Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Power and Energy from the Ocean Energy Waves and Tides: A Primer Roger Bedard   Electric Power Research Institute  May 14, 2007


This primer is intended to inform the general public about the possibility of adding ocean wave and tidal power to our portfolio of energy supply options. We have investigated the possibility of many renewables resources; solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. Ocean wave and tidal is probably the last of the large natural resources not yet investigated for producing electricity in the US.
The United States has significant ocean wave and energy resources. The technology to convert those resources to electricity, albeit in its infancy, is here today. This is a renewable resource which can be converted to electricity clean and emission free. Given proper care in design, siiting, deployment, operation and maintenance, ocean wave and tidal power could be one of the most environmentally benign electricity generation technologies yet developed
The natural power of the ocean has inspired awe since the dawn of mankind. Mariners and others who deal with the forces of the sea have learned to understand the potentially destructive powers of ocean waves as well as the regularity and predictability of the tides. Ocean waves and tides contain large amounts of kinetic energy, derived from the winds and gravitational pull of the sun-earth-moon system. Even though early civilizations developed devices to convert waves and tides into mechanical energy, the technology to cost-effectively convert ocean waves and tidal flow into electrical energy is still in its early stages. Waves are created by waves blowing over a fetch of ocean as depicted below. Tidal changes in sea level occur as Earth rotates beneath the elliptical ocean envelope which is produced by solar and lunar gravitational forces as depicted in below. Waves energy, although variable, can be predicted days in advance. Tidal power, also variable, can be predicted into the indefinite future. This predictability is important to electrical grid dispatchers who must balance the changing demand with the supply,

Waves                      Tides




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