Sit down at the keyboard this time I made a recent article in the Bulletin of the mysterious blue energy that threatens the power of Gazprom in Europe. Bold predictions ladies' writing team hit your prospects. According to their calculations, it turned out, that could contribute to the production of "blue energy" three major watercourse of the river in the EU - the Danube, the Rhine and the Vistula only 10% of capacity can produce electricity is 3 times more than all EU countries have managed to consume in 2012. Moreover, promised that the cost of the energy obtained after several years of improvements in technology should fall to 8 cents. For comparison, today the cost of 1 kWh of wind power in Europe is 10-20 cents and 10.6 cents coal, depending on the technology generation.
The conclusion drawn by women journalists is very bold. In just a few years of development of new technologies can significantly oust the use of gas as a source for electricity generation and to allow the EU to reduce gas demand by 35-40%. This means that in case of success "blue energy" Russian blue fuel will cease to be relevant for Europe.
I found myself less optimistic than the girls and decided to dig deeper to understand whether Gazprom and developers of shale gas to fear a new competitor. Wanting to meet my microstudies invite a cat.
A Brief History h4> How many may have guessed from the context of the entry, we are talking about energy received by an osmotic effect. Osmosis has long been known. It was first observed by A. Vile in 1748, but began a detailed study of a century later. In 1877, German botanist Wilhelm Pfeffer first measured the osmotic pressure in the study of aqueous solutions of cane sugar.
In 1887 van't Hoff on the basis of these experiments Pfeffer established law defining the osmotic pressure as a function of solute concentration and temperature. He showed that the osmotic pressure of the solution is numerically equal to the pressure, which would have a solute molecule, if it were in a gaseous state at the same temperature and concentration.
Technology h4> So where where rivers flow into the seas and oceans, we have a huge source of both fresh and salt water in the neighborhood - is the perfect place for the construction of osmotic power plant. How do you get the energy? The most simple way - to put water in the tank, which is divided into two compartments by a semipermeable membrane.
In one compartment fed seawater, and in another fresh water. Due to different concentrations of salts in sea and fresh water, the water molecules from the fresh compartment, trying to even out the salt concentration, pass through the membrane into the sea bay. As a result of this process in the compartment with seawater formed overpressure, which in turn is used to rotate the hydraulic turbine generates electricity.
There are alternative ways. One of them suggested that the Italian Doria Brodzhioli (Doriano Brogioli). Technology is the basis of its electric double layer. "The basic idea is that the potential of the electric double layer depends on ion concentration," - says the inventor.
He proposed to construct a two-capacitor plates created from highly porous carbon. First it is fed to the seawater in which, as is known, always present a certain number of sodium ions and chlorine. To start the system in operation on the plate should be energized from the "start-up" power supply. Then the positive electrode attract chloride ions and the negative - sodium ions.
Next to the device is fed fresh water. The difference in salt concentration causes the ions to leave the plate and go away, against the action of electrostatic forces. Voltage across the electrodes at the same time significantly increases. In the future, the system is itself produces a current until the unit receives salty and fresh water. A similar solution was proposed by physicist Robert De Luca (Roberto De Luca), an Italian, but he created the field of a permanent magnet.
Reality h4> However, only the first method is outside the laboratory research facilities. 24.11.2009 Norway has started the world's first power station based on the osmotic effect.
It was built by Statkraft in the town of Tofte, on the territory of pulp and paper mill «Södra Cell Tofte». Construction of the power plant at a cost of $ 20 million and required ten years of research and technology development.
1: Appearance of a power plant in Tofte, south of Oslo. 2: Pre-filtration of water to avoid clogging of the membranes. 3: The membranes are folded in a sealed vessel for creating high davleniya.4: turbines used to generate electricity. B>
Immediately after the launch of this power plant produces no more than four kilowatts elektoenergii but in the perfection of technology creators planned to increase this value as much as up to 10 kilowatts. Did they do as long as long as a mystery, as it materialize any plans for the construction of the power of the village of 10,000 private homes this year.
Until recently, the power plant in Norway was the only one in the world, but according to the statements in the race including the Netherlands. November 26, 2014 in the Afsluitdijk was commissioned a small factory of REDstack BV. The power of their experimental power plant according to some reports may already be 50 kW. Its creation was funded by the Dutch government.
Rest in peace, our heritage! Battle delayed. H4>
So, theoretically, due to osmotic effect can be obtained pressure equivalent to 120 meter water column and using a stream of one cubic meter per second to generate energy capacity of 1 MW. Almost to date, this parameter is 2-3 watts. The immediate aim of scientists - to achieve the level of 5 watts, which they said could bring the technology to self-sufficiency.
It seems while Gazprom may subside quietly, concentrating its activities on the problems arising from the reduction in the cost of shale gas production and see how the plant was launched in the Netherlands goes to full power, enough to meet the needs of 800,000 people, only in nightmares.
There are too many unresolved issues in the "blue water energy." The main stumbling block in the membranes. Must be a revolutionary way to improve their performance while reducing cost. To ensure that the membrane was kept a lot of pressure, too, will not be easy. And finally, do not forget that the water before it enters the unit must be cleaned very well, otherwise the validity of the membranes will be too short. Write a cheap and effective filters will also not very easy. Oh, where did Chubais with his Rusnano!