If you’ve had your nose in the news lately, you’ve probably heard about all the ideas and experimentation with using waves to do everything from generate electricity to propel boats. And there have even been some experimental tidal power projects around the world. Recently, however, tidal hit the big leagues. The world's first commercial tidal turbine has been installed in its home in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough.
Though it has yet to be turned on, it will be the first commercial power-producing tidal generator when it is (sometime later this year). The turbine has two 16 meter-wide rotors and will be able to run for 18-20 hours a day. The turbine was installed off the coast in an area known for fast moving waters, and because the rotors will only spin 10-20 times in a minute, it is unlikely to disturb marine life.
The £12,000,000 turbine will now undergo a 12-week commissioning process where it’s operation and interaction with sea life will be monitored by teams of scientists. Hopefully, when the turbine is operational, it will be able to power over 1,000 local homes.
written by bob poopface, April 17, 2008
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