Episode 61 | Ambidextrous Airship | Chaac Technologies
I’m a huge hydroelectric supporter, and always disagree with the notion that our hydropower potential is tapped out. As this week’s guest shows, there’s a completely untapped hydroelectric potential floating above our heads.
Jake Hammock, co-founder and CEO of Chaac Technologies, may have a solution. He and his partner Sam Kimzey are proposing condensing water from clouds and humid air to generate hydropower. Chaac, the company namesake, is the Mayan rain god. Jake hopes his company will produce lightning and rain in the form of hydroelectric energy.
Jake says he got the idea while watering his plants while living in the D.C. area. Using an industrial-sized humidifier, similar to the one found in many basements, he believes he can tap the atmosphere for water and energy.
He’s also proposing a blimp or airship to house the intake fans, condensers, dehumidifiers, and water bladders. Once the bladders are full, the water will pour down a flexible water tube to the earth below, and run a turbine.
“These will not be the small, RC blimps that we can put out on the table,” says Jake. “These will be mini mall-sized.” He estimates that could be about 250 feet in length.
Jake says 1,000 gallons/min could produce about 5 MW/h of electricity, about the size of a wind turbine. The water tube would be 6-36 inches. The commercial-scale blimp would be surrounded with about 100 air-intake fans.
The blimp would hover about 1,000 feet overhead. However, mountains cause friction with clouds. For their pilot, Chaac has located a mountain in Utah with a 1,200-ft dropoff. Jake says they will position the blimp over the butte creating the same result.
In addition to the site’s unique features, Jakes says he chose Utah for its severe drought conditions, humidity levels, welcoming renewable climate, and harsh air quality index. “It turns out that the Beehive State in Utah was the perfect candidate,” he says.
Jake also believes they could help alleviate the “Inversion Layer,” in the Salt Lake area, which is caused by warm air trapping pollution close to the ground. “We would have the ability to condense inversion completely and eradicate it,” he says.