A team of Japanese researchers managed to find a cheap and efficient way of generating electricity. They devised some underwater turbines which use the energy of ocean waves and currents and successfully convert it to electricity. They called this project “Sea Horse”.
Using turbines to convert the ocean current energy into electricity
Sea Horse was created by the researchers from Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. They decided to devise an equipment to store and convert the endless energy coming from the Kuroshio current, which comes from the east of Taiwan, and reaches the southern Japanese regions.
The mechanism involves some submerging some turbines into water and allowing them to transform the kinetic energy of the current into electricity. Some cables kept the turbines attached to the bottom of the ocean and prevented them from being taken away by the current. Also, other currents transport the converted electricity towards the land.
The experiment was successful, but researchers want to make this system even more viable. For instance, there are many formations on the Japanese shores which should protect the land and ease the force of the waves. These are called tetrapods.
The tetrapods might be used both for protection and for energy conversion
Including this energy-converting technology into these tetrapods would be much more efficient. Therefore, while these formations protect the land from erosion and extreme waves, they can convert the energy of these extreme waves into electricity, both quicker and cheaper.
If only one percent of all these tetrapods would be equipped with turbines, they would produce around 10 gigawatts of energy. This is quite massive, as it equals the capacity of 10 power plants. Therefore, the researchers only have to choose vital locations across the shore, and instantly obtain huge amounts of energy.
These turbines are an effective source of sustainable energy. Their design is flexible, which prevents their damage, and allows for a better flow of the water. Since the experiments have been successful, researchers are getting ready to install the first turbines and perform the first official testing.
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