Monday, September 28, 2015

Tidal Energy (from when I was gone last week)

Tidal Energy

Here are some Key Components from:

"Tidal energy is produced by the surge of ocean waters during the rise and fall of tides. Tidal energy is a renewable source of energy.

During the 20th century, engineers developed ways to use tidal movement to generate electricity in areas where there is a significant tidal range—the difference in area between high tide and low tide. All methods use specialgenerators to convert tidal energy into electricity."

"Tidal Energy Generators

There are currently three different ways to get tidal energy: tidal streams, barrages, and tidal lagoons.

For most tidal energy generators, turbines are placed in tidal streams. A tidal stream is a fast-flowing body of water created by tides. A turbine is a machine that takes energy from a flow of fluid. That fluid can be air (wind) or liquid (water). Because water is much more dense than air, tidal energy is more powerful than wind energy. Unlike wind, tides are predictable and stable. Where tidal generators are used, they produce a steady, reliable stream of electricity.

Placing turbines in tidal streams is complex, because the machines are large and disrupt the tide they are trying toharness. The environmental impact could be severe, depending on the size of the turbine and the site of the tidal stream. Turbines are most effective in shallow water. This produces more energy and allows ships to navigatearound the turbines. A tidal generator's turbine blades also turn slowly, which helps marine life avoid getting caught in the system."

For the time being, tidal power’s standing as a relative unknown is probably deserved. Other forms of renewable energy deserve the spotlight for what they’ve accomplished to this point. But that won’t necessarily be the case for much longer.
In light of a report published by the BBC earlier this year, tidal power has been severely underestimated. New analysis suggests that tidal power could in fact provide up to 20% of the United Kingdom’s power if gathered and employed efficiently. To boot, the publication mentions that newer technology and a fuller, more systematic understanding of estuaries and streams has put tidal power in a position to become one of the most reliable forms of renewable energy – notably more reliable than wind power.
But if wind is so fickle, and tides are so predictable, then you might be asking yourself why turbines are popping up in seemingly every empty patch of grass along the highway, but it’s rare you’ll see a tidal generator along the beach.
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Just keeping things on the up and up since this is for my students to communicate first.