Imagine the fabled city of Atlantis rising from the ocean depths; a beautiful futuristic wonder of curves and domes set upon the sparkling sea where a diverse, multiracial, multicultural, highly educated society prospers and enjoys radiant health while living extraordinarily long lives.
Though Atlantis passed into history and mythology long ago, it still lives in the hearts of many of us as a symbol of a time when an advanced civilization lived prosperously and harmoniously upon the Earth. With all the people on this planet, do we not have the knowledge and tools to recreate such a shining light? You may ask, "But where could we build such a place that isn't already inhabited and/or controlled or ruled by some other entity?" Seventy percent of the Earth's surface is water, so why not look to the sea?
The Celestopea Project is the planned ecological, colonization of the earth's oceans through a series of self-sufficient, semi-autonomous floating communities located in international waters and incorporating innovative new technologies, industries and social organization. The residents of these future cities throughout the world will show by exemplary actions that people of different races and divergent political, religious, cultural and social beliefs can live and prosper together while also being good stewards of the earth, respecting and thereby benefiting all inhabitants and ecosystems of the planet.
If the Celestopea Project planned to build the floating city out of any conventional material, it would be cost prohibitive to the tune of billions of dollars. Fortunately, a new technology was pioneered in the early 80's by a University of Texas professor, Wolf Hilbertz that allows us to create buildings and even artificial islands from the minerals dissolved in seawater. It is similar to the way shellfish create their shells. This process is called by various names, Seament, Seacrete and Sea Cement being chief among them. Nancy Myers, a Celestopean and graduate student in Northern California, is currently doing experiments to create Seament in Humbolt Bay to perfect the technology.
Early Seadomes, slated to begin construction in 2002, will be made of ferrocement, a tried and true media that has been used for over 100 years to build the most durable ships that float the seven seas. Ships built of cement during the first decades of the twentieth century are still floating while many later generations of steel-hulled ships have rusted through and sunk to the bottom.
Celestopea Seadomes are designed like no other structures on earth. Because they will be subject to the unforgiving marine environment, they must not only be uniquely resistant to corrosive elements but also inherently stronger than similar land-based structures. The challenge becomes to create floating homes that meet high structural engineering requirements while maintaining graceful, beautiful and aesthetically pleasing designs.
Perhaps the most ambitious and world changing undertaking of the Celestopea Project is the creation of a grid of Ocean Thermal Energy Converters (OTECs) to power the world into the 21st century and beyond. OTECs take advantage of the perpetual difference between the temperature at the surface of the tropical oceans and the cooler temperature 3,000 to 4,000 feet below the surface.
This temperature variation is used to generate totally pollution free electricity from an inexhaustible renewable source. In fact, each day the 23 million square miles of Tropical Ocean absorbs an amount of solar energy equal in heat content to 250 billion barrels of oil. By way of comparison, all the countries of the world together consume about 65 million barrels of oil each day. If our worldwide grid of OTECs are only able to extract 1/10th of 1% of the daily solar radiation, they will produce 20 times the daily amount of electricity currently consumed by the United States. See http://celestopea.com/otecs1.jpg .
Only a small amount of energy is required to pump large volumes of water 4,000 vertical feet up from the ocean depths because water is basically neutral buoyant. Energy is only required for the pump to overcome the difference between the density of the cold deep ocean water and the less dense warmer surface water, plus the small amount of friction created as the water passes through the pipe. Water pumped up from 4,000 feet below would only require the energy needed to pump the same volume of water up 24 feet on the surface. A 100 megawatt OTEC will consume 41 megawatts to pull up the water while operating, leaving a net of 59 megawatts available for other uses.
Hydrogen and oxygen are additional fuel byproducts of OTEC operation. Water, in its elemental form is H2O or two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. It is somewhat ironic to think that water is used to put out fires, yet the two elements it is composed of, hydrogen and oxygen, are both highly flammable. These two elements can be separated from the liquid water by a process known as electrolysis. Direct solar cell electricity can be used to accomplish this. The resulting oxygen can be released into the atmosphere to replenish the atmospheric oxygen content, which has diminished over the millenniums. The hydrogen can be used directly as fuel for virtually everything gasoline or oil are currently used for. Hydrogen is such a pollution free fuel that the mayor of Chicago recently drank from the tailpipe of a hydrogen-powered bus to demonstrate the purity of its emissions.
Inexhaustibly renewable, pollution free energy is merely the beginning of the benefits of Celestopean OTECs. Tropical oceans are nearly empty of life even though the common conception is just the opposite. In reality, because growing conditions are so ideal, the algae, which are the base of the food chain, bloom in explosive growths that rapidly consume all nutrients in the water such as nitrogen. They quickly die and fall to the ocean bottom leaving the surface fairly devoid of life. The nutrient rich water Celestopean OTECs pull up from the ocean depths will instigate an explosion of new life in the oceans. The resulting micro algae and phytoplankton growth, continually fed by new nutrient rich water pulled up by the OTECs will become the base of a tremendous increase in many types of fish and higher forms of marine life. Celestopeans will also farm the algae, both on the open sea and in large, shallow containment ponds. The combination of tropical sun, perfect water temperature, nitrogen, and nutrient laden water will produce copious amounts of high quality protein each year. As additional Celestopean cities and OTECs begin to be created in the world's oceans, the protein produced from our sea farms will make a significant dent in the worldwide problem of hunger and malnutrition.
According to the United Nations, an adult person should receive a minimum of 35 grams of protein every day. Each 100-megawatt OTEC will have the capacity to pump 6 billion gallons of deep ocean water rich in nitrogen, the food of phytoplankton. A gallon of seawater contains 1.7 to 1.8 milligrams of nitrogen. Phytoplankton are extremely efficient. They can convert 78 - 80% of the nitrogen into usable protein. The nitrogen in the daily pumped water of a single OTEC can be converted by the phytoplankton into over 8 tons of protein each day, of which 65% will be high quality protein. When harvested and manufactured into a tasty, consumable form, enough protein is produced to meet the needs of almost 150,000 people each day, and that's the results of just one OTEC!
The 40-degree deep ocean water can be mixed with warm surface water in any proportion to produce greenhouse and sea farm environments with temperature ranges between 45 and 90 degrees. This allows mini ecosystems to be created that can grow virtually all fruits and vegetables from any continental climate. In addition to tropical fish, the sea farms will also raise many types of cold-water fish and shellfish such as salmon, trout, lobster, abalone, oysters and clams that would not normally survive in warm tropical waters.
OTECs will also be used to desalinate seawater to produce 100 percent pure drinking water. OTECs set up off the coast of Africa, Australia and the Middle East can provide a great abundance of fresh water. Not only will this allow deserts to blossom as roses, but it will also remove scarce water supplies as a thorn of contention among nations. A 2-megawatt (net) OTEC will produce 4300 cubic meters of desalinated water each day by condensing the spent steam created in the electrical generation process on the cold seawater intake pipes.
Many minerals and chemicals can also be derived as byproducts of OTEC operation from the 57 elements dissolved in solution in seawater. Besides the fuels hydrogen, oxygen and methanol, other byproducts include ammonia, salt, and chlorine. Additionally, when Celestopean Elemental Separators are utilized, gold, platinum and other rare and precious elements can also be economically extracted. Past corporate analysis has always shown such ventures to be unprofitable because the cost of pumping the large volume of water necessary to extract significant amounts of minerals exceeds the profits. This main obstacle is overcome as the OTECs will already be pumping vast quantities of water for other purposes.
Based upon the current cost of component parts and the operations of existing OTECs at the University of Hawaii, the cost of building a 100-megawatt OTEC in 1999 US dollars with existing technology, will range from $157 to $175 million dollars. The costs should rapidly begin to fall as OTECs built by both the Celestopea Project and other groups begin to proliferate around the world. It is such a viable and environmentally friendly technology that we would expect many other countries and companies to soon be employing and duplicating it.
The oceans are a vast storehouse of energy, food and minerals. They are inexhaustible when utilized through OTEC technology. For those concerned about affecting the current ocean equilibrium, our small pumping efforts, as enormous as they may seem to us, will have absolutely no detrimental effects. As long as the sun shines, the oceans are an eternally renewable resource when tapped through OTECs. The oceans contain about 300 million cubic miles of seawater, of which three quarters is nutrient rich at depths greater than 3000 feet. That's equal to 225 million cubic miles of water. About 1/10th of 1% or 225,000 cubic miles of water is replaced each year by new water down welling, particularly the cold oceans near the poles.
Each 100-megawatt OTEC will pull up 1.9 cubic miles of deep ocean water annually. 10,000 OTECs would only consume 19,000 cubic miles of the energy and food potential of deep ocean water. That's less than 10% of the annual replacement supply, yet it would be enough to produce 1,000,000 megawatts of electricity and meet the annual protein requirements of 2 billion people!
"So where and when do we get started?" We have actually been laying the groundwork for the past several years and are looking to begin construction on the first floating ferrocement domes this next year. The first City of Celestopea is scheduled to be completed by the year 2011 but we plan on selling Sea Domes to the public as floating homes within the next couple of years.
Currently, we are seeking visionary artists to create their vision of Celestopea so the Architects and Engineers can craft the dream. If you are of such talent and are interested in investing your time and expertise, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just as "the people" built the great pyramids of Egypt which centuries later, are still one of the absolute wonders of the world, let "the people" build Celestopea. Let us bring our knowledge, talents and abilities together to build our "City of Dreams" and as prophesy decrees, let us be the heralds of peace, prosperity and unity of all the people upon the Earth.