The most resourceful energy providers might be hiding where we expect them less. A recent study indicates the best way to place wind turbines is not on land, but on water. Such turbines collecting the kinetic energy of the ocean can provide three times more electrical power than those on land, offering us probably the biggest source of green energy we could ever get.
Placing a wind farm on the Atlantic can provide an energy supply for the entire world
Researchers suspected harvesting the wind over an ocean would be more prolific than the one blowing over land, so they decided to build a model and test the hypothesis. Therefore, they measured the actual quantity of energy produced by a wind farm located in Kansas to the theoretical output of a similar establishment placed on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.
There was a big difference between the two results, and researchers explained why. First of all, the wind blowing over the surface of an ocean reaches much higher speeds than those on land. This is given by the perfectly plain surface, with no variations, which allows the wind to travel without restrictions. Also, since there is nothing to block the wind from reaching the wind farm, it can produce energy constantly.
Such a project is hard to implement at the moment
However, wind speeds differ from one season to another. Winter is the perfect time for a wind farm on the ocean, as it might produce the energy necessary to sustain the entire globe. On the other hand, there’s less wind during summer. During this time, the energy which may result might only be enough for Europe or the United States.
Unfortunately, this is only a theoretical approach to energy production. Humanity doesn’t have the technology necessary to gather all the energy produced on the ocean and to transfer it all to land without losses. However, researchers say the solution might be to diversify our sources of energy, rather than choosing to move exclusively to offshore sources.
The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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