The Tidal Irrigation and Electrical System

renewable energy, carbon dioxide sink, biodiesel, and food from the ocean


Martin on Apr 12th 2008

Classically, storms have cut short the life of projects that hope to exploit deep oceanic water (DOW). One of the weakest points in the system is the pipe and its interface with the OTEC. However, the scale of a TIE System means that it is possible to keep all of the piping in relatively deep water, thus reducing wave and storm damage. 

Given the current state of pipe technology, the biggest pipe that can be laid is about one hundred and eighty centimeters in diameter. So, without rethinking this technology there will be very limited economies of scale with the piping system. The Tidal Irrigation and Electrical System will require huge flows of water from the deep and also from the surface waters to feed the heat exchanger that is the OTEC system. So, multiple pipes will need to be laid in parallel. 

The conduits to the TIE System will need to be of a scale seldom seen outside of the largest municipal water systems. They will be so large that it may be worth completely rethinking the design of the “pipe”. It may be possible to borrow from the ship building skill sets and make sections of conduit the size of super-tankers that are floated into position and linked on site.