Renewable Energy: Harvesting the Tides

tidal waves
Posted by: Dana Colson Category: Energy

Renewable Energy: Harvesting the Tides

The tides are a renewable energy source that is slowly but surely becoming more prevalent. They are a naturally occurring phenomenon, as they provide a natural form of power and allow coastal regions to stay protected from rising sea levels. Tides provide power by allowing water to flow in and out of the ocean, which provides kinetic energy that needs to be converted into electricity. Furthermore, harvesting tidal energy requires minimal space the same way that wind turbines do, and these two renewable sources are most often used in conjunction with each other, as they can create more energy if they are.

The supply of these different types of energy has also been a topic of discussion. Sustainable Marine is now adopting tidal energy in the country, as its president is a pioneer for this type of technology. Incentives are being provided for sustainable marine technology, as it provides an excellent solution to the increasing need for energy. Such solutions include using tidal machines to prevent beach erosion and maintain biodiversity. There have been many different opinions about the potential dangers of harvesting water; however, recent studies have indicated that there is little or no risk at all when harvesting this renewable resource.

What is Tidal Energy

Tidal energy is a renewable source of power created in different ways. Some use the tidal currents to produce electricity, while others use the tides that come into shore or the ones that go out for energy purposes. Tides are formed by celestial bodies and ocean bodies, which continually change their positions, thus affecting the location of shorelines and landmasses. Tides are also influenced by the moon’s rotation, as well as its orbital path. Furthermore, these factors work together to produce strong winds, which lead to ocean water rising and falling regularly, which leads to the tides.

Harvesting Tidal Energy

Tidal energy is harvested by using devices that take advantage of the different interactions between ocean waters and the different positioning of celestial bodies. For example, with the help of turbines, tidal energy can be harvested using principles that are related to kinetic energy and its rotational force. In order to produce electricity, generators are introduced into the water, specifically where there is a high tide or current flow. Tides are also dependent upon the direction that water is flowing from and towards at any given time.

There are various ways to optimize the amount of electricity that is harvested from tidal energy. A few of the most popular methods include exposing turbine blades to the surface of water or submerged blades in slightly deeper water. The latter method has been proven to work better when it comes to power generation. The turbines are operating at higher speeds and are more efficient in producing electricity than they would be if they were exposed to air.

Tidal Energy Harvesting Technologies

Looking at water resources as a renewable energy investment is growing in interest. There are different ways to harvest tidal energy, which include the use of dams. There have been different types of turbines that have been implemented in tidal energy harvesting over time:

1. The Novel Floating Tidal Energy System

The first type of power-generating system for tidal energy harvesting is the floating system. Within this method, turbines are installed on a floating platform that is not actually connected to the water and not at all submerged. This type of turbine seems to be more beneficial because it does not require the use of land or a dam in order for it to work. Another benefit is that the cost will be relatively low, and the necessary cost can come from larger commercial companies who do not mind utilizing such a method due to its simplicity and low costs. The drawback, however, is that floating turbines produce a relatively small amount of electricity.

2. SRI’s Manta Underwater Kite System

This type of tidal energy harvesting system is a large kite-shaped device that resembles a manta ray. SRI’s Manta system is based on a basic, manta-shaped kite built of lightweight, low-cost polymer composite-coated foam and fiberglass. The kite is connected to a generator via a tether that is moored to the ocean floor or a river in a location with high currents. Both an electric motor and a generator are included in the tether reel. The kite is guided by a series of weighted ropes or an underwater cable. The turbine exploits the tension created in the tether system to turn the generator.

Conclusion

Tidal energy is a renewable form of energy, which could prove to be an alternative to fossil fuel-powered generators and nuclear power. The tides are shifting, as they are slowly becoming a more common resource that can efficiently provide an excellent amount of power. Sustainable Marine is preparing to install the world’s first floating tidal energy array in Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy. The project’s entire in-stream tidal energy capacity will be up to 9MW, which will be fed into the Nova Scotia grid. This will save 17,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and power 3000 houses.

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