02/01/2014 - 00:07
Renewable Energy Development Institute - REDI

People keep trying all the time to find new sources of renewable energy. Therefore it's not surprising that they are especially interested in water and its versatile use. This way the efforts have been directed into obtaining energy from sea tides, which are defined as circular movements of water molecules caused by wind that moves water surface because of friction.

Eletric plants which use sea tides to generate energy can be divided due to their localisation into coastal, waterside, in-water power plants. Coastal power plants are located just next to the sea coast. Waterside electric plants can be found in very shallow waters, i.e. about 10-20 metres deep. In-water power plants are situated more than 40 metres below sea surface.

To generate energy either water turbines or wind turbines can be used. The first one uses the water that flows into a water reservoir. When it's full, water starts to flow above a dam and drives a turgo turbine connected with a generator. A Norwegian island has used this kind of a installation since 1986 and it reaches the power up to 350kW. Another solution demands building a platform on the seashore since this process depends on the tides that flow upon the platform, ultimately pushing air to the upper parts of a reservoir. In here is located a turbine which is turned into motion by the masses of moving air, thus powering the generator. Up to 75kW of power are produced in Peninsula by applying this method. What's interesting, apart from creating energy such constructions are so high they can serve as breakwaters, protecting the shore from damage.

Such renewable sources of energy are a tempting options for the countries that have access to a sea. Portugaly, as a member of the EU wants to follow pro-ecological trends. In 2008 Portuguese government created a special industrial zone used for testing equipment that produces ecological tidal energy. Portuguese scientists claim that thanks to the development in this field up to 20% of Portuguese electrical demands will be met.

Also in Scotland such a solution found many supporters. For a relatively short time – since 2010 – this part of Great Britain can be proud of their own tidal electric plant. The turbine is located at the western shore of Scotland, where Atlantic tides are quite high. It is just a miniscule enterprise of moderate power, but up to fourty energy-producing are planned for the future.

Technology using sea tides, like most of renewable energy sources is still expanding and working on new, better ideas. Not only money is the key, but also being focused and noticing certain problems. The deadliest threat is the greenhouse effect and its consequences, namely global warming which may soon cause changes in climate zones or dramatical melting of glaciers. These are only some of the examples of what may happen should we keep using conventional energy sources. They should be vastly reduced and replaced by ecological sources. It's worth considering how a single person can help the enviroment that feeds us with its unexhaustible resources.

People are forever trying to find new sources of renewable energy, so it isn’t surprising that they are especially interested in water and its versatility. Accordingly, much effort has been directed into obtaining energy from tidal and wave power, which are defined as circular movements of water molecules caused by wind that moves water surface through friction.