Shamcher in LA, 1980

From Rabbi Ivan (Raqib) Ickovits:

Dear folks:

Interestingly, many years ago, i had the privilege of hosting Shamcher when he came to LA to speak with some folks at a Rand Offshoot in Marina Del Rey. I think it was in early 1980 or 1981. I was a working physicist at that time working either for Jet Prop Labs in Pasadena on a Mars lander, or at Hughes Aircraft in Culver City on some detailed F18 radar or deep space surveillance system. Shamcher stayed with Tajali and myself at our home in Brentwood and i escorted him to his meeting with the project managers at PRI or some other alphabet offshoot from Rand trying to provide them with enough data to make OTEC feasible for a prototype construction amd convince them to allocate Govt research funds to fund a small scale effort. I don’t know how successful he was with this, but the intensity, focus and dedication he threw into the effort was awesome.

Some years later when Tajali and i had one of our private dinners with Pir Vilayat and Mary in Europe, i remember they spoke of Shamcher in hushed tones as the esoteric head of the esoteric school for many
years.

Going where the eagles fly,

Raqib

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The Solution of Water Problems as an Aid to Peace in the Near East

A letter from Samuel Lewis and Shamcher to Congressman Engle in 1955.
60 Harriet St.
San Francisco 3, Calif.
November 14, 1955
Hon. Clare Engle,
Redding, Calif.

THE SOLUTION OF WATER PROBLEMS AS AN AID TO PEACE IN THE NEAR EAST.

Dear Congressman Engle:

I was a resident of Marin County for about twenty-five years and for a long time enjoyed the friendship of the Hon. Clarence Lea whom I understand was also a good friend of yours. I have also been attending the American Academy of Asian Studies almost since its inception and recently met your daughter, Yvonne. In a certain sense I see an excellent future for Yvonne if some of the ideas or suggestions contained in this letter are effectively manifested in the world of today with its turmoil and confusing problems.

I have been studying the history, geography, culture and religions of the whole continent of Asia for almost 40 years. I began this partly because as a born San Franciscan I met Asiatics before I met Europeans, and also because there were in my earlier days very few facilities for studying in these fields. (I can give you more information if necessary.)

In 1946 I visited Washington and Clarence thought enough of me to cancel all engagements for the day. The rest of the time was spent in a plan I had for preventing any outbreak in the Near East which could only redound in Russia’s favor. Congressman Lea gave me all necessary introductions but I must say, contrary to what comes out of other people’s mouths, that I never had to cool my heels any where, any time, on any of a dozen visits to the Nation’s capitol.

I also spent two hours with the Hon. Norris Poulson, now Mayor of Los Angeles, who was once my next door neighbor when I lived in East Hollywood. Also one hour with the Hon. Carl Hinshaw whom I knew personally when he was in the real estate business, long before he was ever elected. As Congressman Hinshaw has been the chairman of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee and as he has introduced bills for a department of science I thought he might be interested in some of the ideas presented herein, but that has not been so.

Altho I met no obstacles in Washington because I happen to have some pretty good background (you can check this with Yvonne, too), the death of my principal forced me to return to California. Then measures were taken which brought the Zionists and Arab States into all but open hostility, and sometimes that. The result has been that I have kept very, very quiet. The only time I have said anything was in secret to one of the instructors at the University of California and he wanted more. I wrote a number of times to the Vice-President’s office after his visit to the Orient but the net result was an invitation to contribute to some Christian missionary outfit to combat communism — which ignores the feelings of hundreds of millions of people.

In the past few years a very close friend of mine, Mr. Bryn Beorse, has returned to California and has been engaged in research for the University of California, both at Berkeley and Los Angeles, upon some new methods of obtaining water from the ocean at a comparatively low cost both for agricultural and potable purposes.

Mr. Beorse is Norwegian by birth and is a man of some renown. He has been a war hero and is known personally by not a few members of the diplomatic corps of several nations. He told me in part of what he has been doing and what is being tried out by the Engineering Department of the University. We have been trying to ‘sell’ the general plan to Pakistan which has aggravated water shortages in their western provinces. The political upheaval in that land has delayed any final action.

In the past year I have spoken quietly to several persons, Arabs and Zionists, who have been at each other’s throats, and asked them what the solution of the water shortages would mean for them. I was surprised to learn that some of the most vociferous anti-Zionists suddenly became quite peaceful when I told them that there was a possibility of obtaining water from the Red Sea, and other places, which was available at a low cost. I also presented the same idea to one of the Egyptian consuls-general; he was not interested but has since been recalled.

Now two situations have arisen, the first of which I invite to your attention. There is a plan for a huge dam south of Assouan in Egypt. The estimated cost is $500,000,000. This money is not available at either the World Bank or any of the lending agencies of the U.S. Government or private banks; there is, however, the possibility of a combination of these agencies raising the credit. But Russia has come forth with a counter-bid. There is some question as to whether Russia has either the financial or engineering resources to carry on the project.

There are some further factors involved. The Government of Soudan would not consent and the status of that land is in doubt now which would delay the project. The Muslims, even when anti-American, simply do not want communists in their midst.

This brings up an alternative. It may be possible to establish one or more plants in the Red Sea or elsewhere in the Near East at a cost far below the above estimated $500,000,000. And in addition to that it is quite obvious at this writing that Russia has no low-cost salt-water derivative plan. If the method being tried out at the University of California would receive national attention, if not national backing, this country would be offering a form of cooperation to the Muslim world which would gain the good-will of several nations which are either double-dealing with us or are downright suspicious. I am wondering what you think.

The second situation is the possibility of having a plant somewhere on the southern Oregon Coast–I am suggesting that from what little I know of the method of operation. This might entirely change the tenor of local California politics into which you have been involved with much more heat than light, at least on your opponents’ side. If the populous districts could obtain water from the ocean it would not only relieve your constituents, it would help preserve some of the natural beauties of California.

I do not wish to write further, but I hope you will either answer me or write to
Mr. B. Beorse,
Engineering Department,
Hearst Hall, University of California,
Berkeley, Calif.
Sincerely,

Samuel L. Lewis

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CARTER SIGNS OTEC BILL INTO LAW

From the Solar OCEAN ENERGY Liaison

INCORPORATING The OTEC Liaison
VOLUME 4 NUMBER 6
June 1980

CARTER SIGNS OTEC BILL INTO LAW

On July 17th President Carter signed into law the finalized version of the Matsunaga-Fuqua bill. Re-numbered HR 7474, the completed act is a restoration of the original versions initiated by Senator Spark Matsunaga as S 1380 and Representative Fuqua as HR 5796. With Carter’s signature it has now become Public Law Number 96-310. The entire text of the President’s statement regarding the bill appears in this issue. While the passage into law now commits the United States Government to a national goal of 10,000 megawatts from OTEC systems by 1999, as well as providing funding (on a cost-sharing basis) for two OTEC pilot plants, the other “half” of major OTEC legislation is also near completion. The Studds-Inouye bill, initiated by Representative Studds as HR 6154 and Senator
Inouye as S 2492, deals with licensing of OTEC plants and loan guarantees, and as of July 22nd is on President Carter’s desk for signature.

As this issue goes to press, the President has ten days to either sign or veto the bill or, in the absence of his approval, allow it to automatically become law after the 10-day limitation has elapsed. While there is always the possibility of a veto, it is doubtfui, since the Studds-Inouye bill would not affect the budget, and since Senator Inouye heads the Rules Committee at the forthcoming Democratic Convention.

Highlights of the final versions of both bills will be excerpted in the next issue of Ocean Energy.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JULY 18TH, 1980
OFFICE OF THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY
THE WHITE HOUSE

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I HAVE SIGNED HR 7474, THE OCEAN THERMAL ENERGY CONVERSION RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEMONSTRATION ACT, A BILL TO ESTABLlSH WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AN ACCELERATED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM TO FOSTER THE EARLY USE OF OCEAN THERMAL ENERGY CONVERSION FACILITIES.

SENATOR MATSUNAGA AND REPRESENTATIVE FUQUA ARE TO BE COMMENDED FOR RECOGNIZING THE POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION THAT RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES CAN MAKE IN MEETING OUR NATION’S LONGTERM ENERGY NEEDS. THE BILL ESTABLlSHES A LONG-TERM NATIONAL GOAL OF 10,000 MEGAWATTS OF ELECTRICAL CAPACITY, OR ENERGY PRODUCT EOUIVALENT, FROM OTEC SYSTEMS BY THE YEAR 1999. IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THIS GOAL, AS WELL AS INTERMEDIATE GOALS, AND TO FACILITATE THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INDUSTRIAL BASE FOR OTEC TECHNOLOGY, THE BILL AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY TO DESIGN, CONSTRUCT AND OPERATE TWO OTEC DEMONSTRATION FACILITIES ON A COST-SHARING BASIS.

IN IMPLEMENTING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS BILL, THE DEPARTMENT WILL CARRY OUT A MEASURED PROGRAM FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF OTEC TECHNOLOGY CONSISTENT WITH TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS AND SOUND FISCAL POLlCY. A MAJOR COMMITMENT BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR WILL BE INDISPENSABLE FOR SUCCESSFUL DEVELOPMENT OF OTEC TECHNOLOGY, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WILL SEEK SIGNIFICANT COST SHARING BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR FOR THESE DEMONSTRATION FACILITIES.

SIGNED: JIMMY CARTER

S 2492: PASSED INTO PUBLIC LAW, 8/3/80

PL96–320
(96th Congress; 320th Bill Passed)

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OTEC History

(OTEC means Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion)

Ocean Thermal Difference, the difference between surface and deeper layers, as a source of power, has been recognized for more than a century. In 1881 an American engineer, Campbell, two Italians, Dornig and Boggia and a French physicist, D’Arsonval proposed a closed cycle Ocean Thermal device. The warm surface water would heat and cause evaporation of a “working fluid” (alternative fluids were suggested) which would pass through a turbine, thereafter being condensed by cold water pumped up from deep layers and again fed into the evaporator. The first to build practical plants was a pupil of D’Arsonval, the French engineer George Claude, member of L’Academie des Sciences, of the French Society of Civil Engineers. He won the fiftieth anniversary medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He chose the “open cycle system” in which the ocean surface water itself evaporates and drives the turbine,and rejected the “closed cycle”, of which he said in a talk to American engineers 22 October 1930(1):

“Manifestly, such a solution is burdened by a number of inconveniences, one of them being the extra equipment for and cost of the working fluid and another the necessity of transmitting enormous quantities of heat through the inevitably dirty walls of immense boilers… The sea water itself contains all that is needed for the direct utilization of such small temperature differences.”

Claude ran a small experimental device before fellow-members of l’Academie des Sciences in Paris, then built a larger plant at OUGREE in Belgium, which, in his words, “Made my virulent opponents hold their tongues.” His one-meter diameter turbine generated 60 Kilowatts at 5000 rounds per minute with a total ocean thermal difference of 20°C. This proved the thermodynamic viability. “It remained to be seen how the plant would function in the ocean, how pumping cold water from deeper layers would influence neighboring layers and whether foaming would drastically decrease efficiency or break the turbine.”

Claude moved his Belgian plant to Cuba. A two feet diameter pipeline would have been sufficient to supply his condenser,with the proper amount of water, but would have caused the cold water to be warmed before arriving at the condenser and would have incurred intolerable friction losses. A pipeline of two-meter diameter was built — and lost in a storm. A second pipeline was also lost. A third pipeline was built and successfully laid. The plant ran for eleven days, producing 22 KW on a turbine much too small for the other components of the plant, but Claude was operating on his own money and that of a few friends, and could not afford a new turbine. The basic function was nevertheless proven and, in the opinion of these resourceful enterprisers, should have been followed by prototype and commercial plants.

In 1931 a French Maritime company built a pilot plant for shipboard use at Le Havre, described by H. Brillie in GENIE CIVIL for 21 June 1931 (2). This plant, using ship engine waste water as warm water source and ocean surface water as cold water source produced fresh water with as little as 1-2 parts per million salt and a power expenditure of only a fraction of conventional plants, according to the report. Gossipers claim the plant was killed by people who wanted to sell more fuels to ships.

In 1941 the French Government became involved and in 1942 ENERGIE DES MERS was formed, a semi-official company for researching and building OTEC plants (3,4). In French laboratories and on a chosen site at Abidjan in West Africa research was conducted, for example on the effect on neighboring layers when huge amounts of cold water was removed by pumping. Only the closest layers were found to be involved. Mindful that Claude had lost two pipelines, the manufacturing and laying of the cold water pipeline were carefully planned and carried out. This pipeline was considered the only new and unproven component in the plant and therefore given major attention. The line was left in place for six months for study of corrosion/biofouling. The area between low and high tide was found particularly vulnerable. For current OTEC ships, with the cold water pipeline entirely under water, this would be irrelevant. In laboratories in Dakar and in France proper research was conducted on general evaporator and condenser problems, including air-and-gas removal from sea water under evaporation. An entire plant was designed but never built.

In 1947 and 1948 the undersigned studied the French work, returned to the States and became involved with the University of California and its newly established Sea Water Conversion Laboratory. In 1951 Professor Everett D. Howe, founder and first director of the Sea Water Conversion Laboratory, obtained State funds, later Federal funds, from the “Saline Water Office” that had been established when Dr. James Hofman of the National Bureau of Standards demonstrated in Congress two small thermal machines built in my presence on the pattern of the French.

The University of California built and tested three plants, all open cycle, since the University wanted desalination, primarily. In the open cycle, desalination is achieved with no additional cost. A laboratory plant was built and tested by Dr. Lev Akonjanoff. Its main feature was a two-quarts pyrex glass kettle. This vessel is kept in a stove at constant temperature, to avoid losses by condensation on the glass wall. Tests were made with a) batch distillation with constant temperature and pressure, b) batch distillation with constant temperature and varying pressure, e) flow-distillation with constant temperature and pressure, d) flow-distillation with constant temperature and varying pressure. This laboratory-sized plant was built and tested in the Hesse Hall of the Berkeley Campus. At the Sea Water Conversion Laboratory of the Richmond Field Station was simultaneously built the so-called ‘first low-temperature difference plant’ consistlng of an already available 4.5 foot-long and 30 inches diameter cylindrical evaporator plus condenser, pumps etc. It was scheduled to produce 2,000 gallons desalted water per day and no power. After this plant had been tested for a variety of possible conditions, our ‘second low temperature difference plant’ was designed and built. Funds had now been made available for suitable hardware. This plant was scheduled to produce 10,000 gallons per day desalted water plus as much power as our available General Electric turbine would seem willing to offer. This turbine had been used in an aircraft air conditioning unit. The evaporator had been supplied with three windows and inside lights, so that the flash evaporation procedure could be observed. The sea water was seen to explode in a myriad of drops the moment it entered the evaporator. The prior idea of drip-trays, over which water was supposed to flow in sheet-like formations, was proven invalid. This again may be one reason why our yields often were higher than formulas predicted.

Dr. Akobjanoff(7) and Mr. Beorse (9) conducted independent studies of evaporation rates related to then existing formulae. Yields in the University
plants varied from 2 to 189% of predicted values. Dr. Langmuir, co-author of the Langmuir-Knutsen formula, saw the reason for this in that essential factors had not been included in the formulae, during a discussion with Mr. Beorse in 1955.

Tables, showing yields of desalted water and power produced at the University plants, are available at the University and/or Sea Water Conversion Laboratory. One table, showing cost, estimated or confirmed, of various desalting methods, indicates that desalting cost for a Low Thermal Difference Plant is lower than for all other methods and lower than the then-goal for municipal water (85 dollars versus 125 dollar per acre foot) but higher than the irrigation goal (40 dollars). (5,6,7,8,9)

Commercial Design.

On the basis of this testing of three plants, the University designed a desalting plant for the canyon near La Jolla and the Scripps Oceanographic Institution. It was scheduled to produce five million gallons fresh water per day. A number of large private firms, located in California or with branch offices in California assisted in this design. Particularly helpful was the San Francisco Branch Office of the Westinghouse Corporation.

This plant would have no turbine. The total temperature difference in the winter was 16°F, not enough for power production but enough to desalt water at a lower cost than any then or later developed system, since this small thermal difference provided distillation under vacuum. Additional energy for pumping etc., would come (1955 prices) to 24 cents per 1000 gallons, while fuel-fired plants require from three to four times as much energy. With the addition of maintenance cost, total cost comes to 28 cents per 100 gallons, not including amortization and interest, which changes from site to site. A smaller plant would mean a greater relative cost for the cold water pipeline and for maintenance, so the total cost would be higher. Firm bids were obtained for all components, including two million dollars for manufacturing and laying the cold water pipeline. This one job was upped to three million in our estimate. We tried to be equally conservative for other components. The estimated cost of the entire plant was six million dollars. People not familiar with our research and estimate preferred a one and half billion dollar Feather River project — valid, in a sense, at least, while water supply in Northern California was ample. It isn’t any more. The subject plants may still be built, all over Southern California.

The University of California and Energie des Mers

Following Mr. Beorse’s study at Energie des Mers in France in the late Forties, the General Director of Energie des Mers, Andre Nizery, visited the University of California and gave a seminar at the Berkeley Campus in March 1954 (10). Andre Nizery was also deputy Director of the huge semipublic corporation “Electricite de France” which supplies the French with electricity and other forms of power. Professor Everett D. Howe of the University, along with David Jenkins, then-director of the Saline Water Office of the US Department of the Interior visited Energie des Mers in Paris and Abidjan. Mr. Beorse again visited Energíe des Mers in 1957,1959, 1963 and 1973, this last time on occasion of the passing of M. Christian Beau, who had been General Director of Energie des Mers after Andre Nizery’s death. M. Beau had also been head of France’s public works.

All personnel of Energie des Mers were convinced that they had the obvious solution to the world’s energy problem. Their research had confirmed their brightest hopes. The winds of politics in France favored nuclear energy.

Throughout the years until today the University of California continued specific research on heat transfer, heat exchangers, de-aeration, evaporator characteristics, preventing carry-over of water droplets into the steam flow, scaling, corrosion, biofouling. In June 1957 Professor E.D. Howe reported to ASME (11).

From 1960 Hilbert and James Anderson, a father-son engineering team, took up a serious study of a closed cycle plant and actually built a small sample. In the seventies, with the soaring oil prices, the National Science Foundation took up the matter, asked for studies,, and received voluminous reports, first from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, principal investigator Professor William E. Heronemus, a former Navy Captain who had been in charge of vast shipbuilding efforts. In rapid succession followed the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics
laboratory, the Carnegie-Mellon University, the Universities of Texas, Hawaii, New Orleans, Florida — and substantial industrial firms: Lockheed, Bechtel, TRW, and of course the Andersons’ Sea Solar Power, Hydronautics, Batelle, Allied Chemical Corporation — thousands upon thousands of pages proosing a multitude of types and all of them emphasizing the immediate readiness of this technology and the wholly benign ecological effects. Cost estimates vary from $700 and up per Kilowatt built and of course the fuel is free. If only two percent of the power available in the Ocean Thermal difference were utilized we would have many times as much energy as the world now needs.

Bryn Beorse, University of California 19 September 1977

(Note: footnotes for this document were not found at this time. However, they will be added later should another version of this be found that includes the footnotes.)

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Letter to Governor Brown

BRYN BEORSE
2539 Durant # 3
Berkeley, CA 94704

2 April 1980

Dear Governor Brown,

You are quite right quitting the silly primaries but that doesn’t mean you won’t be president this time. You are the only candidate so far with a clear stand on nuclear. That alone may draw half the voters to you alone, if sufficiently strongly emphasized — in the last 4 weeks before the election. A man like Walter Cronkite or one like Jack Anderson, if they appeal to you and if they will, by stressing this fact in appropriate fashion on TV and in the press many times a day for 4 weeks is enough to turn half of the voters or more from any “winner” to you. More important: People who would not have voted will come out or the woodwork and vote.

I have tried to reach you through my friend Russell Schweickart. I don’t know if he has conveyed my messages.

I am a graduate from 67 countries’ sciences and idiocyncracies and have been able to reach any American audience, make it stand up and whizzle and scream in face to face with me, or making them phone or write by mass effect when I talk on radio or TV, more now at my age of 84 than before. Therefore I have delusions as to what the public likes and will do. Russell once said you would commit political suicide by following my advice. Wilson Clark, present on that occasion, said no, he thought I was right.

Another of your brilliant ideas was military draft for the over 50. In World war II I had to browbeat my way into the services at 44, finished up at 49, a better soldier and airman than when entered at 44, drafted and published the brilliant plan to kidnap Hitler, put him down in a Scot apple orchard and let talk to his heart’s desire to newsmen. The British Cabinet was enthused, but Franklin Roosevelt turned us down with: “No, the Germans must be beaten so they know it.” To which British general C.C. Fuller replied “The 56% of Germans who never voted for Hitler do not need that lesson. The rest cannot be taught and do not matter.” But Roosevelt was the boss. Apart from this , the British had a dogma: All people on critical missions must be under 35. They came to change that dogma right around. You are right that the over 50 (or over 40) should be drafted. And I can tell about that — and other viewpoints you may have.

I don’t think we can risk another four years with either Carter or Reagan. We need above all to start an energy policy now. We have 10 non-polluting, cheap, fast-to-build energy systems ready to go with no more research required. This is my specialty. I am an engineer, worked on OTEC (Open Cycle) since 1948, know the nine other ready systems too. We may chose one, six, all ten, whatever Carter has had all the chance to see, learn and act. He hasn’t understood.We may go down to chaos — pull the whole world with us. Except if you…

Thank you
Bryn

PS: The inflation is 70% energy-caused. My top economist friends: Dr. John H.G. Pierson, ret. UN Advisor, Harvard’s John Philip Wernette — Leon Keyserling — can handle all that.

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An Ocean of Energy (Edith Roosevelt)

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

6 February 1979

Miss Edith K. Roosevelt
1661 Crescent Place NW
Washington DC 20009

Dear Miss Roosevelt,

Your letter to ADEE of January 29 was shown to me, being an advisor to ADEE.

Your excellent article on “Green Oil” could be supplemented with a large number of renewable energy sources, some of them 100 years old, which as a nation we have refused to utilize, while screaming about an “Energy Crisis”.

OTEC — Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, which I have worked with since 1947 is only one of them, perhaps the best developed, having the most scientists, engineers and companies behind it, at least about 1000 top-grade people — but not enough to make even a dent in the central US Government, even though there are many dedicated workers inside the Government, who’d do anything to get started with the work.

At age 82 I have expanded to the general picture, technologically, economically, psychologically, nationally and internationally and see a choice before us just now, today: Begin a crash program now, or be damned. In about 20 years we are to see a more devastating depression than ever before realised, which will probably lead to war — a nuclear one — if we don’t start today. With a crash program, which the United States is beautifully suited for, temperamentally, economically and industrially– we can have self-sufficiency in 15 years. We could derive all our energy from either OTEC or Space satellites or a combination of Green oil, biomass, wind –but our temperament will never settle for one or a few choices, We have to build on a broad scale, we have to forget the narrow “fight against inflation” and suffer more and higher inflation for a while (because of the drift so far) until new energy systems make their impact — and inflation may be cured forever. “Down with the budget” is no remedy. What we use our money for is the deciding question. Today it is energy we need to develop — not the sorry trilogy oil-coal-nuclear, but the truly renewable sources. Oil executives are interested, have helped build the proper technology, but their “lobbyists” and some of their shareholders are another matter.

Nothing is more important than you newspaper people in the coming fight.

~~ Bryn Beorse

NEW HAMPSHIRE SUNDAY NEWS. Sun. Mar. 4 ’79
Beyond the Known
(column)
An Ocean Of Energy

by Edith Kermit Roosevelt

WASHINGTON – “There’s so much energy in the ocean that, if we develop 2 percent of it, we would have 100 times as much as the world is projected to need in the year 2000.”  These words are said by Norwegian-born engineer Bryn Beorse who brought the technology of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) to this country. At 82, still vigorously at work as a consultant to the Sea Water Conversion Laboratory at the University of California’s Richmond Field Station, Beorse is picking up support for his solar sea plan that he has worked with since 1947.

Calling OTEC “the best developed of renewable energy sources,” Beorse says that “reputable New Orleans shipyards have offered to build OTEC plants for less than half of the cost of nuclear plants built today. Since the OTEC fuel is free and nuclear fuel cost rises every day, this would seem remarkable.”

Beorse also cites testimony by TRW’s Robert Douglas who told Department of Energy officials that OTEC could now, today, be built competitive with nuclear-plants.

HOW DOES OTEC work?
The system needs no fuel and uses only the sun as a heat source. It runs on the temperature difference between the warm surface layer of the ocean and the colder depths a thousand feet below, a difference of about 40 degrees.

The first attempt at an OTEC system in the United States, starting up next April, will be located in Hawaii. It is being developed by the State of Hawaii with the Lockheed Missiles and Space Co, of Sunnyvale, Calif., which is building the power plant. Hawaii’s Dillingham Corp. is modifying a Navy Barge lo carry the plant and install it with its suspended cold-water pipe a mile off Keahole Point.

The Hawaii plant will generate 40 kilowatts – enough for four or five homes. Tests are to continue some six months.

But Beorse would like to see far greater efforts made and he faults the Department of Energy for simply researching problems ‘that have already been solved instead of putting together working OTEC power plants.

Current funding for OTEC under DOE amounts to only $36 million compared to $903 million for oil and coal development and $3.5 billion for nuclear development.

Beorse would like to see these priorities reversed. He says DOE is continuing to study problems that have already been solved when a crash program involving renewable, nonpolluting energy sources could make our nation self-sufficient in 15 years. Beorse advocates to this end–OTEC or space satellites or a combination of oil from plants

According to ADEE (119 Ripley St., San Francisco, CA 94110), Beorse’s so-called “Utopian ideas” have picked up in recent years some heavy support from other energy researchers.

A little publicized report by the National Aeronautics and Space Agency issued in 1972 says “Tapping the energy of the Gulf Stream could supply all the electrical energy needs of the U.S. as far ahead as 1985 with only three tenths of a degree reduction in the temperature of the great warm ocean river.

This reduction may be beneficial as it would slightly offset the ocean’s thermal pollution due to other uses.”

In 1976, the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration concluded that the OTEC system could produce “at least 20 gigawatts” or 20 million kilowatts – by the year 2000, an amount about 3 times the estimated U.S. energy demand.”

*            *            *

SEA SOLAR POWER, Inc. of 2422 South Queen St., York, PA 17402, the pioneer in sea thermal power, says these systems have highly profitable spin off effects. They can make fresh water for irrigation and human consumption; hydrogen for synthetic fuel, methanol to replace or mix with gasoline, nitrogen, oxygen, ammonia and carbon dioxide for feedstock, and food fish to be nurtured on nutrient-rich cold water pumped from ocean depths.

The company says that if the value of the power and byproducts of thermal electric power are added together, the annual income of a typical 100 megawatt plant can amount to more than $100 million. Sea Solar Power Inc. expects to be able to mass produce such plants for about $50 million each.

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Testimony Before the US D.O.E. Solar Energy Hearing

5 DECEMBER,1978; SOLAR ENERGY HEARING

This is the third time I have the pleasure of testifying on Solar Energy. You, representatives of the Energy Department may have wondered. with me, about the handling of these testimonies. Summaries and conclusions of the previous meetings had not a single word about our distinguished TRW company’s Robert Douglas testifying on June 15 that OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) could now, today, be built competitive with nuclear plants; not even a single reference to testimony the next day, June 16, ; that reputable New Orleans Shipyards offered to build OTEC plants for less than half of the cost of nuclear plants built today. Since the OTEC fuel is free and nuclear fuel cost rises every day, this would seem remarkable.

We were told that the testimonies would be screened and summarized by a private firm–The Franklin Institute. Aren’t you, Energy Department representatives, wondering with me what sort of instructions this firm received, and from whom?

In Canada there was recently a hearing about an oil pipeline–far less important than our present energy matter. Justice Berger, head of that Canadian hearing, travelled around the country and listened to everyone who had anything to say — experts, yes, but also to lone hunters and fishermen, Eskimo seal hunters — and all this was reported, fully, and published, with no in-between Franklin Institute to cut and scramble at their pleasure the carefully prepared testimonies from concerned citizens and large technological firms.

Assuming the Department of Energy will review its obligations to testifiers, I will, now repeat my story with a new slant: For about a hundred years now a growing number of people have realized that our little globe is bubbling with renewable energy — much more than we will ever need. For the past fifty years engineers have built and tested plants: Windmills (a form of solar energy); Ocean currents; recently Wave machines;Tide utilization; and Ocean Thermal machines. Seven open cycle 0TEC plants in small sizes and one closed-cycle plant have been built, tested, and found most promising. Two more closed cycle plants are currently being built in Hawaii. It is essential to understand that one who builds and tests a small plant gains an insight in its potential, its economics that no one else can share. So we need demonstration plants — not to convince the men of experience but to convince the others. These others, however, in Government or elsewhere, often do not realize their handicap and write ponderous documents preventing progress. This is particularly unfortunate at this time when the most severe depression ever experienced is forecast by Presidential and other learned commissions. The only way to prevent this scenario is to build, in a crash program, solar plants now, particularly OTEC’s in which the storage problem is solved. Crash programs are, by the way, the most efficient programs here in the US.

Actually, we do not have to wait for a depression: Billions of people are starving, freezing today, and the governments responsible for these victims are near ruin — and will pull with them large US banks committed to un-repayable loans. Yet, only a brave resolve and a relatively small initial investment would turn that series of events around and make our nation the most beneficial ever to have graced this earth.
My humble advice on how to proceed is available.

Bryn Beorse
SeaWater Conversion Lab
Richmond Field Station, Richmond, Ca. 94804

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Letter to CoEvolution Quarterly

From his letter to Co-evolution Quarterly, printed in Fall 1979 under the heading OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion)
(In the late 70’s Shamcher often said that there would be war over oil in 20 years unless something was done to implement the ten ready technologies of alternative energy)

Dear Eds:
….Years ago the fallacy was clear and open – except that those who had worked so hard and now actually saw a think that worked, mechanically at least – were conned into lying, cheating and roaring to utilize their monsters. Three bold engineers of General Electric quit in protest – this should have aroused the nation – later 2,600 of our 10,000 nuclear technicians demanded a “moratorium” on all nuclear plants until research had been “completed.” Even this did not rouse the nation. What does it take? A football hero? Or an earthquake? Or ten more Three Mile Islands? The latter apart, the waste products alone should have made us stop.
Of the ten ready technologies wind, OTEC and Space satellites are ready now. OTEC alone could be built in five years. In fifteen we would have enough of these plants to stop all oil import. US OIL would still be used – no reason for the oil companies to panic about the “competition.” Although this is as far as most of them can see, or not see. Biomass, from land and sea, photovoltaic, tidal power, waves are also ready and some of these much cheaper than either oil, coal or nuclear. to produce 1,000 BTU of energy or heat, you need to spend over 3,000 BTU for either coal or oil energy, but only from 125 (says Lockheed) to 500 (says Richard Arlen Meyer of OTEC Liason) to produce your 1,000 BTU. OTEC can be built for half the cost of nukes – plus free fuel (the ocean) while nuke fuel rises all the time – say New Orleans Shipyards. “Competitive” says OTEC builder TRW. (My colleague here, Dr. Cal Herrmann, is deep into salinity research along with being an enthusiastic OTEC Man).
I trust you see – and will express – the dark side of this scenario: the government is geared for research – not implementation – by nature as well as by co-interest with narrow corporate views – that may kill us all in 20 years or so. Are we crazy? Yes, and dancers around the Golden Calf – dancing so crazily that we don’t even build the half-as-costly OTEC-Space-Wind-Biomass plants in half the time it takes to erect nuke monsters. Can you get these facts into the heads of your readers?
Thank you,
Bryn Beorse

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