Tidal Energy

While I have a small bit of rum and calmly watch my quiche burn in the oven, I can’t help but think about tidal energy…

… I read about this project going on off the coast of the UK, and now learn that they’ve actuall constructed it this year, so I thought I’d just mention it.  In what I think is probably one of the best attempts at producing green energy, tidal energy seems to be making just as much headway as solar power (I have zero evidence to back this up).  Marine Current Turbines seems to be on of the leaders into this technology, creating a few (4?) anchored propellers in the water off the west coast of the UK as a project called SeaGen.  In it’s super simplest form, it’s basically taking a wind turbine and putting it in the water.  It uses the the tide cycle, which occurs twice a day, to drive turbines generating electricity, not unlike a wind turbine; the blades spin one direction for the incoming tides, then the blades rotate to accomodate the outgoing tide later on (or is it outgoing, then incoming?  I can’t remember…).  Below is a little visual put out by Marine Current Turbines to explain it with pretty pictures…

I hope this idea catches on, seeing as tidal energy can be harnessed wherever there’s a coastline pretty much.  What caught my attention was an ongoing project with Marine Current Turbines in eastern Canada to harness the energy of the Bay of Fundy, which has the largest tides in the world weighing in at 15m.  While there are already dams in place to control the flow of the tides, a propeller turbine system like the SeaGen seems a lot less invasive and less of an eyesore.

Ummm… apparently that’s all I’ve got.  I seem to be a little tired.


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