Australia Using Tides To Generate Power

As the world population grows, and climate change progresses, non-renewable resources are put under increasing strain. As a result, there has been an increasing focus on creating power generation systems that are fully renewable, pollution free, and effective.

Of course, the usual suspects such as solar and wind energy have their place in the overall scheme of things. That being said, there is a new player in the renewable energy arena, and its name is wave power.

It only stands to reason that such systems would eventually be engineered into existence. The earth is over 70 percent water, with oceans and weather systems that circulate this liquid all over the globe. The planet also has an outsized moon, which generates tides of significant size and power. Thus, the power of the tides and waves is one of the most reliable and long lasting sources of energy available to mankind.

The wave experts at Carnegie Wave Energy certainly agree with this assessment, as is illustrated by their newest wave energy offering known as CETO 5.

This project is named after an ancient Greek sea goddess, and offers the latest in wave energy translation technology. The project is built around a fairly easy to understand system that involves huge buoys, pumps, pressurized water, electric turbines, and desalination modules.

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It works like this: Modular buoys are completely submerged and tethered to high pressure water pumps which are mounted on the ocean floor. As the buoys are moved by waves and tides, they pull on the tethers. These tethers then drive the pumps, which move high pressure water through special tubes to an onshore power generation center. Here, the high pressure fluid powers electrical turbines, which produce copious amounts of current.

At the same time, some of the water is moved to desalination tanks, and thus this system ingeniously produces not just emissions-free electricity, but clean and potable water at the same time.

This new system has been providing some power to Australia’s largest naval base for some weeks now. If it lives up to its considerable promise, this modern wonder may just end up in a bay near you.

Author: Alex Guarco

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