Solar Sea Power is one of the unusual technologies in history, in that it did not progress in capability much since its first invention by Jacques d’Arsonval in 1881. It has been reinvented several times since then (at least 14 instances, probably more), which is not unusual by itself, as explained in the paper, however, the lack of progress in technological sophistication is unusual, unless the design is dominated by an established, older, paradigm. Some of these repeated inventions were need-based, such as Claude’s, intended for French colonial Africa; few or none matched periods of increased interest in solar power. Even though individual inventors developed Solar Sea Power (SSP), governments were considered likely to advance the technology and apply it for the first 90 years or so of its existence. Recently, this task has been abandoned by deep-pocket governments and left to small, specialized companies such as Anderson’s. Examples of the former are the plant design intended for a lake in northern Italy and the mega-plant with identical technology designed under the Energy Research and Development Agency (ERDA) sponsorship by TRW, a government contractor since sold to an aerospace firm. SSP plants do not produce much electricity, but since a portion of the output is used for operation, it is free to operate, and constantly renewable. It is even more reliable than wind power, in that the temperature differences in suitable water are always there, but wind, a product of many factors, is not blowing at all times.
Solar Sea Power: Over a Century of Invention
Tomayko, JE. "Solar Sea Power: Over a Century of Invention." Proceedings of the ASME 2005 International Solar Energy Conference. Solar Energy. Orlando, Florida, USA. August 6–12, 2005. pp. 565-572. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ISEC2005-76093
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