Feeds

New tidal generator could mean cheaper electricity

On the shelves in five years?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Researchers at the University of Southampton have developed a new kind of marine generator they say could substantially reduce the cost of electricity generated from tidal power.

Dr Steve Turnock said the design was a new take on tidal energy generation: "This is a compact design that does away with many of the moving parts found in current marine turbines."

The principle of tidal power generation is simple enough: water flows over a propeller causing it to turn. This spins a shaft that is connected to a generator which in turn, generates electricity. However, normal tidal turbines are complex pieces of kit, with lots of gears, and other moving parts that need maintaining and replacing over time.

Because this new design will generate electricity whichever direction water flows through it, it has fewer parts than many turbines currently in use. This makes its build cost much lower, and reduces expensive underwater maintenance. It also means less downtime, since the generators don't need to be moved to face the direction of the tidal flow.

The prototype is also designed so that all the components are in a single package. This would make it much cheaper and easier to install, the researchers argue.

Although the current prototype is just 25cm across, the team is working on a larger version which it says will have even better propellers. It is optimistic that the design will be commercially available within five years. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.