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  • OT iceberg power

    Reading about icebergs floating down iceberg alley got me wondering if you could harness one of those things. Back in the prairies you could find ice houses, which were just piles of ice bricks inside a straw shelter, basically. You could have ice all summer if you harvested enough ice from your frozen winter. In this case, you could potentially tow an iceberg into a lagoon of sorts, then use it for keeping cool in the summer.

    Speaking of cool, I've been wondering if you could use a pelltier device with direct sunlight on one side, and cooling by some means (melted iceberg water perhaps) on the other side. Would you get enough heat input to create a sizable temperature difference across the device, or would you have to concentrate the solar radiation?

    I know these devices are poor insulators, so you're always going to have a steady flow of heat across them, which is a loss. Can you make anything reasonably efficient as a power generator from a grid made of these devices?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    In the 70's the Saudi's and I believe others thought about towing one to Africa but nothing ever came of it.

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    • #3
      yeah, the idea was for a fresh water source.

      These days, they better hustle or there won't be any left.
      4357 2773 5647 3671 3645 0087 1276

      CNC machines only go through the motions

      "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

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      • #4
        It would be more efficient to just move to Antarctica and set up your Peltier device there. After beaming the power output to a satellite, you could beam it anywhere in the world.

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        • #5
          Peltier's are cool, but remarkably inefficient. There are far better ideas for using natural temp differential to generate power. It would take less power to draw cold water from the deep ocean than to move an iceberg. Google OTEC, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion. Idea is decades old, but whose time has not yet come.
          Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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          • #6
            When they tried to tow an iceberg the tow rope went taut and coriolis forces from the earths rotation took over. The tugboat was pointing straight ahead as it rotated slowly about the iceberg!

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            • #7
              Icebergs have too much draft for efficient towing...may have spelled it wrong..

              And they have too much shrinkage on the long haul...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 754 View Post
                Icebergs have too much draft for efficient towing...may have spelled it wrong..
                And they have too much shrinkage on the long haul...
                The percentage of shrinkage depends on size. Here is a serious proposal to tow an iceberg to Cape Town; it could arrive with a loss of only 10%.

                https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...million-people



                Allan Ostling

                Phoenix, Arizona

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                • #9
                  I would disagee that thinking you can tow a 125 million ton iceberg counts as a "serious proposal".

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SteveF View Post
                    I would disagee that thinking you can tow a 125 million ton iceberg counts as a "serious proposal".
                    I did not read the article, but it MIGHT be a proposal that uses currents to do the moving. Then all you need to do is nudge it as a tug moves a large ship.

                    Dan
                    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                    Location: SF East Bay.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by danlb View Post

                      I did not read the article, but it MIGHT be a proposal that uses currents to do the moving. Then all you need to do is nudge it as a tug moves a large ship.

                      Dan
                      125 million tons is about the same weight as 1000 aircraft carriers. I'd really like to see that tug.

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                      • #12
                        At 5 tugs per aircraft carrier, you would only need 5000 tugs to move the iceberg....

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                        • #13
                          That does not sound right. If that were so, ocean liners could not be towed. They tow everything including those huge oil drilling platforms.

                          I am sure some large tugs would be needed.



                          Originally posted by garyhlucas View Post
                          When they tried to tow an iceberg the tow rope went taut and coriolis forces from the earths rotation took over. The tugboat was pointing straight ahead as it rotated slowly about the iceberg!
                          Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 12-30-2020, 03:52 AM.
                          Paul A.
                          SE Texas

                          And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                          You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                            That does not sound right. If that were so, ocean liners could not be towed. They tow everything including those huge oil drilling platforms.

                            I am sure some large tugs would be needed.



                            Ocean liners and tankers are still under power while the tugs guide them. Drilling rigs have a skeleton type structure that doesn't present a lot of surface area to the water.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

                              Ocean liners and tankers are still under power while the tugs guide them. Drilling rigs have a skeleton type structure that doesn't present a lot of surface area to the water.
                              In addition to all of that, while I don't know what an off shore drilling platform weighs and I'm too lazy to Google it, I think it's a safe bet to think that the largest of them weighs a lot less than 125 million tons.

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