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World’s Largest Wave Power Project… On Hold

Pelamis Power, the company putting large, snake-like devices off the coast of Portugal appears to be having money trouble. The company that owns them is, well, going bankrupt. Until Pelamis can find a new financial friend, it looks like they will have to wait on the sidelines.

It’s starting to look like ocean and wave power might just be one of those technologies that never really takes off; kind of the way algae looked after last week’s announcement that GreenFuel was closing shop. It’s frustrating, because when you look at the ocean you can’t help but thinking “Man! Why aren’t we tapping all that energy?”

The hard truth is: although it would be nice, it’s just technologically very difficult to build, operate and maintain these things at sea. Even Verdant Energy can’t seem to put turbines in New York’s East River yet. Granted, these are engineering challenges and they will eventually be overcome. But let’s not forget that even if we tapped all of our shores, it wouldn’t be that much. At a conference this year, Saul Griffith estimated the entire global tidal potential at 3.5 TW, which may sound like a lot, but is actually pretty low compared to viagra prescription other sources (he estimated global geothermal capacity, for example at 32 TW). So is wave power really worth the effort?

But there are those who are more optimistic, and see Pelamis’ failure simply as the inevitable consequence for an overambitious startup. This Green Inc. piece quotes one Robert Bedard of the Electric Power Research Institute (a think tank out in Palo Alto where scientists think about the future of electric power), who believes that PG&E and Ocean Power Technology have a chance to really succeed, as they have more money and experience.

Via Green Inc


Simplifying Tidal Power to Drop Costs

Offshore power generation is usually thought to mean windpower (despite the fact that there is still none in the United States). But other means of extracting energy from near shore regions are being explored, as well. And a new variety of overnight shipping viagra tidal power generation is one of the latest systems to be explored.

Developed by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the new hydrokinetic system uses tidal turbines to create a high pressure fluid, rather than making electricity with each turbine. The high pressure fluid is driven to shore where the generating turbine is just try! viagra daily located.

One difficulty for engineers is that electrical cables are needed to ordering viagra overnight delivery go several miles (or more) from the generator to the very good site professional viagra shore where the power will be used. Undersea cables need to be more than just a couple of wires and have to be safe, even after rough treatment and exposure to ocean conditions. Seawater is very corrosive and that only adds to the need to protect the cabling and the other electrical components. Locating the generating facility on land helps reduce the complexity of the system, and keeps seawater and electricity segregated from each other.

Potentially, the system costs could be lower by using simpler pumping turbines rather than generating turbines in this configuration. Maintenance costs might well be lower, too, since there are no electrical systems that need to be maintained out in the water.

link: JPL site


EcoBleak: Pelamis Wave Power Plants Beached

Pelamis, the company that built the three wave power generators installed off the coast of Ecuador, has been unable to redeploy them after they were brought onshore for maintenance.

The sea snakes are owned mostly by an investment firm that is responsible for the upkeep of the devices. But that firm is now low on cash and looking to sell off some of their assets. So the wave power plants have remained on shore since November with no redeploy date in site.

The power plants were originally hoped to look there viagra costs produce 750 MW a piece, but never produced much more than 200 MW. Add that to occasional problems with buoyancy and we can see that this truly is a pilot project.

Pelamis still is very much at the forefront of wave power technology, but the cheap propecia online prescription technological hurdles are quite large. Dealing with marine conditions and vastly changing weather patterns has made it difficult to keep wave power units operating. Indeed, the 72 foot-tall AquaBuOY was lost at sea about a year ago.

Wave and tidal power remain fledgling industries. But with the amount of power out there to capture, we certainly won't be surprised when people keep on trying.


Could Every Offshore Wind Turbine Capture Waves?

Offshore locations offer some of the most reliable and powerful sources of generic form of cialis renewable energy, both wind and wave. Unfortunately, it's also more difficult to build the infrastructure to capture that energy. From sea-floor anchors to underwater electrical cables, it's all very complicated and expensive.

Ocean Energy Ltd. is considering these problems and wondering... why not build wave-power projects where the infrastructure is best shop for viagra already in place? Their patent-pending device, the Wave Treader, does just that. It simply straps onto existing wind turbines and then it generates power as waves flow past. Each of these devices could create as much as 500 kW of power, increasing each wind turbine's power output by as much as 50%.

The power output can then be pushed straight into the wind farm's already-existing distribution infrastructure.

The first full-scale prototype of the Wave Treader is expected this year while commercial deployments are scheduled for 2011. One thing Ocean Energy might not be counting on, however, is that existing wind farms were built with specific levels of stress in mind. Having paddles sticking off the side of the turbine specifically designed for capturing the power of waves might wreak havoc on safety models, especially if these devices aren't able to get out of the way during severe weather.

Newly-built wind farms, of course, can take these devices into account, but we'll have to see what the engineers think about retrofitting existing turbines. Even if retrofitting isn't an option, that shouldn't hold this technology back too much, since around 1,000 offshore wind turbines are scheduled to be built between 2011 and 2015 in the UK alone.

Via TreeHugger


Blue Data Center Will Be Powered by the Tides

Scotland sure is making headlines this week. First, they're taking the soft cialis tablets lead on mapping wave and tidal energy, now the country will be home to cost tramadol the first tidal-powered data center.

Tidal turbine maker Atlantis Resources Corporation and data center developer Internet Villages International have partnered to build the Blue Data Center. The data center won't be a floating one, but it will be powered by the Pentland Firth waters. Atlantis' planned tidal power array for the area will supply the electricity.

At first, tidal power will only cover one-fifth of search cialis the data center's needs, but Atlantis hopes that if the first phase is successful, they can expand the tidal array to make up the remaining wattage.

As our lives become increasingly digitized, the energy requirements of data centers are rapidly increasing. How to convert them to use renewable energy without effecting reliability is a major issue. I hope this project will give us some answers and maybe it will inspire Google to get started on that floating data center.

via Treehugger

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