Feeds

New tidal generator could mean cheaper electricity

On the shelves in five years?

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.