Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Researchers claim to have fashioned a fish-like hydrokinetic scheme that harnesses both fast and slow underwater currents to generate electricity. Called Vivace, for Vortex Induced Vibrations for Aquatic Clean Energy, the technique has the potential to generate electricity, even from lazy river currents, at a cost lower than other energy sources, just 5.5 cents per kilowatt/hour. The technique works by taking advantage of the tendency of moored bodies to bob up and down in a current. Traditional methods of harnessing water power like turbines require currents of at least 5 knots. The Vivace generator, however, can use currents as slow as 1 knot. The company estimates that an underwater array in a river just a few stories high could supply enough power for 100,000 homes.
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 8:12 AM