be designed to remove water from the river only above certain flood stages and on a seasonal basis and some of it could be diverted more locally to help increase fish stocks. As this is being written the local Columbia River is flowing more than 16 ft above flood stage with nearly double the average river water flow of nearly 250,000 extra cubic feet of water per second being wasted going into the ocean . If just a small percentage of that water were pumped and elevated into reserve hybrid co-generation reservoir facilities the states of Washington , Idaho, Oregon and several provinces of Canada could increase wheat and other crop harvests in dryer areas with little effort and have reserve hydro electric power on demand at fairly reasonable cost. The Lena river is not the only Siberian River that can have part of it's flow diverted in this manner for the good of water parched industrial/ agricultural China. Although a major project of this nature would have very high initial costs the good news is that the hydro-electric output and having water delivered to where it is needed as a product before even counting urban, agricultural and industrial benefits probably completely justifies the costs involved. .