Tapping The Gulf Stream  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

Renewable Energy World has a post on ocean energy researchers in Florida and their plans to tap into the Gulf Stream current - US Researchers Hope to Tap Ocean Flows for Electricity.

The same energy that drives ocean waves and currents may be a rich source of electrical power. Researchers in Florida say even gentle flows of two or three knots are enough to drive a propeller attached to an underwater turbine. Advocates say ocean power could be cheap and help replace oil or coal-based systems that are blamed for global warming.

Douglas Bedgood is president of Keys Hydro Power and says he wants to build a turbine farm in the Florida Keys, "We could upscale this to 10 feet [three meters] across and it would be perfect."

The goal is to harness the energy produced by the rise and fall of waters during the tidal cycle. His group is working on a test turbine that it plans to submerge in a site about nine meters under water between two islands. "By the end of 2008 or early 2009, we will have several [turbines] just to see how we can manage them as a group. Then another year after, it will be several hundred," Bedgood said. ...

Similar projects are planned in Europe and other U.S. cities. Just 300 kilometers from Key West, researchers at Florida Atlantic University want to tap the powerful Gulf Stream current that brings warm water north into the Atlantic Ocean.

"So it is a significant velocity with the equivalent energy of some of the world's richest energy sites," says Rick Driscoll, who is head of the university's Center for Ocean Energy Technology.

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