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Discussion page for Directory:Dickson Hydrosphere
Invention by Richard Dickson is a new type of enclosed hydroelectric dam that works off pressure differentials in sea or deep lake water at great depths. Dickson claims it can generate up to 500 Megawatts of continuous, non-polluting, renewable energy out of sight in oceans or deep lakes.
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: If the AWG generator described here were to be constructed, I do not feel that the concept would actually work. The pressure at the inlet and outlet valve are identical, so while you will be able to successfully compress the air in the cylinder, once the inlet and outlet valve positions are switched, the pressure of the water would be maintained by the water in the outlet pipe (although the volume is equal, the number of metres of head is the same). In order to expel the water from the chamber, you would need an outlet with a pressure that is less than that at the inlet, not the same, which is a requirement for the flow of the water. A good book on pumping, say the "KSB Centrifugal Pump Lexicon" (http://www.amazon.com/Centrifugal-Pump-Lexicon-Ksb/dp/B000QAAQQW) will tell you that this design just isnt feasible. Sorry about that. --PsioniC M 05:29, 20 February 2009 (PST)
On November 16, 2006, New Energy Congress member, Congress:Member:Kenneth M. Rauen, wrote:
There is not enough information on his website to
describe it even in general. It sounds like an
unworkable perpetual motion machine idea. Rick must
submit substantial data to us. I don't see an energy
source from his description.
I am OK with theory, but it it must be spelled out in
detail. Science is done in the details.
On November 16, 2006, New Energy Congress member, Congress:Member:Robert Indech, PE wrote:
I too am having signficant difficulty ascertaining just where the net
output power of this design would be derived from. From the online
description, water at pressure "X1" enters the top of the sphere. It passes
through a primary hydroelectric generator (?turbine type design) and
presumably would then have pressure "X1-Y1". A Tesla pump at the base of
the device repressurizes the water, now at pressure "X1-Y1+Z". This
pressurized water then powers a secondary hydroelectric generator, exiting
at a pressure "X1-Y1-Y2+Z". The exit pressure must match the pressure at the
depth in which it is exiting, presumably "X1+X2", for the water to exit and
not back up into the unit. The online description figure indicates that the
exiting water occurs at a lower level than the input water, hence the
increased pressure (i.e. "X2>0"). Thus: "X1-Y1-Y2+Z"="X1+X2" or
"Z-Y1-Y2"="X2" or "Z=X2+Y1+Y2". As the volume of water does not change in
the process steps, the energy extracted or inputted is proportional to
pressure change in each process step. Clearly, for any "Y1>0" or "Y2>0" and
for "X2>0", then the energy input to the Tesla pump, proportional to "Z",
must be greater than the sum of the extracted energy "Y1+Y2". Thus, static
pressure alone cannot produce usable power in this scheme. The system, as
configured, must always be a net power user, not a producer.
However, as another part of his device involves a movable float, then
some usuable power can be derived from the wave action on the float. Outside
of this wave action usable power, the remainder of the device cannot
contribute usable net output. However, if this is the case, his device does
not differ significantly from any other wave action device, except for the
requirement of it being anchored at some constant depth, with respect to the
I would be interested to see calculations showing output power that are
not derived solely from wave action.
Reply from Dickson : "I will fax you my calcs, drawings and letters from the two engineering firms.
: "Also, the analysis [above] is incorrect. Robert Indech is ignoring the five energy inputs to the system. Again I have had trouble with other people visualizing this concept. Perhaps, the problem is the device is more an energy converter, than traditional power generator. In any case,here are the inputs: (1) hydroelectric generator at top of sphere, (2) hydroelectric generator, Tesla pump and repressurizer at base of sphere, (3) float generator in middle of sphere, (4) two-way (i.e., reversible...generates electricity on exhale of air from sphere and again on inhale of air into sphere via snorkel pipe) air turbine in snorkel pipe, and (5) wave power generator in snorkel buoy. Together these five inputs produce net output of electricity for the system. The fact that the float generator, air turbine, and wave power generator generate energy from just the residual effects of the main system with no additional energy input is quite significant. I no of know other system that hybridizes all available energy, including passive parasitic power harvesting in such a manner.
: "I am not sure others see that the float generator and air turbine could not operate with just a wave power generator in the buoy alone. My hydrosphere is in fact a system. As such it is the sum of its parts: hydroelectric generators, float generator in the sphere, air turbine generator, and wave power generator in the buoy. The system will not operate without its individual component units, and all operating at peak efficiency as facilitated by the computer, process controllers, sensors and small servo motors." (Nov. 17, 2006)
On the evening of Nov. 17, 2006, Richard faxed a copy of some drawings, some math, and a copy of the two letters from the two entities from whom the supposed confirmation of the math were given. The letters turned out to be polite rejections of overtures to collaborate, and cannot be considered statements of endorsement of the math.
New Energy Congress member, Congress:Advisor:Kenneth M. Rauen reviewed the documents and said,
: "Turn out the lights and go home! The attachment makes it perfectly clear to me, without reading it in its entirety, that the inventor is not paying attention to energy balance. When he says the water that has passed through the Tesla turbine is repressurized and sent back out to the ocean, this directly indicates the inventor has blatantly ignored the energy of pressurization!"
New Energy Congress member, Congress:Member:Robert Indech, PhD PE also reviewed the document. He concurred:
: Having read the engineering disclosure presented, my original comments about this proposed device stand. As Mr. Rauen has said, there is scant attention to overall energy balance, the crux of the entire device. Outside of the wave action energy extraction, which is valid provided one can provide anchoring to the ocean bottom or other method to maintain fixed position of the hydrosphere, there is only net energy loss not gain. Utilizing a dynamic process does not, in itself, produce net power. Further, the attached "engineering support letters" are not support but polite dismissals.
Richard Dickson responded that his math does account for the repressurization (in fact he estimates 20% of power output would be used for repressurization of the water in the sphere, before it is extruded back into the marine/lake environment), as well as friction and head losses in the pipes and system, while still allowing for harnessing net energy from the deep pressure and secondary generators. The problem is he sent NEC two summary calculation sheets, but he will send NEC clearer, more detailed and definitive calculations as soon as possible. He maintains that the concept is sound, and requests that his math be thoroughly reviewed.
On Nov. 23, 2006, New Energy Congress member, Congress:Member:Robert Indech, PhD PE, wrote:
: I have had the opportunity to look over the attachment of mathematical calculations supporting the claim of the hydrosphere to be a net energy producer. While a majority of the detailed calculations appear to be correct, as regards calculation of volume, flow rates, theoretical output power given the geometry, etc., there is still the lack of fundamental understanding of just what pressure gradients are driving the assumed flows. It is critical to consider the input and output pressures of the water flows through the primary generator and secondary generator. As I suggested in my previous gross analysis, the quantity of energy needed for repressurization will exceed the amount gained by the generators, leading to a net energy loss, except for power generated from bobbing wave action. This type of overall, energy based or power based calculation for the entire cycle is incomplete in the disclosure. The author assumes 20% of power of secondary generator need for repressurization I suggest that greater that 100% of output power will be needed for this step, considering the pressure gradients needed to be overcome. The author's calculations on 18 inch pipe characteristics under flow are correct it is only the assumption of actual flow in the direction wanted, stemming from a pressure gradient across the pipe that is lacking.
: In sum, any device that attempts to derive net energy from a static pressure gradient, without inducing a chemical or nuclear change in the environment, is by definition a perpetual motion machine. The scale of construction is irrelevant and only concerned with size of energy transfers in each step of the process. This proposal is of one such device (without the wave action contribution), and thus, cannot work as advertised.
Mr. Dickson's final response: I wish to thank the NEC for their valuable analysis and advice. However, while I agree with some of their observations, I believe they are overlooking the parasitic passive power harvesting aspect of the invention. This is no reflection on them at all, as I believe this is entirely new technical ground. In fact I believe parasitic, passive power harvesting needs to be studied more.
The law of conservation of energy and other basic physics laws, when related to power production, were never conceived to incorporate the effects from secondary passive parasitic power harvesting. For example in my invention by the normal laws of physics, just generating hydroelectric power from the initial generator and then trying to recover most of it after repressurization via the generator at the base of the sphere makes no scientific sense. Of course I know the reasons for this: energy inputs must equal outputs...that's the basic law of conservation of energy...you can't get more out of a system, energy-wise, than you put into it and there are losses along the way due to friction and other effects. However, by the process of producing hydroelectricity, water enters the hydrosphere and rises, as the sphere fills up. This process can be used to harvest more electricity via a float generator, whose floating rotor rises and falls about a central stator column with the rising and falling (as water is pumped in and out) inner sphere water level. Additionally, the air under pressure being forced out of the sphere as the inner sphere water level rises and then sucked back in as the water level falls, can also be used to power a two-way air turbine in the snorkel tube. Thus, these two parasitic secondary electrical generators, operating in an entirely passive manner, harvest energy that was not previously available under normal conditions and normal understanding of the law of energy conservation. This does not require a nuclear reaction, as Dr. Indech states. Mathematically, where X=energy output of the sphere, y1=primary hydro generator, y2=float generator, y3=air turbine in snorkel pipe, y4=secondary generator, and y5=output of snorkel buoy wave generator. Z1=friction loss in pipes, Z2=gradient loss, and Z3=system loss due to repressurization. Thus, X=Y1+Y2+Y3+Y4+Y5-Z1-Z2-Z3, where Y2 and Y3 are created passively, as a result of Y1 and Y4 power generation and Y5 power output is created independently of the system.
It is still my belief that this additional electrical power, when combined with the output of the snorkel buoy wave power generator, would overcome the reduction in power output of the second hydroelectric generator in the sphere due to friction losses and the gradient (the exit pipe in the sphere is 30 feet lower than the intake siphon...thus the outside water at that depth is at greater pressure.)Interestingly, this is an interdependent system, so removing any one power generation element would critically impact ability of the entire system to function.
In essence my invention can be thought of as a "contained waterfall" in which passive electrical power is created as a byproduct, and said power is then harvested and contributes to the overall power production of the device. In a sense this energy conversion device looks like a perpetual motion machine, but in reality it is not. No more so than a conventional hydroelectric dam would be considered a perpetual motion machine, but on an entirely different scale.
Ultimately, I believe that only by constructing and testing a prototype can my assumptions about my invention be confirmed.
In any case, this is all very interesting, and I hope other scientists can make use of it.
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