Scientists have developed a new turbine that can harness energy from ocean currents to produce low-cost and sustainable electricity. Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) in Japan began a project titled “Sea Horse,” which aims to harness energy from the Kuroshio ocean current that flows from the eastern coast of Taiwan and around the southern parts of Japan.
It uses submerged turbines anchored to the sea floor through mooring cables that convert the kinetic energy of sustained natural currents in the Kuroshio into usable electricity, which is then delivered by cables to the land. The initial phase of the project was successful. However, the OIST researchers also desired an ocean energy source that was cheaper and easier to maintain. Tetrapods concrete structures shaped somewhat like pyramids that are often placed along a coastline to weaken the force of incoming waves and protect the shore from erosion – “Thirty per cent of the seashore in mainland Japan is covered with tetrapods and wave breakers,” said Tsumoru Shintake from OIST. Read More…
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