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June 27, 2007

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The Anonymous Poster

They should put a wind turbine on top of that.

KZ

I'm sure there's actually a good reason, so could someone explain to me why tidal and offshore windturbines are never put together? Is it because tidal needs to be in more shallow water where offshore wind is seen as an eyesore? Is it because the power/voltage conversions are done on shore, so mixing the tidal and wind outputs causes a problem? It just seems that if you're going to plant something into the ocean bed (expensive) and run power cables to shore (expensive) that dropping tidal props on an existing wind turbine is a no-brainer. Clearly I'm incorrect. Someone please explain...

George Bruce

Any projections on costs per kw of delivered baseline power?

Jules

No, they should put a wind turbine AND a solid oxide fuel cell on top of it. DRX would be in hog heaven with that configuration.

greg woulf

I think adding wind makes sense, but this is a prototype of the tidal generator.

If it's successful, then they can think about making deals with wind turbine companies to package the two together.

Kit P.

There are no good reasons to put thing in the ocean.

Putting a wind mill on top would only compound the environmental insult.

I am skeptical of the manufacture claims that it is clean and sustainable. The reason many renewable energy developers do not discuss environmental impact in quantitative terms is that the environmentalist would draw the same conclusion.

nath

Very interesting technology; are there similar tidal generators in USA? It should be an unlimited source of energy.

Kit P.

Nath, I can not think of any place in the US that would have that good of tidal resources. However, several wave renewable energy projects are in the works. This technology is not very sustainable. The ocean is a very unforgiving place to put a power plant. Land lubbers dream on.

Calamity

"No, they should put a wind turbine AND a solid oxide fuel cell on top of it. DRX would be in hog heaven with that configuration".

That SOFC could run on the local marine wildlife that's shredded in the blades of the tidal generator. Lots of BTU's in fish oil.(The blades would have to run much faster though)

Solid Oxide Fish Cell.

Off course, Doc X won't be pleased anymore...

Lenny

I posted a comment about this on treehugger where I sort of indirectly asked Jim to post this on this site so we could have some good discussion.
That said I'm quite disappointed with the discussion so far.

Lenny

I posted a comment about this on treehugger where I sort of indirectly asked Jim to post this on this site so we could have some good discussion.
That said I'm quite disappointed with the discussion so far.

Calamity

Most tidal energy schemes require massive concrete constructions to trap the water, which increases upfront capital costs so much that it really becomes a non-starter.

This modular design changes that, which might make it more widespread instead of remaining a rare curiosity. Tidal energy has a lot of potential and is very easy to predict over longer periods of time (making it more easy to integrate with baseload especially in conjunction with wave power).

Water usually doesn't flow as quickly as the wind can blow but makes up for it by being much denser. Durability is an issue but not impossible to solve, it's more likely to be an engineering challenge.

Jules

"Solid Oxide Fish Cell"

That's a good one. It certainly does conjure up some interesting mental images...

Lenny

I'm thinking might it be possible with enough of these machines in a certain area (say Scotland as they seem to have good tide resource) would it be possible in times of spring tide to turn all else off for 2 days. That would be perfect if it's possible.

averagejoe

"A number of possible sites have been identified in Scotland. The Pentland Firth has been described as the Saudi Arabia of the world's future tidal industry, which is capable of providing up to 10% of the UK's energy demand alone. Scottish Enterprise has estimated that 34% of the UK's electricity demand could be generated by tidal currents."

http://www.renewscotland.org/sea/tidal.html

"Professor Bryden, of the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, will present findings of research at the World Renewable Energy Congress in the US... He said: "If you go above the guidelines that we are suggesting then you would produce a local slowing of the tidal flow which could have an influence on marine life - sea birds, marine mammals, fish - we don't at this stage know how severe that impact would be."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/3580484.stm

Sounds like the usual story: lots of potential and lots of details to work out.


Calamity

"I can not think of any place in the US that would have that good of tidal resources"

Unlimited is exaggerated. According to the EERE:

"Some of the oldest ocean energy technologies use tidal power. All coastal areas consistently experience two high and two low tides over a period of slightly greater than 24 hours. For those tidal differences to be harnessed into electricity, the difference between high and low tides must be at least five meters, or more than 16 feet. There are only about 40 sites on the Earth with tidal ranges of this magnitude".

But also:

"Currently, there are no tidal power plants in the United States. However, conditions are good for tidal power generation in both the Pacific Northwest and the Atlantic Northeast regions of the country".

And:

"Tidal power plants that dam estuaries can impede sea life migration, and silt build-ups behind such facilities can impact local ecosystems. Tidal fences may also disturb sea life migration. Newly developed tidal turbines may prove ultimately to be the least environmentally damaging of the tidal power technologies because they don't block migratory paths".

If the tidal turbines are carefully constructed and site selection is done with the environment in mind, the impacts may be kept to a minimum. And the blades run rather slow, so they won't damage the local fauna as much as I was joking about earlier. There goes that Solid Oxide Fish Cell idea...


amazingdrx

Well actually algae could be collected and converted to biogas for a seabourne solid oxide fuel cell/turbine, hehehey. This removes extra nitrogen from fertilizer run off from manure, sewers, and chemical farming. It would work at the mouth of rivers especially.

A wind powered version could even suck up sediment and weeds from choking and dying lakes and rivers. the sediment cooked down in biodigestors to remove contaminants like mercury and the GE PCBs in the hudson river.

I would prefer that floating wind turbines be mounted on wave generating platforms of the toroidal design. the waves break over the edge of the donut and flow down through the donut hole powering turbine blades. A 1500 foot diameter unit should produce around 20 megwatts in a good location.

If ocean currents or tidal currents can be harvested in the area an underwater turbine could extend from the bottom of the platform.

The underwater, wind, and wave power inputs could all power a generator set through a flywheel to smooth the power flow. One generator set with three inputs floating offshore out of sight and mind of NIMBYs, protecting coastal fisheries from industrial 40 mile net fishing.

A line of these every mile or so along our coasts would power the whole country. Vote for me for energy sectretary under the Hillary administration! Hehehey.

Calamity

Those algae powered SOFC's wouldn't produce much power though. You'd need fairly high concentrations of algae in the water otherwise you might end up using more energy for the pumps than the SOFC puts out.
(EROI <1)

amazingdrx

Well the river current carrying the algae overgrowth from fertilizer run off would power the filtration nicely. Ocean and tidal currents could serve this purpose as well.

Look at all the pollution related red tide poisoning going on now. A cure is needed lest we lose all our fisheries to these plagues. Added to energy platforms that collect energy from wave, wind, and currents, these filtration systems would pay their way nicely.

But why not mount oyster farms along the wave collection surfaces as well? they are mounted on docks and breakwaters now and are helping replace the jobs lost in the fishing industry from overfishing and pollution. It's a very valuable seafood product that could pay the bills. And farming them further out at sea would provide a much cleaner, safer food source.

Maybe the fishermen objecting to the Cape wind project, for instance, would see it in a more favorable light if they were allowed to farm oysters on floating facilities off the wind tower locations?

Calamity

It sounds very promising for dealing with fertiliser runoff. But what will happen to all that nitrogen in the SOFC? Not turned into NOx I hope...

amazingdrx

Ahh.. no the nitrogen goes into the fertilizer. The biogas is methane. No nitrogen in it.

The cO2 emitted by the fuel cell is perfect for enhancing algae growth in solar collectors to produce biofuel.

Algae grown in tanks where concentrating collectors channel the light down into the tanks would seem to solve the cost problem with algae biodiesel production. Pyrolisis using the waste heat of the fuel cell is a good way to extract and refine the oil for biodiesel, then the rest of the algae is tuirned into charcoal soil amendment to act as a carbon sink.

That makes up the carbon debt for using the biodiesel to power backup generation fuel cells for plugin electric vehicles.

Chris

I've read about perpetual wave motion and turbine powered electricity and find it fascinating. The perpetual currents of the oceans could potentially solve all the world's energy needs - just waiting for it to become mainstream - I even did a note about it on my blog at http://www.creativeexpression.org/wordpress

What does it take for this type of technology to make it into the mainstream or popular media? Also very interested in bio-fuels that come from waste vs. illogical use of corn (can't fathom the efficiencies there - just the special interests).

The Ville

The first commercial scale turbine is being installed next weekend (5 April 2008).
A small marine turbine farm is already scheduled to be built using a number of these devices.
This isn't actually a prototype as such, the prototype was 4 times smaller and performed better than expected for some 3 years.

Libby Murphy

Check out my new website to learn about the basics of tidal power and development in the US!

www.tidalpowerUS.com

oilfield equipment

this is going to be so good to see. i am glad they are doing this.

www.carbonfreeenergy.cn

Yes, you are right.

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JL CarbonFree Energy Co., Ltd http://www.carbonfreeenergy.cn http://carbonfreeenergy.en.alibaba.com

Generators For Home Generators

"Well actually algae could be collected and converted to biogas for a seabourne solid oxide fuel cell/turbine, hehehey."

This is actually a valid point and there have been several conclusive studies done on this over the past 18 months. However, at the moment the efficacy of this type of alternative source is limited by the cost of conversion, and the archaic conversion methods being discussed and tested.

With more funding, well as always, who knows but it would certainly help.

differences between men and women

It was highly contagious.
--It came on very suddenly and killed very quickly. It was said that
an infected person could be "dancing at nine o'clock and dead by
eleven."
--It was, as the name suggets, characterized by a high fever and sweating.
--It wasn't the plague, and it wasn't smallpox.

portable diesel Generator


This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. Youve got a design here thats not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as what youre saying. Great job, indeed.

priya

tidal power is one of the best way to controll pollution less electric power generation.

THIYAGARAJAN

HI dear sir wonderfull explantion.

Generators For Home Use

I have had a look a the SeaGen website. http://www.seageneration.co.uk/ and I must say that it is a bit disappointing they haven't shown what the progress has been since they installed this some 3 years ago. You can get downloads with all the claims, but seing as they have three years experince, you would think they would discuss the impact their technology has had.

Postpartum Girdle

Well I am not at all well versed with the pros and cons of this environmentally speaking but the idea of harnessing this sort of power does seem an attractive one - its never going to run out.

r4 card

I am skeptical of the manufacture claims that it is clean and sustainable. The reason many renewable energy developers do not discuss environmental impact in quantitative terms is that the environmentalist would draw the same conclusion.

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