Saturday, December 09, 2006

Pop quiz

Ok, boys and girls. Today the question is how much electricity can be generated by the proposed Red Sea Dead Sea canal. I have previously cited a number of 100 MW, which an American brief on the project used. On the occasion of a donor meeting in Amman to fund a feasibility study, the press is parroting a 550 MW estimate. This is a big difference. Which number is true?

To help you figure it out, you can use the following equation. The volume of water to be pumped is 1900 million cubic meters a year, which works out to 60 cubic meters per second (I have made this too easy). Head is 400 meters. Don’t forget to divide the result by 1000 to convert from KW to MW.

Clock’s ticking.



At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 12:57 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Congrats! Now you see how politics in Jordan can even change the laws of physics.

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wait a minute, this doesn't make sense..

I'm not up to date concerning the canal. You say the water will be PUMPED from the red sea to the dead sea?
You need power to pump the water.. and you want to generate power from the flowing water?

To generate electrical power, the water must flow naturally down hill (which makes sence)

The amount power you can generate depends on the type of generator you use, obviosly.. Which maybe explains the three inconsistent numbers.
I have no experience in generators, so I'll stop here.

At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol, you know you should contact them and point it out.

At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great blog.

I love this blog.

As a Westerner living here in the ME I always ask my 20-something friends why they don't get involved in politics and they say that everyone in politics is corrupt. OK, so you get involved and don't be corrupt.

But then I always get the same answer: I don't come from the right family. (Or once: I am not strong enough, I would become corrrupt.)

Would love your thoughts on this topic.

At 11:17 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Samir: The water will be pumped to the highest point in the Araba valley. As best as I can estimate from Google Earth, this is about 200 meters above sea level. Then the water will flow down to the Dead Sea, at 400 meters below sea level. Thus the net vertical displacement for the water is 400 meters.

The 190 MW figure assumes that the 200m upward pumping will be completely compensated by the the downward flow later. This is technically impossible, as the efficiency in pumps is never 100%. The calculation also assumes an 81% conversion. Even if the efficiency reaches 100%, then the maximum power generated will be at 235 MW. No system can be expected to reach 100% efficiency.

Hamzeh: And ruin the fun? Somebody will figure it out eventually.

Alex: Blush. Thanks. As for corrupt politicians, I think that Jordan does not have a monopoly on them. My feeling is that most young people stay away from politics because there are few viable political parties that represent what they feel and think.

The right family argument is silly. A feeling of injustice should spur activism, not dampen it.

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see on Sunday Jordan/Israel/PA signed an agreement to proceed with a feasibility study for the "Two Seas Canal" multi-billion dollar project to bring water to the Dead Sea from the Red Sea for the purpose of generating electricity, increasing the amount of fresh water available through desalination and replenishing the dying Dead Sea.

However Middle East branch of the Friends of the Earth environmental organization said it was not a good idea because it could endanger the ecosystems of the Gulf of Aqaba, the Arava and the Dead Sea itself.

Has there been any discussion on this topic in Jordan?
--- G.

At 7:13 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Anon: Some of the FOE points valid. Most are not. I might get to it later.

At 12:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Khalaf can I use your equation in my next article in Addustour which will be on the Canal and referring to the source of information as a "Jordanian blogger"?

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Batir: It is not my equation. I am simply pointing out how it can be used to quantify the electricity potential of the canal.

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer nuclear power. Costs less and can give us a bomb too. What'dyathink?

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

I agree. Except for the bomb part.



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