This post deals with the new idea to use the energy within water streams. To harvest the energy within these streams kites will be used.
The flow of oceans and water streams is very steady and in contrast to wind and solar radiation very predictable. Therefore the energy in the oceans has a high potential to provide reliable and green energy for the society.
In the following text the technology of the Swedish company Minesto is explained. Minesto is a company founded in 2007 and specialized in harvesting the energy within the water.
Their main product, the Deep Green, will be described here. The idea for this technology is a kite, which moves in the water. The forces for the movement are tidal waves and streams. It is fixed on the ground and the movement of the kite is like an eight-figure.
A turbine is below the kite which produces electricity.
Very recently the Worcester Polytechnic Institute received money to investigate the feasibility of installing this technology in harvesting the energy within the tides and waves. The project will start at the beginning of January 2014. It is an ongoing research subject as David Olinger from this Institute developed kites which use the wind stream on land with the same eight-shape figure. He succeeded to create a system that powers water pumps. In the next stage the energy production shall be put under water.
Mr Olinger thinks that the potential of this technology is far much higher than the stationary marine energy production plants. The reason for this is that the movement of the kite through the water is faster than the stream actually is. Therefore the output of the turbine can be up to 64 times higher compared to a stationary turbine.
This project is funded by the National Science Foundation with $300,000. There is a high potential in the water streams as it is estimated that for example the Florida Current alone just have the power of 20 GW. This can be expressed as well as 10 nuclear power plants.
In a video from Minesto they say that this technology will be ready for power production on MW-scale in 2015.
At the bottom there is a picture of how the kite looks like. The original picture can be found at this page: http://www.minesto.com/deepgreentechnology/index.html
The project of Mr Olinger is very similar to the already existing device from the Swedish Company. But these two projects are not related.
It would be great to see this technology having a breakthrough in the future and that both teams work on their projects to successfully produce electricity for the society.