Tidal Power Closer to Commercialisation

13 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

Interesting to see how and when it happens.

Marina - again I hate to pour cold water on your optimism but the article is just more of the same.. "we're almost there, more money is required". I recall watching documentaries decades ago about how tidal power was being developed. It was the coming technology then, and I see that's still coming. Tell us when its arrived.

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Oh, that's okay, my optimism is not that hot. :) I just like this sort of news. It is indeed pretty general and is not saying anything much but still, a bit of potentially good news never hurt.

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I'm working on harnessing energy from Solar Wave power.  It's almost developed.  It would mean almost unlimited green energy.  I just need some money to finish it.

For you sceptics, I based the working concept on the Gravity Pump

 

Gravity-Pump-1.jpg

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9 hours ago, markslawson said:

Marina - again I hate to pour cold water on your optimism but the article is just more of the same.. "we're almost there, more money is required". I recall watching documentaries decades ago about how tidal power was being developed. It was the coming technology then, and I see that's still coming. Tell us when its arrived.

Mark, 

I don't know if you work in the offshore space and therefore understand or just read the article. I work in offshore. Whilst I have never worked directly with wave-power I understand that the biggest challenge is the associated installation and maintenance cost as this will be on water in areas with lots of current. The offshore industry is strapped for cash, but designing and building specialised vessels for installation and maintenance is something that has been done before. 

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14 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I don't know if you work in the offshore space and therefore understand or just read the article. I work in offshore. Whilst I have never worked directly with wave-power I understand that the biggest challenge is the associated installation and maintenance cost as this will be on water in areas with lots of current. The offshore industry is strapped for cash, but designing and building specialised vessels for installation and maintenance is something that has been done before. 

Rasmus - while I'm sure what you say is correct, I don't think that challenges anything I said. Research on extracting energy from tidal/wave action has been going on for decades without any change to the basic problem that it's still a very costly way to extract energy from natural forces. I'd be interested if you have any insight into why that's so, and any idea of capacity factor (effective or average output). As matters stand on-shore wind is the cheapest of the renewable technologies, while wave/tidal power trails the field by a big margin..   

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The concentrated force of H20 versus O2 is incredible. It is very tempting to seek ways to harness it in a cost effective manner. Initial cost and maintenance are the problems. I have been most fascinated by the snake like designs I have seen. They stay on or near the surface and undulate somehow creating electricity. It seems like they would be easy to take ashore and do maintenance on as needed. They do not rely on huge, very heavy, hard to access equipment. 

Rubber 'Snake' Could Help Wave Power Get A Bite Of The Energy Market

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080703101329.htm

080703101329_1_900x600.jpg

 

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On 3/14/2019 at 11:10 PM, markslawson said:

Marina - again I hate to pour cold water on your optimism but the article is just more of the same.. "we're almost there, more money is required". I recall watching documentaries decades ago about how tidal power was being developed. It was the coming technology then, and I see that's still coming. Tell us when its arrived.

When you  have the right site and are prepared to provide the upfront capital the installations will last 100-200 years. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rance_Tidal_Power_Station

They also have a secondary role as a tidal flooding defense barrier. 

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5 hours ago, NickW said:

When you  have the right site and are prepared to provide the upfront capital the installations will last 100-200 years. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rance_Tidal_Power_Station

They also have a secondary role as a tidal flooding defense barrier. 

NickW - I was most interested to see that Wikipedia article, as it gave a capacity factor - similar to PVs in fact - and a cost which is lower than that of nuclear power.. But if you look further into the article you'll see why tidal power, at least like that installation, has not come into widespread use. The very extensive installation is causing environmental damage on the river. Also, its output is comparatively small and only a few locations would be suitable. Thanks for that.

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On 3/16/2019 at 12:14 AM, markslawson said:

Rasmus - while I'm sure what you say is correct, I don't think that challenges anything I said. Research on extracting energy from tidal/wave action has been going on for decades without any change to the basic problem that it's still a very costly way to extract energy from natural forces. I'd be interested if you have any insight into why that's so, and any idea of capacity factor (effective or average output). As matters stand on-shore wind is the cheapest of the renewable technologies, while wave/tidal power trails the field by a big margin..   

Mark, 

What I was trying to say is that what more than anything has made wave and tidal in particular expensive is the fact that they need to be installed in hostile enviroments. This means specialized vessels for installation and maintenance. Historically that vessels that are suitbale for working in these enviroments were all deployed in O&G making USD 200k+ a day. The Owners of this type of equipment had no incentive to make less in wave and tidal. Courtesy of US Shale this dynamic is now changed. If you look at the test sites that have been installed you will find that they almost all installed by big expensive Norwegian O&G vessels "trading down". It is now only a matter of time before the Marine supply chain starts developing affordable vessels for wave and tidal. Economics dictate it because the supply no longer makes massive margins in O&G. 

ps. the reason tidal in particular is super interesting is that it is constant. You have no intermittency. you can set your clock after it. It is perfect baseload. 

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10 hours ago, markslawson said:

NickW - I was most interested to see that Wikipedia article, as it gave a capacity factor - similar to PVs in fact - and a cost which is lower than that of nuclear power.. But if you look further into the article you'll see why tidal power, at least like that installation, has not come into widespread use. The very extensive installation is causing environmental damage on the river. Also, its output is comparatively small and only a few locations would be suitable. Thanks for that.

The has never been a claim that these installations have no  environmental impact. As the article states some species have benefited to the cost of others. Silting is a known problem with known solutions as any barrier impeding the flow of a river will cause this problem. 

A particular benefit of this type of installation is that while the output is intermittent it is entirely predictable 

The other type of tidal power are effectively underwater turbines - like a wind turbine. These pretty much generate power all the time except around high and low water slacks. What they don't do is offer the flood protection barrages offer to tidal estuaries. 

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Greetings all.   I am an investor in Hurricane Energy (HUR) and post under the pen name Flossoffa

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I like the idea of the underwater turbines for tapping into the immense potential that is tidal water flows. There is/was an effort underway in Europe trying to develop a unit that could be placed on the bottom of a tidal choke point that has promise. These turbines should be much less intrusive to the critters in the sea than some sort of man-made weir or dike with turbines in it.

I can imagine the biggest hurdle is location of the turbines. Areas with very high tidal swings are the best location for this type of unit and those areas are way, way up north where populations are not so dense, thus requiring expensive power sapping transmission systems.

I hope they can work it out. It seems like a worthwhile project as long as it can stand on its own two feet without govt. subsidies.

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On the subject of tidal power, I spent a year or two looking at this with the idea of installing a prototype in Cuan Sound ahead of the main installation across the Corrievreckan (both sites just South of Oban in Scotland).    The problem is that the bloody water refuses to go through the system if it can go round (and it generally can when it comes to tidal systems).   Even if you can find a spot where this problem does not apply, you only have a very low head available i.e. the system of aquafoils has to be large as it can only generate at a very low `wing loading' before it packs up.    That means that to extract significant power, you need a vast installation. 

My design got as far as a system of `jumbo jet wings' suspended on wires, in and across the Corrievreckan.    These shunted too and fro over a 10m stroke which was used to pump water via an enormous reciprocating pump up to a high level reservoir ashore.    It could then be used as required to match peak electrical loads and smoothed the variations in tidal flow.    The problem was the cost and the difficulty of reacting the enormous drag loads whilst allowing free sideways movement.    Another problem with seawater is fouling with marine organisms although the above system would not be unduly bothered by that.

But my preferred `green energy' is to run drinking water through turbines instead of and/or alongside the big pressure reducing valves sited before the city's distributions system I had Edinburgh and Inverness in mind.   The water and power demands are roughly coincident but the drinking water people are not keen on anyone fiddling about with their systems, so that was not

Flopular

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14 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

ps. the reason tidal in particular is super interesting is that it is constant. You have no intermittency. you can set your clock after it. It is perfect baseload. 

Rasmus - again I don't particularly disagree with anything you've said except for the point quoted. To deal briefly with the costs side of things the maintenance aspect is just one part of the package. If costs are coming down - perhaps from astronomical to merely expensive - then sure, they are coming down in this part. But there is simply no indication that wave power is being accepted wholesale. One problem might be intermittency which, sorry, is still a major concern with these projects. I recommend you look at a Wikipedia entry  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rance_Tidal_Power_Station

that gives a capacity factor for the site very similar to that of PVs while the article claims financial success for the installation, because of intermittency it is probably simply being carried on the network. If full costs were charged it would be a big loss.. but anyway, as you'll see from the rest of the article the sites for such an installation are limited, and the effects on the environment mean that getting approvals for other sites would be extremely difficult to say the least. Tidal power looks to be a no show, which is a shame but there you are. Anyway, that's enough of that. Thanks for the debate. Leave it with you.

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11 hours ago, NickW said:

The has never been a claim that these installations have no  environmental impact. As the article states some species have benefited to the cost of others.

Nick W - I wasn't saying you making any claim one way or another. What I was saying was that the environmental impacts mean that getting approvals for additional sites would be difficult to say the least. Its tough enough getting approvals for new dams - tidal sites would present a new level in difficulty. Underwater turbines have suggested quite a few times now. I have no objection to the idea but I'd need to see detail and a working site. Anyway, thanks for the debate but leave it with you.. 

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12 minutes ago, markslawson said:

Nick W - I wasn't saying you making any claim one way or another. What I was saying was that the environmental impacts mean that getting approvals for additional sites would be difficult to say the least. Its tough enough getting approvals for new dams - tidal sites would present a new level in difficulty. Underwater turbines have suggested quite a few times now. I have no objection to the idea but I'd need to see detail and a working site. Anyway, thanks for the debate but leave it with you.. 

If sea levels start rising more rapidly than they are already that may help with the approval process. 

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The problem with flow turbines, is generally the animal life flows with the current in these high current areas.  Take the internal waters of the western Coast of North America for instance.  The fish, whales, seals all float along with the current.  Place those turbines there and can you say sushi?  Theoretically there are plenty of AWESOME spots for turbines, but everytime one puts sonar in water all one sees are wildlife and the project gets canceled post haste.

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8 hours ago, markslawson said:

Rasmus - again I don't particularly disagree with anything you've said except for the point quoted. To deal briefly with the costs side of things the maintenance aspect is just one part of the package. If costs are coming down - perhaps from astronomical to merely expensive - then sure, they are coming down in this part. But there is simply no indication that wave power is being accepted wholesale. One problem might be intermittency which, sorry, is still a major concern with these projects. I recommend you look at a Wikipedia entry  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rance_Tidal_Power_Station

that gives a capacity factor for the site very similar to that of PVs while the article claims financial success for the installation, because of intermittency it is probably simply being carried on the network. If full costs were charged it would be a big loss.. but anyway, as you'll see from the rest of the article the sites for such an installation are limited, and the effects on the environment mean that getting approvals for other sites would be extremely difficult to say the least. Tidal power looks to be a no show, which is a shame but there you are. Anyway, that's enough of that. Thanks for the debate. Leave it with you.

Mark, 

I openly admit that I only have a rudimentary understanding of the technology. what I know comes from people involved with this project

https://simecatlantis.com/projects/meygen/ 

My understanding on this project is that the limiting cost component was the specialized vessels, which I know for a fact will change in the next couple of years courtesy of US shale. 

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6 hours ago, Wastral said:

The problem with flow turbines, is generally the animal life flows with the current in these high current areas.

Other problems are: 1. Water is lazy, it would rather take a detour round a windmill than push those blades round which means that the flow speed through the turbine is far lower than in the original unobstructed flow, so the power output is also far less.  2.  Tides only flow at peak speeds briefly, for most of the time, they are running far slower.   3.  Marine growth on high speed foils ruins the performance but cleaning is both vital and time consuming (as well as difficult and dangerous for divers in a tideway even if the blades are stopped).   4.   Rotating electrical components immersed in water need good seals (rubber/carbon/stainless steel etc) but even the best seals exhibit parasitic drag again reducing output.   

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4 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Mark, 

I openly admit that I only have a rudimentary understanding of the technology. what I know comes from people involved with this project

https://simecatlantis.com/projects/meygen/ 

My understanding on this project is that the limiting cost component was the specialized vessels, which I know for a fact will change in the next couple of years courtesy of US shale. 

Just curious... What the heck do offshore vessels have to do with US shale and Tidal energy?

Curious minds want to know.

--------------------------------- reply to Lionel

PS: There are many places where there is always flow and is never stagnant.  Of course harnessing it is near impossible. 

PPS: If covered in Niobium, no cleaning needed... Of course its price is the same as silver...

PPPS: Hydrofoil roughness is not a big deal as water is incompressible.  Not good of course, but not the end of the world either. 

PPPPPS: Water flow around.... Uh, no more than air flows around wind turbines to avoid them 🤔  This is only true of the dam and then use head pressure to spin a VERY low head pressure turbine.

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57 minutes ago, Wastral said:

Just curious... What the heck do offshore vessels have to do with US shale and Tidal energy?

Curious minds want to know.

--------------------------------- reply to Lionel

PS: There are many places where there is always flow and is never stagnant.  Of course harnessing it is near impossible. 

PPS: If covered in Niobium, no cleaning needed... Of course its price is the same as silver...

PPPS: Hydrofoil roughness is not a big deal as water is incompressible.  Not good of course, but not the end of the world either. 

PPPPPS: Water flow around.... Uh, no more than air flows around wind turbines to avoid them 🤔  This is only true of the dam and then use head pressure to spin a VERY low head pressure turbine.

Investment resources in terms of capital, labour and equipment are finite and tend to be focussed on the areas with the quickest return. I assume this means that a lot of the current interest in the O&G industry is focussed on shale and this is leaving a lot offshore capacity unused as their isn't the capital available to utilise these resources. This unused capacity could be redirected towards marine energy developments (wind mainly but also tidal and wave).

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8 minutes ago, NickW said:

Investment resources in terms of capital, labour and equipment are finite and tend to be focussed on the areas with the quickest return. I assume this means that a lot of the current interest in the O&G industry is focussed on shale and this is leaving a lot offshore capacity unused as their isn't the capital available to utilise these resources. This unused capacity could be redirected towards marine energy developments (wind mainly but also tidal and wave).

That "offshore" capacity does not move worth a darn and the "capacity" is completely different equipment.

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2 minutes ago, Wastral said:

That "offshore" capacity does not move worth a darn and the "capacity" is completely different equipment.

That's true in the world of elves and fairies that is Oil Price. com

Meanwhile in the Real World dual use equipment is being redeployed to renewable developments.

That little company Equinor (formerly Statoil) is a good example

https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3061757/equinor-plans-to-deploy-floating-offshore-wind-to-power-oil-and-gas-fields

Infact I am sure from my own experience that a lot of vessels used in Oil and Gas for supply and maintenance could have dual use on wind farms. This would be particularly beneficial in areas like the North Sea with both oil / gas fields and extensive offshore wind farms.

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12 minutes ago, NickW said:

That's true in the world of elves and fairies that is Oil Price. com

Meanwhile in the Real World dual use equipment is being redeployed to renewable developments.

That little company Equinor (formerly Statoil) is a good example

https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3061757/equinor-plans-to-deploy-floating-offshore-wind-to-power-oil-and-gas-fields

Infact I am sure from my own experience that a lot of vessels used in Oil and Gas for supply and maintenance could have dual use on wind farms. This would be particularly beneficial in areas like the North Sea with both oil / gas fields and extensive offshore wind farms.

Bravo... dirt cheap small boats are now "dual use" in your brand new engineering experience eh...  Its the cranes/barges and workers that are the $$$, not the stupid twink twank boats which move people and goods in green water. 

Not that it matters, tidal can happen almost nowhere other than a few rare spots.  Couple of those spots are quite adequate if one can run the power lines.  They are all far far north far far away from populations. 

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