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Tidal Power May Become Major United Kingdom Energy Source

UK Tidal Power 300x208 Tidal Power May Become Major United Kingdom Energy SourceAccording to a report in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, estuary barges and tidal streams might be able to provide over 20% of the United Kingdom’s electricity.

The report finds the predictable nature of tidal patterns makes them ideal as a renewable energy source. However, finding ways to harness tidal power has proved elusive to date, but researchers are working to correct this conundrum.

One of the ways experts are trying to tap tides involves building barrages across tidal estuaries that use tidal patterns to turn turbines. The second method involves stationing turbines underwater in fast flowing tidal streams close to Scotland and Cornwall. Researchers are excited by the two methods and are optimistic that both types of technology may be used in the near future to maximize tidal potential.

Researchers are bullied by what they feel is a breakthrough in tidal steam power. In fact, MeyGen Corporation plans to deploy tidal stream technology in the Pentland Firth and, by all predictions, this should generate up to 40MW of electricity – enough to power approximately 38,000 homes. If, successful, the endeavor could lead to the first array of tidal stream turbines.

The quality of the power generated is critical and deserves critical examination. Some of the power produced suffered from flicker caused by variable loads. This also happens with older generation wind energy turbines. Consumers are incredibly annoyed when the flickers occur.

Initial tests discovered the flicker levels were very low and the device is fairly well behaved. These positive results indicate tidal technology may have a future. In fact, the European Union has awarded £30m funding for two upcoming two UK tidal projects, and interested investors are seeking opportunities to get involved in tidal technology.

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About the author

Leigh is a Senior Technical Communicator working in the energy sector in Dallas, Texas. Prior to her work in the energy industry, Leigh spent years specializing in life saving engineering projects for the US Department of Defense. In her spare time, Leigh pursues her passions of environmental awareness, vegan baking, dog rescue, and defending the place of art, literature, and music in a world that values science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


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