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Experimental River Turbines May Help Power NYC

| Tuesday May 23rd, 2006 | 6 Comments

turbines.jpgThere’s a really cool exhibit on plans for the development of Roosevelt Island at the AIA center in New York this month. The Island is the skinny piece of land between Queens and Manhattan which is accessible mainly by the overhead gondola you may have seen in Spiderman. Anyway, the designs for its redevelopment are very cool, but Grist pointed out something even cooler today – a plan to install turbines underwater in the East River to possibly power the island. After all, the river is packed with tidal energy, so why not give it a try? Exactly how successful this may be is up in the air (er water), but it will be very interesting to watch.
(via Grist)


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  • http://www.crossprofit.com/index.php CrossProfit

    As I was walking to the post office today (which I should do more often) I was listening to a recorded lecture by an Israeli scientist on wind power. The concept is quite simple. There is always wind on the planet. If there’s no wind in Paris then there’s wind in Gibraltar etc. etc. All we would have to do is build wind generators over a span of a 1000 miles (or was that kilometers) and have a computer activate and deactivate the productive wind generating stations that would feed into a regional grid.
    Sounds great! Just one problem with the suggestion…electricity is most economical when produced locally. The United States (lower 48) has a national grid yet for economical reasons the vast majority of electricity on the west coast is produced in the west and not in the east. The further away you are from the generator the more you lose on the way due to resistance / conductivity issues.
    Tidal technology per say has its limitations. The main problem is that tides are intermittent and we need electricity 24/7.
    The new River Flow concept sounds interesting. The combination of tidal flows with the natural continuous river current should provide a sound economic basis. As a professional equities analyst I confess that I do not know enough about the new River Flow technology to make a reasonable assessment. It just sounds good.
    Disclosure:
    This comment was written by a CrossProfit analyst. This is a personal comment and may not reflect the opinion of CrossProfit.com.
    http://www.crossprofit.com

  • InGearX

    note there is always a tide coming in or going out thus always generating energy ~ 24/7 per link above

  • http://crossprofit.com CrossProfit

    InGear X,
    Excerpts from an interview with Ian Bryden:
    -What’s your background?
    I first got involved in renewables and marine renewables over 20 years ago. And it was very much concerns over long-term energy supplies once the hydrocarbon resource starts to dwindle. It sounds rather naive to think that you’re doing it in the hope that you might make the world a better place in 20 years time. But if you leave the cynicism out of it, I think that’s probably the reason I’m doing this and I’ve chosen this particular resource because of the unique advantages it has, the predictability — the very intense resource that are — and very accessible locations.
    -What’s the difference between wave energy and tidal energy?
    Tidal current energy is extracting energy from the currents that are induced in coastal waters by the tides themselves. So in that sense, the tides are driven by the relative position of the earth, the moon and the sun, the rotation of the Earth, etc. Tidal currents have an advantage over most forms of renewable energy in the sense that they’re highly predictable. We can predict wave and tide — sorry — wave and wind effects on the order of a day in advance. But the tides we can predict thousands of years, ten thousand years, a millions years in advance.
    -What about disadvantages? Don’t they vary in strength throughout the day and throughout a month?
    Absolutely, you have to take account of the state of the tides. Tides vary twice a day. In most of the world, not in Denver of course. … We have what we refer to as the semidiurnal … [intensities vary over a month and over a day, so you have to take that into account]
    source:http://www.earthsky.com/shows/edgeofdiscovery.php?date=20041104

  • m. freira

    I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see this happening! 50 years ago I had a wonderful science teacher in the little old lumber town Westwood, California who insisted that we’d be ‘running out of oil in 50 years’ and was somewhat obsessed with his vision that we could be using turbines in the sea shore’s current and in our rivers and aqueducts to provide electricity for the entire state. People treated him so badly, I just wish he was alive today to SEE his ‘dream’ coming true!
    We need to put a fire under the Public to force our government to get serious about SAFE, CLEAN alternate energy. First thing to do is to make the Public aware of this possibility. They’ll LOVE it! ALL the politicians care about is what can be monopolized by their “corporate support base” thereby making the most $$$ for their ‘hogtrough’.
    Turbines in water current will be nontoxic, safe for boats, fish, environment – and no worries about what to do with the ‘nuclear waste’ when it’s worn out… there’s no comparison!
    Go Verdant, Go!

  • m. freira

    I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see this happening! 50 years ago I had a wonderful science teacher in the little old lumber town Westwood, California who insisted that we’d be ‘running out of oil in 50 years’ and was somewhat obsessed with his vision that we could be using turbines in the sea shore’s current and in our rivers and aqueducts to provide electricity for the entire state. People treated him so badly, I just wish he was alive today to SEE his ‘dream’ coming true!
    We need to put a fire under the Public to force our government to get serious about SAFE, CLEAN alternate energy. First thing to do is to make the Public aware of this possibility. They’ll LOVE it! ALL the politicians care about is what can be monopolized by their “corporate support base” thereby making the most $$$ for their ‘hogtrough’.
    Turbines in water current will be nontoxic, safe for boats, fish, environment – and no worries about what to do with the ‘nuclear waste’ when it’s worn out… there’s no comparison!
    Go Verdant, Go!

  • Alicia

    Why do you think there has beenno significant sucess in the market place for river current turbines thus far