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Tidal and wave energy

Old 07-03-2010, 10:27 PM
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Default Tidal and wave energy

Waves carry immense power. One will be amazed to know that the energy from the waves can be used to power as much as 10 percent of the world’s total electrical demand. The energy from the waves breaking around the world’s coastlines is estimated to be around 2-3 million megawatts. Waves are formed by winds blowing over the surface of ocean. Ocean wave energy is captured directly from surface waves or from pressure fluctuations below the surface. The prevailing technology is point absorbers, which resemble offshore buoys that measure environmental data except they are larger. Their popularity is due to their ability to absorb energy from oncoming waves in all directions.

How this energy is formed? Tidal wave energy is created using the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) method for generating electricity by taking advantage of this vast temperature difference. There are three types of electricity conversion systems: closed-cycle, open-cycle, and hybrid. In closed-cycle systems, the ocean's warm surface water is used to vaporize a working fluid like ammonia, which is having a low-boiling point. The vapor then expands and turns a turbine. The turbine then activates a generator to produce electricity. Open-cycle systems are those that actually boil the seawater by operating at low pressures. This produces steam that passes through a turbine or generator. Hybrid system is a combination of both closed-cycle and open-cycle systems.
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