Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 794583, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/794583
Review Article

Energy at the Junction of the Rivers Negro and Solimões, Contributors of the Amazon River, in the Brazilian Amazon

Instituto de Pesquisas Hidráulicas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, P.O. Box 15029, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Received 14 June 2014; Revised 20 August 2014; Accepted 5 September 2014; Published 30 October 2014

Academic Editor: Anna Stoppato

Copyright © 2014 Alexandre Beluco and Paulo Kroeff de Souza. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Negro and Solimoes rivers join in front of the Brazilian city of Manaus to form the Amazon River. This “meeting of the waters” is a natural phenomenon of great aesthetic beauty that has been the focus of attention of researchers all over the world in various scientific fields. The waters of the Negro are darker and warmer, while the waters of the Solimoes are lighter and cooler. These waters have very different characteristics and remain without mixing, flowing side by side for several miles. Some reports indicate a temperature gradient between the waters of the order of 6°C, which can be used in conjunction with very high flow rates delivered by the two rivers, with a heat engine operating on a thermodynamic cycle to provide electricity. This review paper identifies this energy resource and presents a preliminary assessment of the potential for power generation. A realistic assessment of the potential points to an available power of about 1 GW. It is clear that further studies are needed to accurately assess the available thermal gradient and its variation over time, to move forward in the design of the power converter, and to establish an appropriate location for a power plant.