Your Ad Here Your Ad Here
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: First Power Station To Harness Moon Opens

  1. #1
    First power station to harness moon opens
     
    18:36 22 September 03
     
    NewScientist.com news service
     
    The first commercial subsea power station to harness the tidal currents of the sea was hooked up to an electricity grid on Saturday.

    The rise and fall of the sea, caused by the moon's gravitational tug on the Earth, could be generating electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes within five years if the new Norwegian power station proves successful.

    The power station, which resembles an underwater windmill, began generating electricity for the town of Hammerfest. Although still largely a prototype, the generator is the first in the world to harness the power of the sea and be connected to an electricity grid.

    The tidal mill produces 300-kilowatts of electricity - enough to power 30 Norwegian houses or 60-80 British homes. Its designers hope to begin mass producing the devices within two years.

    "Within a year we will have learnt enough to build a second generation device, says Bjorn Bekken, project manager for Hammerfest Stroem, the company that built the device. "I hope to see underwater energy farms within five years."

    Professor Ian Fells of the University of Newcastle, says that tidal power has "enormous potential" despite costing more than wind power, another renewable resource.

    "There's still a lot of hard engineering required before the costs will come down but we are going to need all of the renewables and nuclear power we can get our hands on if we are going to meet our Kyoto commitments," he told New Scientist.

    Near continuous source

    The device harnesses the tidal energy of the sea in the same way windmills tap into the power of air currents. The generator consists of ten metre diameter blades which rotate as water passes over them. These in turn drive a generator to produce electricity. The whole mechanism is held aloft by a 20 metre steel column anchored to the seabed.

    If the first generation device proves successful, the company envisages installing up to 20 tidal mills off the coast of Hammerfest. After that they hope to begin mass producing them for the international market.

    Tidal mills have the potential to provide vast amounts of energy. The European Commission estimates the currents around the UK, for example, could produce 48-terrawatt hours of electricity per year. The Commission has identified 106 potential sites around Europe, 42 of them off the coast of the UK including the islands and lochs of western Scotland, the Orkney and Shetland Islands and the Channel Islands.

    Tidal energy has one key advantage over other renewable forms of power - it has the potential to provide a near continuous source of power 24 hours a day. Wave, wind and solar power all fluctuate throughout the day. By contrast, the tide flows continuously in one direction for just over 12 hours before pausing briefly and then reversing.

    This means that tidal power has the potential to make a significant contribution to the baseload - the minimum amount of electricity needed by a country and usually provided by coal and nuclear power plants.

    Hammerfest Stroem, which is backed by the oil firm Statoil and the engineering company ABB, estimates that mass production will lower the cost of tidal power to that of wind which costs about 3-6 pence per unit.
     
    Danny Penman
    another milestone to mankind?

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    bigboab's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    30,399
    Do you think I am daft or something? I went out and looked at the moon and there is no harness on it.
    The best way to keep a secret:- Tell everyone not to tell anyone.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    Illuminati's Avatar Simple Bystander BT Rep: +7BT Rep +7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    2008 European Capital of Culture
    Age
    32
    Posts
    2,758
    The Moon's gravitational force is known to affect the tides - Looks like someone's "attempting to build power stations designed to harness the wave energy".

    I say that in quotes because AFAIK this has been done for a number of years under the name of 'Hydroelectricity'. If not, then A-Level Physics textbooks are ahead of their time and that's where I got it from.

    I think its more the concept becoming concrete in the first station rather than the concept of the idea. I know it's bleeding obvious that's what it means when you look at the passage again - I'm just writing for those who are likely to read wrong


  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    razorsharp013's Avatar Fountain of Wit
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    679
    Originally posted by bigboab@23 September 2003 - 02:54
    Do you think I am daft or something? I went out and looked at the moon and there is no harness on it.


    Seriously though, sounds like a long over due brilliant idea and achievment. However for this to have a significant impact on power generating it would have to be much more powerful than 1 mill being enough to supply 60-80 British homes with electricity, even if mass produced. It sounds like the cost of such a project wouldn't be worth the time, effort, or results. And what effect would having fields of these power mills underwater have on the sea and it's life?
    I'm sure they will keep working on it, sounds like a good idea in theory.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Cairns, Queensland.
    Posts
    2,005
    Originally posted by Illuminati@23 September 2003 - 17:18
    The Moon's gravitational force is known to affect the tides - Looks like someone's "attempting to build power stations designed to harness the wave energy".

    I say that in quotes because AFAIK this has been done for a number of years under the name of 'Hydroelectricity'. If not, then A-Level Physics textbooks are ahead of their time and that's where I got it from.

    I think its more the concept becoming concrete in the first station rather than the concept of the idea. I know it's bleeding obvious that's what it means when you look at the passage again - I'm just writing for those who are likely to read wrong
    This is not wave energy, this is tidal energy, this unit is UNDER the sea, not on it.



  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    lynx's Avatar .
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    9,810
    Sorry, but tidal power is not new, there have been at least 2 commercial plants in existence for quite some time.

    La Rance, near St Malo in France, 240MW, operating since 1966.
    Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia,Canada, 20MW, since about 1990.

    The proposed Severn Barrage in England is esitmated to be able to produce up to 12GW, about 10% of the country's needs.

    SOURCE

    Makes that 300KW look a little puny, doesn't it.

    Edit: typo
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    mogadishu's Avatar {}"_++()_><.,{}}[":+
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    2,759
    this seems really cool, im for any kind of natural energy source besides oil etc. This seems like a great idea because currents can generate much more electricity that say, wind.
    signature removed, check the boardrules.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    The salient point is this: Who owns the moon? The USA does, our flag is flying (or hanging limply) there right now. So what shall we charge you people for the energy?

    Let&#39;s come up with something fair.
    Aren't we in the trust tree, thingey?

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Scotland
    Age
    60
    Posts
    8,804


    Now that is one way to kick start space exploration.

    Assuming of course the flag is up there and not in some hanger in Area 51, perhaps the real reason it is off limits.

    On second thoughts, only joking - I do not want to kick start a whole spate of alien postings on an alternative energy thread.
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Newcasil
    Age
    52
    Posts
    9,076
    Originally posted by hobbes@23 September 2003 - 20:33
    The salient point is this: Who owns the moon? The USA does, our flag is flying (or hanging limply) there right now. So what shall we charge you people for the energy?

    Let&#39;s come up with something fair.
    Really?

    In that case your trespassing.

    US Law states that Land is everything below and above that Land...

    Basically from the Centre of the Planet into outer space, the way its written, so therefore under US law....it would be owned by every country it passes over.

    If you maintain the claim however, im sure they will except a large license fee for the "Right" of access across their land.....





    I believe Robert Heinein made use of this in one of his early Short Stories, I forget which one; maybe "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •