NSF awards grant to Mechanical Engineer prof for underwater kite marine power research

A three-year, US$300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will allow Worcester Polytechnic Institute associate professor of mechanical engineering David Olinger to conduct research on developing a new form of ocean energy.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

“The research builds on Olinger’s prior research, funded by the NSF and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in which he developed a low-cost kite system that used wind to generate power. Olinger and a team of graduate students developed computational models that predict trajectories and power output for kites of different sizes and tethers of different lengths, which can be used to design kites capable of flying in stable, high-speed figure-eight patterns under changing weather conditions.

The same algorithms can be applied to the design of underwater kites, Olinger said, but “instead of moving air, you have moving water and the kites have rigid wings.”

Olinger will now evaluate possible designs for undersea kites and explore methods for tethering them to floating platforms similar to those used for oil and gas rigs.

WPI said the team will also examine the advantages and disadvantages of mounting turbine generators directly to the kites or placing the generators on the platforms. […]

Olinger’s kite system is similar to one already being developed by Swedish company Minesto, though a WPI representative said the two projects are not related.”<

See on www.hydroworld.com


Sweden’s Minesto Ocean Energy Kite System Proven Operational


Minesto’s step-change marine power plant now producing electricity in Northern Ireland proving viability for huge ocean current power market

The Deep Green ‘underwater kite’ marine power plant is now producing electricity in the waters off Northern Ireland. This is the first time ever a marine power plant designed for low velocity currents produces electricity at sea, anywhere in the world, and the ocean trials verify the ability to unlock ocean currents as a renewable energy source. “This is a break-through for the entire renewable energy industry,” said Minesto’s CEO Anders Jansson.


Image source: minesto.com

Company Press Release:  http://bit.ly/18mXIfT

U.S. Tidal Energy Project requires Proximity Standard

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

A planned tidal energy project off the coast of Washington state in the US has come under fire over the lack of a standard defining how close such projects can be to existing underwater cables.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>There is currently no U.S. standard for the distance tidal energy projects need to be from other subsea installations. The Federal Communications Commission has stated that neither it nor FERC has the expert guidance necessary to make an informed decision about what a safe separation distance would be. The FCC has charged an advisory committee, the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), to work with the industry to develop guidance, delegating a special submarine cable working group to address the issue.

Distance guidelines do exist for offshore wind turbines in the U.S. The FCC and industry groups have suggested that these standards, which require 500 metres between offshore wind turbines and submarine cables, should be used in this case.

In its comment to the FERC, Pacific Crossing invoked a UK guideline, Subsea Cables UK Guideline number 6, which recommends proximity limits of 200-400 metres from an existing subsea structure for marine energy development. The North American Submarine Cable Association has urged U.S. regulatory agencies to apply the UK guidelines to all U.S. marine energy projects, including tidal energy projects.<

See on www.renewableenergyworld.com

Energy from tides and currents: Arranging underwater Tidal Sails

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

In the long sprint to find new sources of clean, low-cost power, slow and steady might win the race — the slow-moving water of currents and tides, that is.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The system, developed by a Norwegian company called Tidal Sails AS, consists of a string of submerged blades or sails, connected via wire ropes, angled into the oncoming current. The rushing current generates large lift forces in the sails, and as they are pushed along through a continuous loop, they drive a generator to produce electricity. […]

In their analysis, the researchers found that the maximum amount of power could be generated using blades with a chord length (the width of the blade at a given distance along its length) equal to the separation between each individual blade, that are positioned at about a 79 degree angle relative to the oncoming current, and that move at a speed about one and half times faster than the current.<

See on www.sciencedaily.com

UK government rejects current Severn tidal barrage plans

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Ministers say major changes must be made to the scheme if it is to be revived and given serious consideration

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Concerns over the impact of such a barrage on marine life played a major part in the rejection, with the government agreeing with MPs that better studies were needed to establish the effects on fish.

The response was: “It is for the developers to do the necessary work to prove that their design is ‘fish-friendly’ and will not jeopardise the UK’s obligations under the water framework directive and habitats directive. Such studies will need to take account of the wide variation in vulnerability of different fish species arising from to their different morphology, physiology and behaviour.”

The government said Hafren would need to provide much more detailed, credible evidence of the proposal, including a study of the environmental impacts and information on turbines, as well as information on allaying fears of flooding that could be worsened by any barrage. The coalition said it would consider the proposal further if this information was provided, but added that legal hurdles would mean the consortium’s current proposals were likely to be subject to delay.

Ministers reiterated their view that there should be no firm commitments of public financial support – in the form of the “strike price” of a premium for low-carbon power that has been confirmed for wind power and is expected soon for nuclear energy – for tidal barrage schemes until 2019 at the earliest.<

See on www.theguardian.com

Swansea Bay hydrokinetic project continues moving forward

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

Energy development group Tidal Lagoon Power Limited has reached a significant milestone in the development of a massive hydroelectric power project with the announcement of three design, build and deliver agreements.


Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>[…]According to TLP, the US$966.5 million project will consist of a 6-mile-long, 35-foot-high semi-circular sea wall that will enclose an area west of Swansea Marina.  The wall would be dotted along its length with a number of hydro turbines, giving the project a cumulative capacity of around 250 MW.

Each of TLP’s three partners adds a unique quality to the project’s development, the company said.  Costain will work in developing and managing the schedule for pre-construction and construction phases, developing construction methodology for civil engineering works including turbine and sluice structures, access routes and complex temporary works, including temporary bund for construction turbine housing.

Meanwhile, Atkins will provide engineering design and geotechnical expertise. TLP said this includes “designing both the turbine house and the innovate breakwater bund wall, which uses a combination of giant tubular sand bags protected by armor made up of different sized rocks.”

Last, Van Oord is developing construction methodology suitable for the harsh off-shore conditions in Swansea Bay.  The Swansea is the first tidal lagoon power project envisioned by TLP, which said in May that it is considering a similar project off Wales’ north coast. As much as 10,000 MW of tidal lagoon power potential in the United Kingdom, the group said. […]<

See on www.hydroworld.com

Formal consultation commences on the world’s first purpose built tidal lagoon | Specification Online

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

The formal consultation process has started on the world’s first purpose built tidal lagoon for Swansea Bay, with public exhibitions taking place at 18 locations around the Swansea Bay area until August 5.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The proposed tidal lagoon will have a rated capacity of 240 Megawatts (MW), generating 400GWh net annual output. This is enough electricity for approximately 121,000 homes.

In addition to generating electricity, the £650 million development will also provide visitor facilities and other amenities including art, education, mariculture and sporting/recreational facilities. The seawall is expected to be open to the public during daylight hours for walking, running, cycling etc, though access will be controlled in extreme weather.

LDA Design, the project masterplanners and landscape architects for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, has completed the coordination of exhibition material for the public exhibitions. As part of the formal consultation for the proposed Development Consent Order (DCO) application by Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) plc (TLSB), a new, virtual 3D programme has been prepared, which shows the proposed lagoon in the context of Swansea Bay.  <

See on specificationonline.co.uk

Scottish tidal power potential less than estimated, still Viable – new Study via Reuters

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

* Pentland Firth could generate maximum of 1.9 GW of power* 1 GW seen more realistic, vs prior estimates of 10-20 GW

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) – Proposed tidal turbines in Pentland Firth, which separates…

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>New research led by the University of Oxford suggests, however, that the maximum that Pentland Firth could produce would be 1.9 gigawatts, with 1 GW a more realistic target.

That is far below previous estimates of 10 GW to as much as 20 GW. […]  The study was less optimistic about the firth’s potential because it took into account factors such as how many turbines it would be feasible to build, how they would interact with each other and variations from tidal cycles.

“Our study provides the first robust data about how much energy it would be feasible to extract,” said Thomas Adcock, lead author of the report and fellow in engineering science at Oxford University.

Pentland Firth could still generate power equivalent to almost half of Scotland’s annual electricity consumption, which amounted to 37 terrawatt hours in 2011, Adcock added. […]<

See on www.reuters.com

Is Scotland’s Pentland Firth the World’s Best Site for Tidal Power

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Tidal streams could bring large amounts of energy within a decade if government support is available, study says

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The world’s best site for tidal power, the Pentland firth, could provide half of Scotland’s electricity, according to the first robust estimate of its potential. The tidal streams, which surge through the firth at five metres per second, could bring large amounts of renewable energy in reach within a decade if enough government support is available, said the Oxford University engineer behind the new study.

From Anglesey to the Severn estuary to Portland Bill, the UK has the greatest potential for generating predictable, clean energy from tidal channels. Turbines are already operating at Strangford Loch in Northern Ireland and prototypes are being tested in the Menai Straits off Anglesey.

But the Pentland firth is the greatest resource. “It is almost certainly the best site for tidal stream power in the world,” said Thomas Adcock, at Oxford University, who led the new work published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A. The water flow is rapid there because the tide shifting from the Atlantic into the North Sea is forced through a narrow eight-mile channel.<

See on www.guardian.co.uk