Jul
27
2009

Sick and Tired of Green? Try Blue Energy

Green energy? What about trying a little blue energy for a change? Blue seems just as wholesome and non-threatening, right?

In a similar vane to my last post on algae the geniuses of the world have come up with another truly brilliant "why didn't I think of that" kind of idea. It seems to make so much sense! It's so big ... and powerful ... and blue ...
We Have Come A Long Way: Now, just imagine that...but under water!
We Have Come A Long Way: Now, just imagine that...but under water!Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Engineers at Blue Energy have developed, with support from the Army Corps of Engineers a turbine for the ocean. No no, not a wind turbine ON the ocean (my mom just made that mistake) but an underwater turbine that will harness the powerful ocean currents to create possibly the most sustainable energy source we know of!

Here is what we know: Water turbines will be placed in the Gulf Stream near Florida and they will work much like land wind turbines (using a rotater blade, which when made to spin by wind or water, creates energy!).

There is still a considerable amount of work to do before water turbines can be utilized. Frederick Driscoll, director of Florida Atlantic University's Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy Technology strives to be realistic about the future of water turbines. A resource assessment of the Gulf Stream is underway to help understand exactly how much energy can be safely extracted from the ocean, where exactly it should be extracted from and how to get the energy safely and efficiently to our homes without disrupting the ocean environment. So much to think about!
Always Something There: The strength of the Gulf Stream has been evident for hundreds of years.
Always Something There: The strength of the Gulf Stream has been evident for hundreds of years.Courtesy Library of Congress

Florida is the fourth largest state in the U.S. and the third largest consumer of energy. They are in dire need of a new energy source as many experts insist that Florida is on the brink of a very serious energy crisis. Much still needs to be done in the way of turbine technology in order to move ahead with incorperating them into the fleet of renewable energy sources. This past spring four acoustic Doppler current profilers were lauched off the coast of Florida to gather information about the currents, mainly to learn about the speed of the ocean currents. Ocean energy may become the crown jewel of the fleet.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

alternative forms of energy must be found in order to save our planet. we must be more environmentally conscience and each one must do his/her part.

posted on Tue, 07/28/2009 - 1:21pm
bryan kennedy's picture

I wonder what the biggest technical challenges would be. Do these turbines need to be anchored all the way down to the ocean floor or can they float/hang from above?

posted on Tue, 07/28/2009 - 2:50pm
curious's picture
curious says:

i wonder about the enviromental challenges and impacts it would have on the ocean[both short and long term], wherever these turbines are put in. what materials are they going to use, how often are the turbines cleaned? with what? what creatures might be affected negatively/positively. are all these things enviromentally safe. to add more, there are going to be some unforseen challenges too.

but over all, GO! blue engery!

posted on Tue, 07/28/2009 - 6:12pm
JackU's picture
JackU says:

I saw a story on this a while back. My understanding at the time is that some of what's taking time is that they intend to answer the questions that curious raises. I remember the scientist commenting in the story saying something about making sure the process is as "transparent" to the eco-system as possible.

posted on Thu, 07/30/2009 - 2:19pm
A. Scott's picture
A. Scott says:

Great article and great idea. The only problem I see with your article is that Florida is NOT the 4th largest state, Montana is.

posted on Sat, 08/01/2009 - 3:11pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Florida is the fourth largest state by population. Montana is fourth largest by area.

posted on Sat, 08/01/2009 - 9:11pm
stephanowicz's picture

Yes, thanks JGordan. When I said Florida is the fourth largest state, I did mean by population, though I did not clarify. Sorry! From the diagrams I have seen it looks like the turbines would not have to be attached to the ocean floor, and actually the water near the surface would be moving faster, I think. I think they can be hung/float from above. There is still much to do in the way of making certain that the turbines would be "transparent" to the eco-system (Thats a good way to say it!). The Blue Energy website (linked in the blog) has some great info and diagrams! Thanks for all the comments!

posted on Mon, 08/03/2009 - 11:29am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think there are some wave turbines aready in use they were built in either greenland or iceland.

posted on Tue, 08/04/2009 - 11:25am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I like COAL!! need more COAL fired turbines!!! FU green DBs

posted on Thu, 10/22/2009 - 1:53pm

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