The concept of harvesting the ocean as an energy source is nothing new, but in practice it's rarely utilized. That's beginning to change, though. This week, the first major underwater turbine was installed in Northern Ireland's Strangford Narrows—a body of water known for its fierce currents. SeaGen's twin blades measure 52 feet wide, and instead of intermittent winds, this green electricity generator will rely on the ever-changing tide to produce power for around 1,000 homes. Built by Marine Current Turbines, it will be operational this summer.
The blades are designed for bi-directional flow, so that they turn regardless of which way the tide is rushing. They'll spin 10 to 20 times per minute. The company says this is slow enough to allow fish and other sea creatures to get out of the way if they're swimming on through. But it certainly doesn't sound like anything a diver would want to approach.
This Seagen installation may be just the first step. As part of another project, the company is also hoping to install a farm of underwater turbines off Wales that would be capable of powering thousands of homes.
The United States should start adopting these green technologies for the future of our children and stop being dependant on Arab and other foreighn oil producing nations. President Bush and Vice President Dick Chaney are oil men and only think of their own pockets & the pockets of big oil companies. They do not care about the futre of the middle class.
I just wonder why they dident put a Windmill on top of it to add som extra power ?
mpederse before putting a windmill anywere one studies the quality of the wind. i imagine the structure here is optimized for the stress applied to the structure in two directions ie the direction of the tides back and forth. if the mainstream of the wind isn't parallel to the direction of the tides it's not worth the trouble of erecting a sturdier structure, collins
I am always amused when someone rails against "oil men". The truth is that "oil men" are capitalists, and if oil became unprofitable, they would abandon it in a hurry. Now, since these are smart people, they will flock to and invest in wind or tide energy if it will make sense and a profit for them and their shareholders. That said, I like tide energy, but don't like the windmill design, and there are other more efficient designs out there now being tested. These cannot be put just anywhere, but there are locations that would have minimal impact on the sea life and waterways. I say let's do it and stop stalling. I have read that environmentalists are the biggest hindrance to these type of projects which is ironic since they would like to wean us off of oil and coal. These can also be designed to be mainly underwater and not an eyesore. I don't know why some of these projects have to be gigantic eyesores that say, "look at me! I'm producing energy and saving the environment!". (Not the same thing but there is a desalinization plant right off the coast at Redondo Beach, California USA that is the ugliest thing I've ever seen, touted as an "environmental" project.)