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Sea floor current electricity generator unit

Fit for countries with low energy waves but long beaches
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,

A small electric generator from sea floor currents, to be dropped in the sea, presumably along the coast, but can be deployed anywhere that the water is not stagnant. anchors itself to the sea floor. Best if it had the least amount of parts, so a similar generator like the windbelt (see link) could be used, but any type of turbine (centrifugal or rotor) could be used.

a. Either it stores the energy in a battery which is then "farmed" by a wire that floats to the sea surface and is retrieved by boat, or by a sonar controlled (similar to RC controlled) submerged vehicle.

b. Or it is tied to an "electric generator farm" along the sea floor.

Probably megawatts could be produced without making a real difference to the environment.

pashute, Mar 12 2010

Windbelt - Wind flutter (oscilator) generator http://www.popularm...dustry/4224763.html
Oscilating wind generator - alternative to wind turbine [pashute, Mar 12 2010]

Similar idea, but on the sea water surface http://www.technolo.../energy1/tidal9.htm
Sea buoy electricity generation units [pashute, Mar 12 2010]

Giant sea snake energy generator http://www.youtube....watch?v=mcTNkoyvLFs
Mine is probably much cheaper to produce and maintain and more efficient than this idea [pashute, Mar 12 2010]

Waldenu University on problems with sea generated electricity http://thinkup.wald...y-from-the-sea.html
About Generating Electricity from the Sea [pashute, Mar 12 2010]


       Oh, I need to explain: Israel has a long coast, but opted not to use sea energy, because making a station to harness the wave power will not produce enough energy, on any single beach. Enter this halfbakedea: You make a string of these units ALL along the coast offshore (around a mile out). Doesn't hinder anything, hardly felt on the environment, and voilà - megawatts of electricity, to enable peaceful life for the Israelis (Jews, Muslims and few Christians).
pashute, Mar 12 2010

       Quote from Walden University site:   

       No matter where the research is taking place or how far along it is, everyone involved agrees that it will be decades before the ocean is producing significant volumes of electrical power. First, there are a variety of non-trivial technical challenges to be solved: Which energy-capture scheme will prove most efficient? Which one will be the most durable in the face of continuous immersion in salt water and continuous battering by powerful waves? How should such devices be attached to the sea floor? Finally, how competitive will any of these techniques be—measured in terms of, say, dollars-per-kilowatt-hour—with all of the many other alternative energy schemes being developed at the same time?   

       see (sea) link
pashute, Mar 12 2010

       And another quote: Finally, situating these plants near shorelines raises the risk of environmental havoc. MCBI biologist Morgan notes that the kinds of buoys and other devices that are envisioned might disrupt local ecosystems.   

       “If you start putting that many things into the ocean in a small area, they might make noises that could be dangerous to fish and sea mammals,” Morgan says. Already, he says, surfers have begun voicing worries that extracting power from the ocean will lessen the size of waves when they finally hit nearby beaches—certainly a possibility, Morgan says, but “nobody really knows.”   

       Of more immediate concern, he says, is the possible toxicity of the chemical coatings that have been proposed to keep undersea structures from getting fouled by barnacles, seaweed, and other undersea life forms...
pashute, Mar 12 2010

       How deep is this device going to be located? It will be a pain in the ass to have to send divers down to do maintenance.   

       Plus there is a lot of silt and other crap on the ocean floor.
Cuit_au_Four, Mar 12 2010

       And how much power is there available at any one point. The major problem with distributed power generation is not doing it, it's the cost of the plant versus the expected return. Small, low power plants have a much higher upfront cost/watt produced than larger scale plants of the same type.
MechE, Mar 12 2010

       //Which one will be the most durable in the face of continuous immersion in salt water and continuous battering by powerful waves?//   

       A salt and battery, of course.
BunsenHoneydew, Mar 17 2010

       Generate electricity? Bah. Pump custard, I would say. Or, have said.
lurch, Mar 17 2010

       If you're going to go to the trouble of having a wire that is anchored to the sea floor, then why bother with inefficient battery storage and transport at all? Just insulate the wire and use that.
RayfordSteele, Mar 17 2010

       >insulate the wire   

       Well, that's a possibility, but the drawback is that I would have to "pull the electricity in" . Its probably not practical or aesthetic to have a wire going all the way to the shore, and would not want to fill the coast with underwater wires between each other. I would expect the station to pull its cord in when not being used.   

       Underwater maintenance can be done with an inexpensive sonar controled underwater car "robot".   

       IMHO it would be a pump custard if someone would be considering the coastal energy in my country. But no one is, ever since they did that survey, looking at the "existing technologies" which all need hi energy concentration in time and space. Here I'm proposing to move it out, and that way get the same effect. I once read that sir Arthur C. Clark wrote that space travel would never be possible since the explosion needed to leave earth would tear the world in two. The solution of course was to divide the energy in time, and spend much of it far from earth (and close to the ozone layer)
pashute, Mar 18 2010

       There are all sorts of wires that run undersea. If you're going to have batteries that connect and disconnect to some undersea power source, then you have to worry about waterproofing the terminals on both the battery and power source, waste about 40% of the theoretical power in in amp-hours due to battery chemistry, spend energy to go find them and haul them up, etc. Besides, I think the wire would be less disruptive than the infrastructure to handle battery sea hauling, manufacturing, processing, and recycling.   

       I suppose if you're talking about many smaller distributed generator locations then I can see your point; a tangle of criss-crossing wires is no good at all.
RayfordSteele, Mar 18 2010


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