The amount of energy available from hydrothermal vents is simply staggering. No other word truly conveys the mind-boggling volume of heat that can be recovered and converted to electricity.

It must be remembered that virtually all the electricity we use today comes from heat from one source or another, which is the most basic form of energy. Whether the heat comes from the burning of coal, oil, or gas, or whether from a nuclear reaction, ultimately the process is the same. Heat from some source is used to boil water and turn it to steam, and the steam drives turbines that generate electricity.

The enormous amount of heat available comes from the incredible volume of superheated fluid that can be recovered. The simplest way to envision this is to ask you to imagine a swimming pool with a gas burner underneath. Try to imagine how much energy it would take to bring that pool to a boil. Now further imagine that a pressure lid is snapped over the pool, and heat continues to be applied until the water's temperature is 400o C (750o F). Try to get a sense of how much heat would be required to accomplish that task. Since energy is reciprocal, the amount of energy available for recovery from that water is roughly equal to the energy it took to raise its temperature.

Now imagine almost one of those superheated swimming pools per second being delivered to the surface, with its heat extracted for use generating electricity. This is why the Marshall Hydrothermal Recovery System can claim to be more powerful than even nuclear energy. This unbelievable volume of 76,340,000 liters per hour (about 20 million gallons) at the extremely high temperatures cited is the source of that energy. Below is a screenshot of an energy calculator showing just how phenomenal that volume and heat energy really is.

Even more amazing is the effect of adding the thermal recovery pipe discussed on the last page. This simple addition, which draws nearly freezing water from the depths and uses it to increase the available energy by increasing the temperature differential, will actually increase the output by about 1.5 GW, or an amount that is by itself far greater than the output of the vast majority of power plants now operating. As a measure of comparison, Hoover Dam's output is about 2 GW, and the largest nuclear plant in the U.S. is about 4 GW. The only difference between the two sets of figures is the ambient temperature the calculations are based on. Instead of 20o C (room temperature), the figure is now 2o C, or just above freezing.

Why the Marshall Hydrothermal Recovery System is Better

The Sun is the ultimate soure of all our energy.  Its constant thermonuclear fusion reaction sends an enormous amount of energy to the Earth.  Every day solar energy heats up our planet and allows life to flourish.  Over eons, light energy captured by plants and animals which then die and decay has been turned into the fossil fuels that we currently use, with an energy content so dense that they cannot be matched currently with existing renewable technologies. These fossil fuels, which include oil, natural gas, and coal, will eventually be depleted.  The threat of peak oil, or depletion of oil, is real and it must be dealt with via diversification of our energy sources or someday we will literally run out.  Efforts to replace fossil fuels with current alternatives have shown they could never realistically be scaled up to a point where they could replace all fossil fuels we currently use to power our energy-intensive economies.

Wind, solar, and tidal energies are unreliable and they cannot provide power 24/7.  Geothermal cannot replace the amount of electricity generated by coal since there aren't enough good locations for geothermal plants and the energy is not dense enough.  Hydrogen cannot be used because it does not exist in a natural state with large deposits for us to extract.  Nuclear fission is too dangerous to rely upon solely, and the waste it generates has to be stored somewhere forever.  Nuclear fusion is decades away and may be thermodynamically impossible because of the difficulty in controlling the large amounts of energy required to initiate the reaction and then to control the energy released.  The true cost of biofuels is hidden by subsidies from the cheap energy provided by traditional fossil fuels.  Only the Marshall System is able to provide enough energy to replace these fossil fuels cleanly and efficiently.

Geothermal uses the Earth's heat as does hydrothermal energy, but it is much less efficient.  That is because equivalent temperatures and flow volumes can not be obtained.  From the surface, temperature increases with drilling at a rate of about 3o C per 100m of depth.  One would have to drill 2.7 km deep just to get water to the boiling point. With geothermal, water is either pumped down using external energy, or it is provided by underground aquifers, yet it rarely reaches more than 150o C.  That does not even approach the 350-400o C temperatures of hydrothermal vents.  One look at the flow levels shown in the screenshots above makes it obvious that geothermal simply can never even approach the volume or constancy of the energy provided by hydrothermal vents.  This uninterrupted energy source can provide energy 24/7 and can be used to provide baseload power and actually replace existing plants..  As a means of comparison, the entire worldwide geothermal electrical generation capacity from all existing plants combined was only 10 GW in 2007.  That much energy could be obtained from one location using the Marshall Hydrothermal Recovery System.

The cheap, renewable, abundant, and clean electricity produced by the Marshall System would be transmitted to shore, but some of it could also be used to generate hydrogen gas via electrolysis which could then be compressed and stored for transport.  There is no viable alternative to fossil fuels except for the Marshall System.  Utilizing hydrothermal vents is vital to help secure our energy future.