Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Put That In The "Why Didn't I Think Of That" Folder

Green power is a very hot topic right now, but advocates of green power continue to find reasons NOT to use green power.
When a proposal comes up for using solar energy, Earth Activists complain that the land needed to build a solar plant is too great and will negatively affect the animals in the area.
When a proposal arrives for wind power, people complain that it is an eye-sore, and that birds might fly into it and become injured.

The only other alternative is hydro-electric power. But that requires a river, as well as the building of a dam and the flooding of thousands of acres of land.

Until now.

Popular Mechanics has an idea for the city of New York that might solve some of the problems which exist in green power. Wind turbines...under-water. Like the flashlight you shake to make light up, it seems so simple that the fact that it has never been thought of makes one smack themselves in the head and think "Now why didn't I think if that!!??"

The idea is the same as a wind turbine in the fact that you need a flowing fluid to rotate blades which then rotate a generator. However, conventional thought have limited that fluid to air, but now, water is being looked at as a viable flowing fluid. The power produced by these turbines can be upwards of 35 KW each at a flow of 4 knots. The blades are 16 feet in diameter and require a depth about 28 feet to operate.

If this technology comes to be, our rivers and oceans could produce around 130,000 GW-h per year, or 3.6% of the electrical output of the United States.

H/T: Glenn Reynolds