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Nautricity's Device to Make Tidal Energy More Affordable

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Tides are capable of producing electricity and are more predictable than wind or solar power. Just like wind turbines in the sea, they need to stand on very firm ground. All of that is known from the 60’s, but what researchers didn’t know was how to make that cost-effective, the main reason why development lagged behind.

A team of engineers at Nautricity in Glasgow came up with a solution as they envisioned it: the CoRMaT device, a new patented rotor system. It consists of a small-sized capsule, capable of going 500 meters deep. It doesn’t get carried away because it is attached to a floating surface and it resists strong tidal flows because the rotors move in opposite directions.

The concept version of the device has successfully generated electricity so far. Before the end of the year, it will be tested again at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

Nautricity is one of the companies that could possess a licence to produce wave and tidal energy in the Pentland Firth. These events enable researchers to expect the generation of affordable electricity within a year. Not only that, but they already predict it will be able to compete with the wind industry. We can only hope for “competitions” like these, where for once, we don’t care who the winner is!

[via HeraldScotland]

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2 COMMENTS

  1. @Graham Thanks for the information! I don’t think that there’s a whole lot that adding tidal power to a basin would do to reduce the flow. We’re talking harvesting a fraction of the energy that’s there, which is driven by the relationship between the earth and the moon. Unless someone takes out the moon, a la Time Machine or Oblivion, then we don’t have much to worry about.

  2. The Isle of Wight will soon have an experimental tidal power generation station working off St. Catherines’ Point, at the southern tip of the Island. However, there is much More power available at the North-west corner, where The Solent flows in and out at 7 knots on every tide.  It is a mile (1.6Km) wide and 100ft (30m) deep and very little large shipping goes that way these days. Given the sheer amount of water flowing about in tides all over the earth’s surface, it is clearly going to take a Lot of such extraction to have any appreciable effect upon the earth’s rotation, compared to the energy already being lost, every day, in Friction with the sides and the bottoms of all the oceans. It may not be an infinitely renewable energy source, but probably as near as makes no difference.  Has anyone done the Sums?. And would a 25 or 26 hour day be such a bad idea?. Graham.

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