University of Southampton unveils wave power potential

Daily Echo: David Cameron examines  technology for harnessing wave power on a visit to the University of Southampton David Cameron examines technology for harnessing wave power on a visit to the University of Southampton

SCIENTISTS from the University of Southampton have published a study explaining the untapped potential of tidal power.

Professor of sustainable energy AbuBakr Bahaj has led a global study into tidal power featued in a special issue of The Royal Society journal, saying that it has the capacity to provide more than 20 per cent of the UK’s energy demands.

They study said that while the predictable nature of tides makes them an ideal renewable energy source, more so than wind, the ability to harness this type of energy has proved elusive. But the researchers say they are “extremely optimistic” that tidal stream technology can be realised relatively soon.

“Tidal power will give us another component in the energy mix that’s more energetic and reliable than wind,” said Prof Bahaj.

“While technologies harnessing energy from the tides and currents have been discussed for many years  it is evident from recent deployment of single devices at megawatt scale that real progress has been achieved in a very short period of time.

"In essence experience with single machines at such a power capacity will make progress to the deployment of multiple machines much faster than that achieved at the start of the wind energy industry.”

Engineers tap tides in two ways. One involves building barrages across tidal estuaries so that the flowing waters turn turbines.

The other method involves placing turbines underwater in areas with fast flowing tidal streams, such as those found in coastal waters around the Channel Islands and Scotland.

Developing power from offshore tidal streams is fraught with difficulty but the authors of this latest research say 2013 could see a big breakthrough in tidal stream power.

“This is a crucial milestone for technology development and deployment,” added Prof Bahaj.

Comments (7)

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2:00pm Wed 23 Jan 13

southy says...

Tidal power is only good in areas with large tidal range, saddly Southampton and the close surrounding area do not.
Tidal power is only good in areas with large tidal range, saddly Southampton and the close surrounding area do not. southy

5:01pm Wed 23 Jan 13

freefinker says...

.. we have learnt how to transmit electricity from where it is generated to where it is used. So there is no need for you to be sad.
.. we have learnt how to transmit electricity from where it is generated to where it is used. So there is no need for you to be sad. freefinker

5:03pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Ginger_cyclist says...

southy wrote:
Tidal power is only good in areas with large tidal range, saddly Southampton and the close surrounding area do not.
Wrong, it's the strength of the current that needs to be taken into account and I'm pretty sure Southampton has some pretty strong tidal currents.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: Tidal power is only good in areas with large tidal range, saddly Southampton and the close surrounding area do not.[/p][/quote]Wrong, it's the strength of the current that needs to be taken into account and I'm pretty sure Southampton has some pretty strong tidal currents. Ginger_cyclist

5:15pm Wed 23 Jan 13

freefinker says...

Ginger_cyclist wrote:
southy wrote:
Tidal power is only good in areas with large tidal range, saddly Southampton and the close surrounding area do not.
Wrong, it's the strength of the current that needs to be taken into account and I'm pretty sure Southampton has some pretty strong tidal currents.
.. you need to be careful on this one.

Read the article and you will see they are talking about two different capture methods: -

'One involves building barrages across tidal estuaries so that the flowing waters turn turbines. The other method involves placing turbines underwater in areas with fast flowing tidal streams'

What you say is true of the latter method. Southy is (only partially) right on the former.
[quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: Tidal power is only good in areas with large tidal range, saddly Southampton and the close surrounding area do not.[/p][/quote]Wrong, it's the strength of the current that needs to be taken into account and I'm pretty sure Southampton has some pretty strong tidal currents.[/p][/quote].. you need to be careful on this one. Read the article and you will see they are talking about two different capture methods: - 'One involves building barrages across tidal estuaries so that the flowing waters turn turbines. The other method involves placing turbines underwater in areas with fast flowing tidal streams' What you say is true of the latter method. Southy is (only partially) right on the former. freefinker

11:22pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Ginger_cyclist says...

freefinker wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
southy wrote:
Tidal power is only good in areas with large tidal range, saddly Southampton and the close surrounding area do not.
Wrong, it's the strength of the current that needs to be taken into account and I'm pretty sure Southampton has some pretty strong tidal currents.
.. you need to be careful on this one.

Read the article and you will see they are talking about two different capture methods: -

'One involves building barrages across tidal estuaries so that the flowing waters turn turbines. The other method involves placing turbines underwater in areas with fast flowing tidal streams'

What you say is true of the latter method. Southy is (only partially) right on the former.
Good point but I'm pretty sure that Southampton still has a decent tidal range, I know that even at cobden bridge, the water can go from waist deep under the bridge at low spring tide to just a foot or 2 from the foot/cycle path being flooded when it's on or around a high spring tide, in fact, at some spring tides, if I'm not mistaken, the path does actually get flooded though that could also be at the times when heavy rain coincides with spring tides but the tidal range is still a good 4 to 5, maybe 6 meters at cobden bridge, of course, the further inland you go, the less influence the tides have.
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: Tidal power is only good in areas with large tidal range, saddly Southampton and the close surrounding area do not.[/p][/quote]Wrong, it's the strength of the current that needs to be taken into account and I'm pretty sure Southampton has some pretty strong tidal currents.[/p][/quote].. you need to be careful on this one. Read the article and you will see they are talking about two different capture methods: - 'One involves building barrages across tidal estuaries so that the flowing waters turn turbines. The other method involves placing turbines underwater in areas with fast flowing tidal streams' What you say is true of the latter method. Southy is (only partially) right on the former.[/p][/quote]Good point but I'm pretty sure that Southampton still has a decent tidal range, I know that even at cobden bridge, the water can go from waist deep under the bridge at low spring tide to just a foot or 2 from the foot/cycle path being flooded when it's on or around a high spring tide, in fact, at some spring tides, if I'm not mistaken, the path does actually get flooded though that could also be at the times when heavy rain coincides with spring tides but the tidal range is still a good 4 to 5, maybe 6 meters at cobden bridge, of course, the further inland you go, the less influence the tides have. Ginger_cyclist

12:33am Thu 24 Jan 13

bazzeroz says...

No doubt when there's no fossil fuel left it'll work!
No doubt when there's no fossil fuel left it'll work! bazzeroz

12:58am Thu 24 Jan 13

Ginger_cyclist says...

bazzeroz wrote:
No doubt when there's no fossil fuel left it'll work!
Pretty much, oil companies have a choke hold on projects like these.
[quote][p][bold]bazzeroz[/bold] wrote: No doubt when there's no fossil fuel left it'll work![/p][/quote]Pretty much, oil companies have a choke hold on projects like these. Ginger_cyclist

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