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Floating Wind Turbine Platform

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the dust-and-energy-in-the-wind dept.

Power 228

Sterling D. Allan writes "Inventor Tom Lee is nearly ready to strike a deal to install a flotilla of offshore wind turbines, combined with hydrogen-generating capability and battery storage, which he says will enable them to have the consistency needed to be a primary grid energy provider, and not just supplemental to the gird. The floating platform enables them to take the turbines to where the wind blows and birds are few, and people even fewer. His objective in commencing this project 12 years ago was to come up with a power solution for developing nations."

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What about the cost (4, Interesting)

Barkley44 (919010) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938194)

How much will it cost to build though? And would it have any impact on the environment under the water, when placed in lower water levels? Perhaps it's not a major concern? I could just see the great lakes covered by hundreds of these ;)

Re:What about the cost (1)

80 85 83 83 89 33 (819873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938234)

i'm sure that sucking the energy coming off the ocean that powers weather must have SOME effect. not that i am preaching doom and gloom... who knows, maybe they could be usefull for sucking the energy out of tropical storms and hurricanes?

Re:What about the cost (5, Insightful)

Mars Ultor (322458) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938643)

Try to think about the size of a wind turbine in comparison to the SURFACE AREA OF ANY MAJOR OCEAN. Seriously, for a just a moment. Quick google facts:

Surface area of the Pacific:
166 million square kilometres, 64 million square miles

Typical size of a wind turbine:
Blade span (total diameter): 200 - 350 feet
Mast height: 150 - 300+ feet

Arranging 4 of these together on a platform the size of a (american) football field (360*160 = 57600 sq. ft.) would mean that you could cover the Pacific with these if you managed to produce a hair under 31 billion platforms...

Let's say you want to have a total of 1000 platforms, each with 4 turbines. This would require (approx) 0.00000322% of the surfacea area of the Pacific. It is unlikely that such turbines would have a measurable effect on global weather patterns.

I'm not trying to flame you here, just want to underscore that the amount of energy contained in global weather patterns and the size of the oceans (from which much of this energy flows from) completely dwarfs almost anything we can realistically throw at it right now. It has been estimated [universetoday.com] that it would require thousands to millions of times our current planetwide energy output to reach a level where weather patterns could be altered.

Re:What about the cost (5, Funny)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938259)

How much will it cost to build though?

About 540 Energy and 60 Metal IIRC. A little more if you're CORE.

Re:What about the cost (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938372)

And don't forget 75 for the SCV.

Re:What about the cost (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938531)

I LOVED that game!!! Funny thing is that the first thing I thought of when I read the article was the commander bot spraying green nano-bots to create these things...

Re:What about the cost (2, Interesting)

lheal (86013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938290)

How much will it cost to build though?

Amortized over the life of a power plant, the startup cost is negligeable.

The real gotcha will be maintenance. What happens when one of God's happy sea creatures swims afoul of the power plant, taking it offline on Super Bowl Sunday? Or more pointedly, foul weather at sea is not like foul weather on land. There's no place to get away from it, except perhaps underwater.

I guess they'll have to have a fleet of submarines for maintenance. Maintenance is where the real costs will be, too.

Re:What about the cost (1)

robbak (775424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938328)

Or maybe make them submarines, so they can sink below the waves when the wind gets too bad!

Re:What about the cost (4, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938319)

I was wondering this too, so I googled "cost of off shore wind farm" and came up with Cape Wind [capewind.org] . Pretty interesting. Still haven't managed to price it out though. It only mentions that this farm is privately funded... which may just work.

Large areas required (4, Interesting)

Cave_Monster (918103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938202)

I'm all for alternatives for energy production but would it be logistically feasible to conduct such a venture? Wind farms on the land take up massive amounts of landspace, I just don't know how you could acceptably occupy a similar amount area on water. That is unless the technology has advanced somewhat and not as many windmills are required to produce the same amount of energy.

Eh? (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938314)

Wind farms on the land take up massive amounts of landspace, I just don't know how you could acceptably occupy a similar amount area on water.
Surely there's much greater demand on land space than water space, especially at sea.
These windmills should produce more energy as there should be more wind available to them without land getting in the way.

Re:Large areas required (1, Insightful)

Robocoastie (777066) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938335)

Ok first off in order to do this one would need some extremely long chains hooked up to extremely gigantic concrete anchors. They'd likely make ones that hold bouies down look like mere bricks. Secondly, how would the generated power get to land where it can be used? Third, who would maintain these? The Coast Guard (I'm a USCG vet btw) maintains aton currently with their many 180' bouy tenders but those don't go that deep and the vast majority are by the nature of aton relatively close to port not in the ocean deep where these would be. The chains and anchors which need regular maintenance would require an ocean going tender to maintain these at the cost of several million dollars to build and multi-millions to maintain the ships and her crew each year. I'm not saying its not worth the money I'm just pointing out that there's a lot more to it than a bunch of floating windmills. I don't think an oil-like platform to put them on would work due to the sheer size they'd have to be - and with potentially incredibly small returns.

Re:Large areas required (4, Informative)

Chuckstar (799005) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938676)

Have you ever seen how big oil platforms are? BP's Thunder Horse is 112m wide, 136m long, and 130m high. It weighs 60,000 tons. GE's biggest turbines are 75m tall at the hub and weigh 300 tons. You could easily place one of these turbines at each of the four corners of Thunder Horse.

All the technology to build large and tall platforms, anchor them to the ocean floor, connect them under the sea to the land, disconnect them when a storm is coming so they can be moved out of the way, reconnect them, maintain them, etc. already exists in the oil platform industry.

These things probably are not as tall as oil platforms. They connect to land through cable which is relatively cheap to manufacture and install compared to pipelines which have to be carefully laid on the ocean floor and have to be designed not to leak oil all over the place. Living quarters would be drastically simpler because turbine maintenance takes many fewer workers than oil drilling (Thunder Horse has facilities for 229 workers to be stationed there semi-permanently). They don't need the same level of safety as oil rigs since they are not pumping and storing an environmentally sensitive substance. They don't need all the drilling and pumping equipment that oil rigs do (wind turbines are vastly less costly/complicated than oil rig equipment).

Can't comment on cost/return. Clearly if there's no return they won't get built, but the technology all exists and these things would be much, much cheaper than oil platforms.

Re:Large areas required (1)

washley (865407) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938404)

In case you haven't noticed, most of the Earth is covered in water.

Re:Large areas required (2, Interesting)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938445)

Yeah ... And less would be needed in some cases as the winds over open water dont have to deal with the land getting in the way and dissipating its force. (sounds silly but it happens) But sometimes land features can cause wind to bottleneck and concentrate in a certain area. This doesnt increase the energy, actually it decreases it as much is dissipated by the land but the energy left can be harnessed much more efficiently by a fewer number of turbines

Re:Large areas required (1)

Chalex (71702) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938493)

There is far more uninhabited water surface on this planet than habitable land surface.

Re:Large areas required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938669)

Uninhabited by whom?

Re:Large areas required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938570)

Considering there is 3 times as much area available over water than on land, something like 80% of land area cannot be used due to topographic challenges, 80% of the ocean surface is biologically inactive (and therefore has no environmental concerns), and wind currents over water are often far more steady than those on land, It's hard to understand why we *wouldn't* want to build wind farms on water. If you build it within +/- 5 degrees latitude, it isn't even subject to cyclonic (i.e. hurricane/tropical storm/tornado) storm threats.

Since the best place to build would be over deep (2000+ meters) water, you could incorporate a thermocline generator into the anchorage and generate even more power (indirect solar in this case) and grow food as well (deep-water nutrients brought up by the thermocline generators would support aquaculture in water that has no significant lifeforms otherwise). All of these characteristics combine to make this a great project for a developing nation near the equator, like Chile, the Philippines or India. The fact that it's designed to generate hydrogen, which could easily be sold to wealthy countries in America and Europe for automotive fuel, makes for a nice bonus.

Re:Large areas required (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938687)

Well, 3/4 of this planet is covered by water...

It Doesn't Matter (2, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938203)

I know that the article summary took great pains to point out that few birds are out this far from land, but you just know that one or two will be killed by one of these turbines. It is inevitable.

That said, no matter how much alternative energy sources are promoted by one faction of the environmental movent there will always be the fringe who hates any energy source that benefits humans. It is as if humans are not part of nature and that we are just a fucking infection that is destroying the Mother Earth (Matrix Agentism). It is chilling how much the rhetoric of Earth First! and other enviro-whackos mirrors that of fundamentalist theologies.

I hope this project can get funded. We need energy and there is no reason for us to not develop these resources for human use.

Re:It Doesn't Matter (2, Insightful)

gijoel (628142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938294)

"I know that the article summary took great pains to point out that few birds are out this far from land, but you just know that one or two will be killed by one of these turbines. It is inevitable."


I also think that it's likely that birds will become attracted to the platforms because of the fish that will gather to feed and hide around the platforms. Plus there are other denizens [signonsandiego.com] of the deep who will see this as a great place to rest and mate.

Re:It Doesn't Matter (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938362)

Holy crap! No wonder they took over the marina: people were feeding them. You can tell people all day not to feed wild animals and they won't listen. That is why you have attacks at Yellowstone.

Some folks just learn the hard way.

Re:It Doesn't Matter (5, Funny)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938304)

Yes, it's a shame that fringe reactionary groups have such a strong hold on our nation's energy policy. Why, just the other day ConocoPhilips was asking congress to allow them to use some of their tens of billions of recent windfall profits to research and provide clean, renewable energy. Wouldn't you know it, that huge Earth First! lobby managed to block any progress, just as they have for years and years!

I remember back in the 70s when Chevron's big solar arrays in Oklahoma were being continuously sabotaged by Greenpeace activists. The National Guard couldn't even hold off those lunatics long enough for Dick Cheney to finish cleaning the baby seals!

When will the insanity stop? When will the multinational megacorporations ever have a chance to be heard?

Re:It Doesn't Matter (3, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938324)

Yes, it's a shame that fringe reactionary groups have such a strong hold on our nation's energy policy.

Yes, let's look at how many new refineries have been constructed in the US in the last 30 years. And how many nuclear plants have been constructed in the same timeframe.

Your sarcasm doesn't measure up to reality, does it? The fact is, if the US had been continuing to build out its nuclear power capacity we may not be discussing energy strains the way we are today.

The primary contributors to the crash of oil prices in the mid-1980's was conservation measures combined with the expansion of US nuclear energy.

Conservation will only take you so far. After that, you have to develop new sources.

Re:It Doesn't Matter (4, Insightful)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938521)

Yes, let's look at how many new refineries have been constructed in the US in the last 30 years.

Yeah, those pesky environmentalists in control of all the oil companies decided that it made more sense to use old, grandfathered refineries than actually make new ones that complied with modern air regulations. The fact that it chokes off supply occassionally and raises the profits is a horrible side-effect for the poor companies.

And how many nuclear plants have been constructed in the same timeframe.

There are certainly many people who have an irrational fear of nuclear power, but I think the nail in the coffin of that particular enterprise was that nuclear wound up being no cheaper than anything else, and every plant would have been losing money if it weren't for the huge government subsidies.

The fact is, if the US had been continuing to build out its nuclear power capacity we may not be discussing energy strains the way we are today.

Indeed, and had we been continuing to build out wind and solar power, we would be even better off than with nuclear! But of course nobody is protesting wind and solar power, I wonder why we haven't invested in those with half the gusto we've spent trying to find a few million nonreplaceable barrels of oil off the coast of Florida? I've never heard of anyone getting sick from living next to a windmill.

Conservation will only take you so far. After that, you have to develop new sources.

Indeed -- and building more oil refineries is not "new sources". Drilling in Alaska, drilling off Florida, drilling anywhere is not "new sources". Call me when ConocoPhilips builds their first tidal generator in the Gulf of Mexico, and then I'll shed a tear for the Cato institute bravely fighting the environmental lobby that has been holding us back from any "new sources" of energy. I mean, it's not like we've had over 30 years to work on this stuff.

More Bullshit (3, Informative)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938594)

But of course nobody is protesting wind and solar power,

I can't take anything you write seriously.

You are so [bbc.co.uk] full [electricityforum.com] of shit that you can't escape your own narrow-minded rhetoric [oldhamadvertiser.co.uk] .

The ones I've cited were just the first three [google.com] entries.

Re:It Doesn't Matter (1)

clem (5683) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938532)

I believe the scarcity of refineries and nuclear plants has more to do with rampant NIMBYism than any love of environmentalists by the United States. I don't think you'll find many liberals or conservatives who want a nuclear reactor in their backyard.

Now the conservatives might want it in someone else's backyard, but not their own.

Re:It Doesn't Matter (0)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938651)

I believe the scarcity of refineries and nuclear plants has more to do with rampant NIMBYism than any love of environmentalists by the United States.

Possibly, but there is a great deal of "politics disguised as science" associated with nuclear power.

I don't think you'll find many liberals or conservatives who want a nuclear reactor in their backyard.

I'd take one. They provide power and jobs.

Now the conservatives might want it in someone else's backyard, but not their own.

You mean 'conservatives' or Republicans?

I doubt you mean conservatives.

Re:It Doesn't Matter (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938642)

Oh yeah. I really want (or expect) companies whose entire business is based on petroleum energy production making the primary investments into altnerative energy. Like a fox guarding the hen house, or better, Microsoft having the leading, government mandated open source license. Right...we won't reamed a new one from them holding the patent rights on the new tech, nah.

Are you freakin nuts? Wait, you were saying you like these fringe groups. (rubs eyes)

re fanaticism--The number one reason that energy use gets extended is economics, followed closely by technology and research. Not fanaticism.

Higher gasoline yield per product, including cracking? Chemists. Better gas mileage? Engineers. EPA decisions? Think less dependency or the nation's economy more so than the EPA folks listening to these fanatics. Many other reasons but just a few to throw out there.

More so, I would say fanaticism pushes people away; environmentalists of all stripes are often hated because the movement is hallmarked by these fanatics, who overshadow even when the more moderate environmentalists who may have correct but controversial proposals.

Worse, fanatics employ tactics on areas which are already recognize or solveable; the issues lie elsewhere. Sort of like the anti-hunger charities asking for donations when the problem with world starvation is not longer about availability of food but food being used as a governing or social and political tool.

re those record profits--A for-profit company making...profit. Shocking. They have a product in demand with supposed dwindling, even according to /.ers who state the world's reserves are on the decline. Supply, demand. Of course they are going to make more money. But that's the way of ALL industry, not just the energy market.

Further, just because a profit is posted doesn't mean it all goes to dividends. You might want to follow where the money goes before you bitch. Profits are used in many ways--dividends to investors, some as cash reserves, some are invested in looking for new oil/gas reserves, plenty is put into research, albeit to keep the energy competitive with alternatives.

You really want to make an impact? Form a company making home energy products on the cheap. Tell the government to take the immense tax revenue from fuel taxes and instead of spending it on pork and highways where none are needed, to invest it directly into alternative energy research. Combat the transportation and auto and airline lobbiests and force new standards on fuel economy for trucks, cars, and airplanes (yes, airlines suck fuel bigtime). That'll do a lot more than burning SUVs, hijacking fishing trawlers, or demanding solar grids be built on acres of land in the midwest.

chilling? not really. (1)

xilmaril (573709) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938333)

they're fundamentalists. people who believe their view is right, and anyone who would dare question it must die. funny thing, though. it doesn't really matter what their views are, the 'must die' thing is what's important and scary.

Fish (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938393)

Maybe benefits to fish could mitigate any problems for birds for people who are overly worried about this sort of thing. If a bunch of these were in an area and the area were off-limits to boats, in particular trawlers, then perhaps the sea underneath them would act as a reserve and mitigate over-fishing? I suppose it depends if these things would be deployed in a group over a large enough area or just dotted about the place individually.

Re:It Doesn't Matter (1)

LS (57954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938557)

Why is it that every time there's an article about alternative energy sources someone comes out cursing and spewing venom against some mysterious environmental faction that is theoretically against said technology? Where does your anger come from? You are going nuts before even hearing a single environmentalist rail against this tech. Is this leftover hatred regarding the nuclear energy thing? Whether your are right or not, your attitude only reinforces the behavior of those who like to bash anything "environmentalist", whether the idea makes sense or not.

What if every time there's an article on the GPL you post

"That said, no matter how much the GPL is promoted by one faction of the open source movent there will always be the fringe who hates any restrictive license that benefits humans...."

or take the recent article on telecommuting taxes - you could just come out railing against taxes in general. Or everytime there's an article on the ipod you post about how there's 50 other devices that are better and cheaper.

It's OFFTOPIC you anti-enviro-whacko. You only get modded up because there are a lot of other whackos on Slashdot who think like you.

Re:It Doesn't Matter (0)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938615)

Why is it that every time there's an article about alternative energy sources someone comes out cursing and spewing venom against some mysterious environmental faction that is theoretically against said technology?

Because they exist [google.com] .

Floating Wind Turbine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938205)

Is that like farting in the bath?

Gelling and Spammar (2, Funny)

Bullseye_blam (589856) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938212)

...which he says will enable them to have the consistency needed to be a primary grid energy provider, and not just supplemental to the gird.

I, for one, welcome our new gird overlords.

Re:Gelling and Spammar (2, Funny)

unitron (5733) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938611)

"I, for one, welcome our new gird overlords."

Time to change overlords again? Pardon me whilst I gird my lions.

I don't get it. (4, Funny)

Xarius (691264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938224)

Supplementing the gird is a commendable achievement.

Where are we keeping the real editors?

Re:I don't get it. (1)

LordMaxxon (898539) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938343)

you must be new here...

I don't quite understand... (0, Redundant)

fermizhang (895395) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938232)

I don't quite understand...What 'gird' means here?

Beowulf cluster (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938238)

Imagine a Beowulf cl... oh wait never mind.

Where the birds are few... (1)

MicroPat (895649) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938240)

enables them to take the turbines to where the wind blows and birds are few

See this Wired article: Unexpected Downside of Wind Power [wired.com]

Re:Where the birds are few... (1, Troll)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938361)

Gotta love when the 'environmentalists' find problems with a 'green' energy source.

But ... if we kill off the birds who are ultra-focused on their prey, and don't pay attention to their environment, wouldn't have leave a less crowded habitat for the non-stupid birds to thrive in? That would make the endangered species stronger in the long run.

(if we have creationist environmentalists, we can just tell 'em that it's part of a greater design, and it's beyond our understanding to try to make sense of it)

Re:Where the birds are few... (1)

Walker2323 (670050) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938741)

"where birds are few" - You mean in your average Slashdotter's bedroom?

If only... (1, Funny)

parasonic (699907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938249)

...his name were Tom Berners Lee, someone might take him seriously...

I know, I know

Re:If only... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938700)

...his name were Tom Berners Lee, someone might take him seriously...

I thought the article was talking about that drummer from Mötley Crüe. Never thought percussion and wind power went so well together. You live and learn.

Birds (5, Insightful)

Tim2005 (924108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938261)

According to this study reported by the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4072756.stm [bbc.co.uk] ) windfarms pose a low risk to birds. I believe buildings in general are far more of a threat.

And even if windfarms did pose a danger to birds, the benefits of a clean, sustainable energy source so far outweigh the downside of a few dead pigeons here and there, that it's silly to even contemplate the matter.

Re:Birds (4, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938303)

Here is a fairly comprehensive study [nationalwind.org] of hazards to avian populations from wind farms.

The threat isn't as small as a few pigeons, but it is an area where active research in avian behavior could reduce the number of impacts.

There isn't a single "zero impact" energy source. An environmental price for any energy source can be found if you look hard enough. The challenge is learning how to balance our need for energy with the size of the threat to the environment.

Re:Birds (1)

Tim2005 (924108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938403)

Great. Just make sure when you 'balance our need for energy with the size of the threat to the enviroment' you take into account the far more serious effects that traditional energy sources all ready do pose to the enironment and wildlife. No serious person can argue that windfarms aren't far more friendly to wildlife in general (and when you take into account habitat destruction from oil spills, deforestation, etc... to even birds in particular.)

Re:Birds (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938577)

you take into account the far more serious effects that traditional energy sources all ready do pose to the enironment and wildlife.

I do. The energy per pound of fossil fuels is a consideration when evaluating energy sources. I would rather we didn't rely so much on fossil fuel, but there is a vocal minority who has pumped the general public with excessive fear of nuclear power.

Re:Birds (3, Funny)

unitron (5733) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938638)

"... the far more serious effects that traditional energy sources all ready do pose to the enironment and wildlife. No serious person can argue that windfarms aren't far more friendly to wildlife in general..."

Now wait a minute. If it weren't for all those power lines to perch on the birds would have to keep flying until they dropped from exhaustion. :-)

Maybe we're looking at this wrong (1)

MechaShiva (872964) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938517)

Perhaps there is a way to use pigeons as energy. They may not burn as clean as oil but who cares. It'd still be two problems solved in my book.

Re:Birds (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938440)

Besides, if that many bird are killed I guess they will just have to evolve to not be stupid enough to fly into multi-ton blades that measure 100+ feet across and spin at 100+ RPM. I mean, jesus. Talk about a class *cough*biology class*cough* not worthy.

Heh

Developing Nations (4, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938268)

His objective in commencing this project 12 years ago was to come up with a power solution for developing nations
Jeebus, is that what the US is now? With all the bass-ackwards energy policy combined with a very aging grid control system, and nuclear paranoia (why the hell don't we reprocess [pbs.org] like France/Japan?)... perhaps we're ready for some serious diversity to increase the power stability of this country.

money? (1)

floppypond (925229) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938273)

His objective in commencing this project 12 years ago was to come up with a power solution for developing nations. Hardly seems affordable. And what about developing nations not near water?

Re:money? (1)

huhwhatduck (876137) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938300)

That's what really, really long cables are for. Come on. Haven't you thought this out? He's had twelve years to.

So that means... (4, Insightful)

SamAdam3d (818241) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938281)

"nearly ready to strike a deal to install"
in technology terms, you have got nothing.

I was ready to make a deal with a nice Nigerian fellow, but that doesn't mean a darn thing.

Orders of Expense (2, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938285)

Expensive: Electronic Goods.
More Expensive: Marine Goods.
Even More Expensive: Aero Goods.

Aero, electronic goods exposed to a marine environment ... Could we make that Monopoly Nuclear running NT too? Now that would be expensive.

Really, who knows, clever people can make anything work.

Re:Orders of Expense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938340)

Really, who knows, clever people can make anything work.

I dare you to find some clever person to make my perpetual motion electric generater work.

Re:French Orders and Civil Unrest Expense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938579)

In the slums of most French cities, they would turn your perpetual motion car over and burn it. Stupid Eurotrash animals. Are all Europeans this uncivilized and all their government officials that inept at resolving it?!? Do we need to send American troops over to France now as well? Wtf? Get your shit together Europe, and quit acting like the brutish teenage drunkard always calling to your reliable parent mother America to bail you out yet again.

Re:Orders of Expense (1)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938425)

Yeah -- that's the first thing I thought when I saw those machines sitting in the salt water. The turbines, rotors and so on will get bathed in warm salty vapor all the time -- how long will those things work under that abuse? 5-10 years?

Boats require legendary maintenance in order to survive such exposure. I can't believe those things will last. And they don't have precise moving parts, like this thing.

If it were made of plastic/composite it might have a chance -- but Oy Weh -- so much money.

Re:Orders of Expense (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938512)

Even More Expensive: Aero Goods.

You tell me! The price tag on the Nike Air was atmospheric, but something kept telling me to "just do it".

Yawn (2, Funny)

Kyeetza (927172) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938291)

"He has approached a number of power producers in the U.S., but has thus far been met with a yawn."

He must have been talking to VP Cheney and his Haliburton buddies....

Re:Yawn (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938398)

OMG LOLZ!!! Wow, take that CHENEY and Halliburton CORPORATE BASTARDS!! You sure showed the system, what a biting indictment of the American political system.

Wait, you mean Halliburton does construction on Offshore Windfarms too?? Well shoot, that's 6 seconds of googling for you..back to the basement!

http://www.halliburton.com/news/archive/2004/kbrnw s_011204.jsp [halliburton.com]

Correct me if I'm wrong... (5, Funny)

ta ma de (851887) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938302)

But shouldn't we be working to eliminate those pesky migratory birds; especially since H5N1 is milling about. Mulching birds should be listed a feature, a feature that is part of the fight to stop the bird flu. It could be a War-on-Avian flu, to be waged at sea, stopping migration before it starts. All good now.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (2, Funny)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938337)

Shit! I shot coffee on my computer screen.

You, sir, owe me one screen cleaning.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (2)

dfjunior (774213) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938363)

Don't you really mean delicious migratory birds?

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

mishagam (918459) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938420)

I applaud you comment. I would also add that we will be feeding fishes with these killed birds. (and also protect fishes from being caught after few fishing boats will drown after collisions with out wind farms).

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938662)

Dude... the plural of fish is fish. Unless you're three, in which case I suppose it might be fishies...

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938505)

Are we sure that aerosolizing infected birds high in the air is a good idea?

This is not feasible today (4, Informative)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938305)

The electricity->hydrogen->electricity cycle is only about 50% efficient using utility-scale 100MW plants (slightly lower for 1MW or so sized plants, and much lower for lab-sized plants). Right now there is so little wind power installed that the grid can easily handle large amounts of extra wind power. When 20% of electricity is coming from wind, then they'll start to be substantial benefits to power storage (though I see hydroelectric storage as a more practical form of storage than hydrogen, and that's good until renewables cover 100% of electricity demand and we're at the stage of needing liquid fuel for airplanes and vehicles).

Second, I believe that using a floating platform with very tall (~400 feet or so) structures is asking for trouble. Something floating is far more vulnerable to storms than a securely grounded pile. There must be a good reason it's not being done now.

Thirdly, why have the things so far from shore. Transmission losses (if undersea cables are employed) are large over such distances, and it does take quite a bit of aluminum to make such long wires. If a ship must come to load the hydrogen every once in a while, then you just added a large operating expense (and one of the nice things about wind and solar is very low operating expenses).

So why not stick to tried and true near-shore and land based wind turbines?

Re:This is not feasible today (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938367)

And if you are going out to sea, why limit yourself to wind? Why not use the currents as well?

As long as its out there... (2, Insightful)

Analogy Man (601298) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938484)

As long as you have a platform out there a number of systems could be added without compromising the turbines...
  • solar panels (or simpler reflectors heating water)
  • Thermal heat pump from heat differential between surface and deep sea
  • Extract energy from wave/tidal movement
  • aquaculture platform

Re:This is not feasible today (1)

bcattwoo (737354) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938412)

So why not stick to tried and true near-shore and land based wind turbines?

Because the rich beachfront property owners (yeah, yeah, yeah I know they are not all rich) don't want the former ruining their view of the water and the latter usually irk enough of the landlocked masses that they even have enough clout to keep them away.

By the way, don't assume that just because something has not been done before that there must be some good reason. Sometimes the reason that an idea has not been tried before is that people are lazy, uncreative, or afraid that there must be some good reason that it has not been tried before.

WHo is this guy? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938323)

Are we talking about another Moller here or what? "About to strike a deal?" In other words, no deal exists yet, and this is wishful thinking.

-jcr

Read article 15min. ago--BS detector still blaring (4, Interesting)

Tsar (536185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938339)

Has anyone with knowledge of actual power generation systems looked at this article?
  • The submitter is apparently the owner of the site where the article is posted--also of other "Free Energy" and survivalist supply sites.
  • The article gives no details about a technology which seems sketchy at best and pure BS at worst. This gap is covered by the ever-popular "U.S. companies had better hurry up, the Europeans and Asians are about to pay me BIG MONEY for my wonderful ideas!" Come on.
  • The only Dr. Thomas L. Lee [healthgrades.com] I could find is an MD in Texas, and the only Stanbury Resources [1800-homes-for-sale.com] I found sells real estate in Montana.
  • In the final analysis the idea sounds like a 7th-grade science fair project. Does he really think Slashdot readers will think that venture capitalists are lining up around the block to pay for this "idea?"
Sorry if I sound sarcastic, I must have gotten up on the non-gullible side of the bed this morning.

This is soooo stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938349)

These foolish ideas are always getting headlines. If this design were truly feasable - it would be in practice now. I work in wind energy and there are numerous reasons why a floating platform will never work.

1. The platform will be too heavy. Lifting an 80 ton generator and blades is impractical. To provide enough lift to keep this thing in the air and not have it blown back down would be nearly impossible.

2. Wires? Hello... did the inventor consider the additional weight of the wires to interconnect this thing?

Anyway - look at what is working now. There are countless "wackos" out there with a better idea... but very few of them are practical. The Vertical Axis (eggbeater type) of turbine is a perfect example. Great concept - has too many engineering problems.

Re:This is soooo stupid. (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938717)

These foolish ideas are always getting headlines. If this design were truly feasable - it would be in practice now

That doesn't make a lot of sense. there are many feasible designs that have never been made. Just because something is feasible, doesn't necessarily mean it will be produced.

a la Total Annihilation: (5, Funny)

greatgreygreengreasy (706454) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938365)

Floating wind turbines are fine, but only until you can get your tidal generators up, and those become obsolete after underwater nuclear is built. They are quite fragile, however, so be sure to protect them with Scooters or floating Defenders, to ward off trigger-happy Scouts... ;)

What stops it being blown away (1)

weharc (852974) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938366)

Hhhmmm, a giant floating thing out in the ocean, in windy spots. What stops it being blown away? Does it have some kind of motor to position itself? And what about ocean currents for the same matter. I suppose I'd better RTFA.

Re:What stops it being blown away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938446)

Umm.. an anchor?

Re:What stops it being blown away (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938742)

Arrrr, that's not an anchor! - The Sea Captain

mod Up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938397)

create, manufacture volume of NetBSD achievements that at this point mit wiil be among goals. It's when The mobo blew and arms and dick A child knows

They have the platform, deversify! (2, Interesting)

transami (202700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938401)

There's more they can do to increase to cost ratio. First, You're out in the middle of the ocean, plenty of sunlight out there, so cover the thing in Solar Cells. Secondly, you're out in the middle of the ocean, plenty of waves out there, why not pick up the wave energy. Third, you're out in the middle of the ocean, thers's a significant surface to deep ocean temperture differnential out there, pick that up with a sterling engine. And number four, if you produce the hydrogen/oxygen under water rather then on the surface you can allow it too rise to the surface and harvest bubble energy! ;)

Aside, I'm not so sure about the battery thing, unless they've improved battery technology there is low return on high cost. Hydrogen seems the better storage mechanism. And, uhm, how are they getting the electrcity to the grid if it's out in the middle of the ocean? Do they sail in and out to unload?

This is great until the next Cat 4 Hurricane.. (2, Interesting)

kevlar (13509) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938424)

This is great until the next Cat 4 Hurricane, then the whole system goes to hell. The problem with floating platforms is that if they are connected directly to the grid, then they are connected via a cable. You can't just drive something that tethered out of the way of a hurricane.

On the other hand, if you do not have them connected directly to the grid and generating power that way, then they'd need massive batteries to store energy until they can be shipped elsewhere.

I suppose if they are devoting all their energy towards electrolysis to make hydrogen, that that could be a solution, but I'm not entirely buying the idea.

Re:This is great until the next Cat 4 Hurricane.. (1)

KylePflug (898555) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938491)

Or you could just float it somewhere where you don't get hurricanes. Say the strait of juan de fuca or something.

Re:This is great until the next Cat 4 Hurricane.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938500)

Gee, this will obviously not be of any use to the 90% of the world that will never be affected by a hurricane..

Re:This is great until the next Cat 4 Hurricane.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938516)

This is great until the next Cat 4 Hurricane


Oh! Thanks! On the behalf of wind power advocates, thank you for pointing out this potential risk. Somehow we missed this and had not planned for WIND in our wind turbine plants. Cheese, no we must start all over again. Any place where it would never blow? Moon, perhaps? Safe wind power, straight from Moon. Would you like to join our research team?

Re:This is great until the next Cat 4 Hurricane.. (2, Informative)

Chuckstar (799005) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938520)

Sigh ... disconnect cable, attach cable to buouy, raise anchor, tow platform away (or include propellers on platform to sail away). This is the same process used by oil rigs.

Enough already. (-1, Flamebait)

sithkhan (536425) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938464)

C'mon - nuclear energy is past due in our country. There are two power sources on this planet not dependent upon the sun: geothermal and nuclear. America needs more nuclear plants; hell, we needed them twenty years ago. Stop throwing money into ventures that are not going to produce the dividens, and start putting money in the nuclear power plants. And please save the FUD about nuclear catastrophes/Chernobyl for someone else, or for another thread. It makes you sound like a fundamentalist*. *gasp* *Being a fundamentalist, that was the worst insult I could come up with. Nothing pisses off a liberal more than being called a fundy. hahahah ... I am t3h w1nn4h!!
---
You can also create new lines here if you want
Generated by SlashdotRndSig [snop.com] via GreaseMonkey [mozdev.org]

Security Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938467)

Do not forget the cost of security for the operation and the high susceptability to terrorist attacks.

USPTO Search (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938468)

Zip on Stanbury Resources.

If this is such a great technology, why isn't it covered under a patent?

Article Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13938496)

A vision to alleviate poverty.

RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, the E.E.U.U. -- twelve years ago routinely, when he lived in Africa, the Dr Thomas that L. Lee wished to do something to help to solve to the intermittent problem of the energy that he experimented. It felt that just he must have a way so that the energy is more reliable, buyable, and more accessible to people in the poverty-pressed areas of the world. After years of the investigation and the development, it now has arrived a point where it is ready to put his solution in execution, that he thinks could be one the most significant progresses of the world, "to give to developing countries the same advantage that now we have." The use would not be limited the underdeveloped countries. The green energy and the savings of the energy fuelless would be from interest to the countries also developed. All the nations are looking for effective ways to eliminate their dependency to not hardly contaminate fossil fuels and of suplementales sources, but for the primary capacities of the energy. The commercial energy of the wind in general reached the previous tug east year to down become competitive with conventional power plants of the grid, entering the 4-6 cents by range of the kilowatt-hour. (reference.) The invention of lees of a floating platform of wind-hydrogen with the storage of the battery, developed by its company, Stanbury Inc. Resources, obtains three things to push yet beyond that.

The Advantages
First, their turbines are designed to install on a floating platform, like an oil equipment, so they can go to where it is the wind -- it foments towards it go to the sea -- in the resistance to present/display the turbines outside coast of the wind, which they are due to locate near the coast in quite low waters to construct a platform on the floor of sea. The lees refer in a "shade of the wind" that extends between of a quarter of one mile as much as one mile complete towards outside the coast, dampening the wind force whereas it comes in earth. "we can go distant towards outside beyond that one, where it is the wind," to him we said. the "resources coast outside of the wind can be extremely more productive energy than terrestrial winds, if influenced particularly or affected by the great Earth they do not form". "in addition to the global oceanic unfolding, this technology also is satisfied ideally for the unfolding in the Michigan lake, in the Ontario lake, and other Great Lakes", he adds. If the tracks that they send allow, this one would allow the development of the energy without needing to use upon valuable earth in this high-populated region. Secondly, the company has a propietary method to slightly strike the energy of the turbine of the wind to efficiently turn the water of sea hydrogen, with a by-product of pure oxygen. Third, rather which the energy of the wind that is transported directly in the grid, is stored in a battery system so that he is available continuously and it can be used like primary system of energy of the grid. Whereas the batteries make the system more expensive than other systems of the wind, what it has been for the system able to be a system of primary energy, rather that suplemental just. Now the system can provide a continuous flow of the energy. But more importantly, a battery-based system has the advantage of being able to provide the energy in answer to the necessities with the grid. It can respond to the tips and to the valleys, rather which it had incline until load and then maximum sweepings everything, that is the case with atomic energy, and in an inferior degree with the coal, the natural gas, and the hydraulic electrical power stations of the grid. (reference.) "whereas the technology is new, one is based on well-proven principles of generation of the capture and energy of the energy, and is protected by at the moment until they finalize clear," it said lees. The two limaduras of the patent contain 45 demands around.

Aboard the platforms.

Although hydrogen it is burned clean, its production is tied typically to the processes of the contamination, and is accompanied by a loss of net energy, requiring more fuel to create than it emits. The system of lees produces clean hydrogen, without the contamination, of the energy that is free to take - wind. Its system does not go right of the turbines to electrolysis, but it implies the batteries. Although proprietor, lees this that the process was "embarrassingly simple." They do not allow to elaborate more far, only the states simply: "our new system of hydrogen has solved the dilemma of the deficit of the net energy." All the platforms of the company would not imply the production of hydrogen. The platforms in which the production of hydrogen would happen would absolutely need to be a greater small piece to contain the pressurized tanks that they maintain hydrogen. The hydrogen would be sent to the ports where it would be removed to data on the cars and the trains from the oil tanker. The petroleum ships would require the very small modification to hydrogen of the transport, lees this. The floating platforms would cause the minimum interruption down to the floor of sea, requiring as soon as a modified anchor to maintain moored them place. The platform would be carried out post next to a subaqueous keel, along with some dynamic controls of the ballast and a system of the case of the propulsion of the four-direction. The electrical cables that work of the platform to terrestrial would be small. Lees remembered the past again to 1870's when a cable of 4000 miles was worked from the United States to England. "to send a cable a long way has come, and is today very efficient, with very, very low resistance of the transmission" that he said. He anticipates that the distances of 1000 miles uniform would not be a problem for the platform, to locate it well, and later he transmits the electricity to his destination. Fitted nevertheless for the occupation, the platform would be navigable by remote control, with the continuous position of the GPS disclosing, and it would not require the occupation with exception for of occasional maintenance. Whereas the systems would be installed generally in the regions that are not like prone to the severe time, in the case of a storm that approaches, the platform is separated sailed, raising the anchors on the platform. With the systems and the prognosis of time based on the modern satellites, there would be forewarning ample to move the platform of the way of the damage in case of necessity. The lees said that the platform could move approximately 20 knots. Onboard system reeling of the cable could accommodate the movements of up to three miles without requiring the separation. If the electrical cables need to be separated, would be maintained in place by a buoy, until the platform returns. "all the this can be done by remote control", said lees. In addition to the considerations of the track of the shipment for the selection of the location of site, the flotilla of the turbine also would be located far from migratory ways of the bird. "and there is no noise," the lees adds, referring the distance that the turbines would be of border. Whereas the sound takes better on the generally flat surface of the water, the lees demand that as soon as a distance of the mile is adapted so that the noise dissipates to zero. There are "thousands" of advisable locations everywhere, according to lees. The lees anticipate these platforms that are installed in the regions of the third-world, subscribed by richer companies. He thinks that the companies would work with the local governments for the possible property and the control of part (until the point of the local government can allow himself), and later provides the energy in one more a lower tariff, and a stability much greater than possible for such countries at the moment. Whereas so filantropía of the rich companies in the west is rare, the lees said that it testified it in several occasions when living in Africa. The company has considered turbines of the vertical-axis, but it chose to go with the horizontal, turbines of the propellent since there is a great body much more of the data by which to determine the optimal combinations of the height, the diameter, the concentration, the required batteries, the electrical production, and of other variables in designing a platform. Whereas more information gets to be available in turbines of the vertical-axis, the lees anticipate that the company can begin to also use those. It prefers lees of the concessionaire of the United States this that they at the moment contract his company "to discussions that license of the technology outpost with a big European industrial group, and with an Asian industrial conglomerate." Both have aggressively been persecuting the technology and wanted the rights of exclusive license for the manufacture, the distribution, and the world-wide operation. Both are experienced in the industrial manufacture in great as well as in energy. The European interest also has experience in energy of the wind. "this would be a short jump for them," the lees this. The interest of lees in considering a license of the company of the United States the technology comes patriotism. "from 1777, my family has fought in each important conflict of the United States." "she would personally prefer to see global control of this technology remain in the hands of an American organization or of organizations." He has approached a number of producers of energy in the United States, but until the moment he has satisfied himself with I yawn. "they prefer to remain with that the coal is comfortable with -- [ generally ]; whereas European and the Asians have been extremely aggressive in desire to assure control this technology." "the United States is great in coming for above with the innovations, but they finish upon being turned outside the United States", the lees this. In Asia, the wind is not strip. It is of current. "each important company of the energy in China is implied in the development of the energy of the wind of a certain way," the lees this. "equal in Japan and Korea." The Asian interest wanted in good condition to have systems in the term of two years. "the European part is, although also they would be able to soon have something in the place that," said lees little more reclined. Founded around it does of one decade, Stanbury Resources, Inc., of which the lees are president, it is an investigation company and of development under property of lees of Howard it trusts, of which the lees are administrator. The last lees of Howard were father of Tom. In addition to the lees, that doctoral degree was in communications, the other three individuals in the company are the engineers, one of those who is a marine professional. This project coast outside of wind/hydrogen has been their exclusive center like company. This project coast outside of wind/hydrogen has been their exclusive center like company. They have constructed several prototypes in reduced scale of the design, in less than 1/100th-scale. They do not negotiate to the public company, and "the will" never is, said lees. In the future, it can be that they try some manufacture and operations they themselves, but for now they they are going to license to other companies to do this. The lees describe this like "opportunity of enormous business," and wish that an American company would express as much interest as the European companies and Asian they have. Stanbury Inc. Resources still does not have website, nor téngalas looked for means cover. This one will be the first significant cover that they have received.

Why not put the turbines underwater? (2, Interesting)

KylePflug (898555) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938498)

So I'm reading the article thinking "what keeps the platform from floating away?" and of course I think "Duh, anchors." So then I'm thinking "if we have a giant powerplant tethered securely to teh seafloor, why not put the turbines UNDER the water and harvest energy from tidal movements rather than wind? Surely there's more to be had there.

wow (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938501)

that Tommy Lee is amazing

i thought he just played drums and made, ehem, peivate videos

Kinda missing the point, isn't it? (4, Funny)

aiken_d (127097) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938537)

The floating platform enables them to take the turbines to where the wind blows and birds are few, and people even fewer. His objective in commencing this project 12 years ago was to come up with a power solution for developing nations.

If it's for developing nations, why not take it where the wind blows and the birds are many. He could provide power and an unlimited supply of pre-diced stir fry at the same time!

Cheers
-b

Real Advantage - Law of the Sea (4, Interesting)

Doug Dante (22218) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938587)

The real advantage of this system is that it's governed by the law of the sea. These vessels can fly flags of convenience and simply import Hydrogen. You want to complain that they're killing birds? Too bad They're bothering your politically-connected and oh so expensive Cape Cod view? Thanks for playing "We don't care".

And if one of our friendly, small, and oh so bribable CAFTA partners such as Costa Rica offers the flag of convenience, guess what? That hydrogen is entering the USA duty free! Don't try to stop it, or you'll end up in a corporate friendly and politically insulated CAFTA court.

The sad part is that just like Sea Launch, it's getting so that you have to move out of the country to avoid all of the hassles and get 'er done. Thus the biggest joke of the recent energy bill. A $500 million grant to pay for people to deal with the nuclear power bureaucrats in Washington so that we might ~think~ about making another nuclear power plant.
(Well, perhaps second biggest after that Alaskan bridge fiasco)

Which brings up a good idea. You might as well cut out all of this hippie wind power BS and build a nuclear power plant out at sea to generate electricity to distill water, split it, and make hydrogen. We must have a spare nuclear aircraft carrier around here somewhere. Sell it to Costa Rica and they can rent it out to "Clean Hydrogen At Sea Corp"

Business method patent pending. Send $100,000 and you can have it.

The hard part's done (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938622)

Now he just needs to make them self-replicating and he can harvest them at sea using the remains of the soviet/japanese whaling fleets.

Whew! Glad the power issue is finally fixed.

Sounds Like a PHISHING Scam to me.. (1)

TheCeltic (102319) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938675)

Weird. Just plain strange. They seem to think that the USA will react to "Europe and China want it". While it's still never been tested, could be copied if it did work.. etc. Very odd article. Surprised Slashdot posted one of such poor quality.

Must be an ex-NASA employee ... (4, Funny)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938693)

From a caption in TFA:
Stanbury Resources Inc. does not mount wind turbines on the sea floor, but deploys them on floating platforms on bodies of water of any depth, from 15 meters to 15,000 feet.

Nothing says bogus quite like changing units in mid-sentence.

A second article from this Bullshit site? (2, Insightful)

obby.net (772345) | more than 8 years ago | (#13938727)

Guys, wake up.

This article is barely worth discussion. These are the same clowns who set off our collective bullshit alarms in a previous Slashdot article [slashdot.org] . It's a shame they ganked that domain name(opensourceenergy.org), it would have made a great name for a collaborative site for use by actually reputable people.
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