Archive for the 'Hydro' Category
Bristol, UK firm Marine Current Turbines successfully installed a 1.2MW turbine in Northern Ireland in the fast moving Strangford Narrows. This is the largest tidal harvest turbine installed to date (not including the tidal barrage systems that have been in use for some time in France for instance.)
MCT has plans for a 10.5MW project in conjunction with EDF off the coast of Wales scheduled to come online in 2012.
A colleague of ours has been exploring Panama recently and brought Rancho de Caldera to our attention. It’s a small resort set in the mountains of Panama with nine cabins and it’s largely energy independent. Despite being close to a volcano, geothermal systems are not part of the harvest system (even for heating/cooling), rather it is solar, wind, and micro hydro harvest backed by a battery bank and supplemented by a generator. The operator estimates that between 4.5 – 5 kW of electricity are generated per hour (1 kW from hydro/wind and the balance from solar.)
Photo Credit: Rancho de Caldera
Photo Credit: Rancho de Caldera
Just hours before its scheduled removal, AquaBuOY 2.0 has sunk.
“For the purpose of the project, it was highly successful.” Kevin Bannister, VP for Business Development, Finavera Renewables
Finavera Renewable’s 72-foot high wave energy test buoy went down in about 115 feet of water on Oct. 27, just one day before it was to be removed from its location in the waters off of Lincoln County, a part of the Central Oregon Coast. The device had been deployed on September 6.
While company officials say they don’t know exactly why it sunk, Finavera Renewable’s spokesman Mike Clark said, “It seems to have something to do with the float section of the device.” He said the buoy began taking on water and the bilge pump “couldn’t keep up with the amount of water it was taking on.” The pump failed and the device went down. “We’re pretty sure it didn’t have anything to do with the power-generating technology,” Clark said.
Marine Current Turbines has today confirmed that installation of its SeaGen commercial tidal energy system will commence during the week of August 20th in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough. At 1.2MW capacity, SeaGen will be the world’s largest ever tidal current device by a significant margin, and will generate clean and sustainable electricity for approximately 1000 homes. It is also a world first in being a prototype for commercial technology to be replicated on a large scale over the next few years….
Having now seen a number of different undersea rotors it’s clear that most are inspired by wind designs. However, given the different density and velocity of the resource (water vs. air) it’s curious that there aren’t more water specific designs. For instance, you might expect the most efficient rotors to mimic the screws seen on ships vs. propellers seen on airplanes. Perhaps one of our readers could offer an explanation for the design center choices around sea harvest rotor design.6 comments
From Renewable Energy Access:
The first large-scale wave farm, set to be built 10 miles off the coast of Cornwall in South West England, is now one step closer to becoming a reality with approval of GBP 21.5 million [US$42.9 million] in funding. The investment means Wave Hub could be operational as early as summer 2008, subject to final UK Government and EU approval….
…”This is public sector investment at its best — taking the long view, taking risks the private sector can’t take, and making significant investment in the technology we need to tackle climate change. Wave Hub will help make the UK the location of choice for companies developing wave energy, and should see British and overseas businesses making long term investments in Cornwall,” said Matthew Spencer, chief executive of Regen SW, the renewable energy agency for South West England.
One of the interesting things in this project is the partnership between the regional development authority (RDA) and private industry. The companies involved are: Ocean Power Technologies Limited, Fred Olsen Limited and WestWave, a consortium of E.On and Ocean Prospect Limited, using the Pelamis technology of Ocean Power Delivery Ltd.
It’s a truly international effort with each company bringing a specialty to the table and the government agency providing the funding and helping the permitting process along. It will be interesting to watch this project as it progresses to see the practicality of such large offshore ocean power farms.