Feeds

New tidal generator could mean cheaper electricity

On the shelves in five years?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?