Sunday, February 05, 2006

A picture well worth a thousand words

This is Ben and me over coffee, chatting about windmill design, visual filters (the eye detects only magnitudes, not phases - thank you Ben!) and energy horns. Unaware (then) that someone a table over was sketching us, but later bought the sketch from him.

I love these semi-regular meetings with Ben - we think along very similar lines, but have enough differences that bouncing ideas off each other is always extremely stimulating. This weekend, my brilliant idea was on hydrogen energy storage (the problem is that hydrogen, though it has a very high energy density per unit mass, has a very low mass density per unit volume at standard temperature and pressure which results in an overall fairly low density per unit volume; for static solutions (read - NOT transportation), the solution is to store it in a variable volume container at a variable depth underwater, so that the pressure differential across the walls of the container is minimal - you can even use the compression energy of the hydrogen as a secondary energy storage device, sort of like using compressed air; perfect as a buffering solution for offshore wind power-generation, say on unused oil rigs, where access to deep water is directly available, and the problem is a power-generation scheme which is highly variable in output depending on the vagaries of the wind). Ben had his own... Oops - geekiness threshold about to be breached for this post. To be continued later or on some other forum.

Anyway, brilliant ideas aside, there are friends one cherishes, and Ben is rapidly (re)becoming one...


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