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Alternative Energy: Power Via Coastal Wave Motion.

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the manna-from-the-moon dept.

News 368

lavalamp writes "Scottish company Ocean Power Delivery has developed a sectional-torpedo-looking-thing as a means to transform the raw fury of the sea into electricity! I'm curious to see what happens when another drunk Exxon captain plows into a field of these things. They just secured a 8.6m (usd) in funding to continue research and build a large scale prototype." The company has won a contract to produce a 750kw "plant" off of the scottish coast and has an mou to produce a 2Mw project off of the coast of Vancouver Island in Canada. While this is far from being free energy, it is a pretty interesting way of deriving power from the tides. A side benefit is that surfers will finally be able to rail like their boarding cousins.

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368 comments

Oprah Found Having Sex with Dolphin! (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196810)

Q3) What do I do if a dolphin wants to mate with me?

A3) Accept, if possible! I will go through the steps involved with males and females...

The Male:

When a male dolphin is interested in you, about the only thing you can do, if you are male, is to masturbate him. (Unfortunately, I cannot speak for the female of the human species... it seems women just don't like dolphins enough... so I cannot say for sure if it is safe to mate with them. I would suspect not, due to a dolphins size, but then again, I cannot say for a woman.)

WARNING! In the considerations of safety, you should NEVER let a male dolphin attempt anal sex with you. The Bottle-nose dolphin member is around 12 inches, very muscular, and the thrusting and the force of ejaculation (A male can come as far as 14 feet) would cause serious internal injuries, resulting in peritonitus and possible death. Unless you are the masochistic type, you will have a hard time explaining your predicament to the doctors in the emergency ward....

A male dolphin's member is roughly S-shaped, tapered at the end. If you are in the water with them, it is best to support the dolphin on his side, just under the water, with one hand, and handle him with the other. Male dolphins, I find, tend to prefer the base of the penis to be gently massaged and squeezed, as well as gently rubbed along it's length. It feels very much like the rest of the dolphin (ie. smooth and rubbery to the touch, but firmer). It doesn't take long for the male to ejaculate, around 40 seconds to a minute, and this is usually accompanied by either shuddering just prior to ejaculating, and thrusting and tail-arching during ejaculation. The force of ejaculation can be powerful at times, so it is best to keep your face out of the line of fire, or keep his member underwater. You can attempt to lick and suck on the end of it while masturbating as well, but be warned, do not try to give full throat, and get the hell out of the way before he ejaculates! A male dolphin could snap your neck in a accidental thrust, and that would be the end of that relationship.

The Female:

Well, the females are again a little trickier. There are two courses of action with a female fin: Masturbation, or mating.

Masturbation: Female dolphins, once they show interest in you, can be supported in much the same way as the male, one hand under the fin, supporting her, the other doing the stimulating. The clitoris of the female is located at the top of the genital slit, and is a prominent lump when erect. You can rub this with your finger tips, or lick and suck it, but with the oral aspect, you might end up with a bruised nose as they thrust up into you. You can slide your hand gently into their genital opening, and feel around inside, rubbing gently. They feel warm and muscular inside, their labia like tough, squishy sponge when they are excited. Don't be surprised if they start to play with your hand inside them. They have very manipulative muscles, and can use them to carry and manipulate objects, including your hand. (They can do things that would make a regular human woman turn green with envy.) Their climax is coupled with stiffening, shuddering, sometimes a lot of thrusting, clinching of the vaginal muscles, and sometimes vocalization.

Mating: This is harder. Obviously, being human, it is awkward, but not impossible to mate in open water. It is easier to have the dolphin in a shallow area (like the shallows just off the beach) around 1 1/2 to 2 feet deep. This is usually comfortable enough for both the dolphin and you. Gently, you should roll the dolphin on her side, so she is lying belly-towards you. You can prop yourself up on an elbow, and lie belly to belly against her. You may want to use the other arm to gently hold her close, and place the tip of your member against her genital slit. She will, if interested, arch her body up against you, taking you inside her body. There is usually a fair bit of wriggling and shifting, usually to get comfortable, both outside and inside. Once comfortable, though, females initiate a series of muscular vaginal contractions that rub the entire length of your member. They may also thrust rhythmically against you, so enjoy the experience while you can, since you will rarely last longer that a minute or two. Just prior to her climaxing, she will up the speed of her contractions and thrusts. It is interesting to note that the times I have mated with females, they have timed their orgasm to mine. Whether they do this consciously or not, I do not know, but it is a great feeling to have two bodies shuddering against each other at the one time.

One thing to note. Whether you masturbate or mate a fin, male or female, always spend time with them afterwards. Cuddle them, rub them, talk to them and most importantly, show them you love them. This is essential, as it helps to strengthen the bond between you. Like a way of saying that this wasn't just a one-night fling. The dolphins appreciate it, and they will want your company more the next time you visit them.

first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196811)

feel this energy

Another drunk exxon captain? (2, Flamebait)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196830)

Well, considering Hazelwood wasn't at the helm I suppose it'd be a first if it happened. Why is it that environmentalists looking for alternate power sources have to bash the oil companies?

I swear, it's as bad as the open source zealots going after microsoft. Why can't people just say, "Hey - alternate power cool!" instead of bashing the oil companies? Because, let me tell you, the oil companies are a lot better than Microsoft as far as their antics. Microsoft doesn't have a bunch of hippies surrounding every office building 24/7 waiting to bust them for hurting some fuzzy animal.

Re:Another drunk exxon captain? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196854)

Hey, programmers are fuzzy animals too. And we crowd around slashdot 24/7 waiting to bust them for our pain...

Spoken like a true zealot... (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196865)

Here is a story about alternative power, and you manage to rant about Microsoft.

pot, kettle, black (like yo momma).

Great work, you tit.

Re:Another drunk exxon captain? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196872)

Well, I'm not so sure that oil companies are better than Microsoft. Microsoft probably hasn't caused the death of anyone. Shell probably can't make the same claim.

http://web.mit.edu/aram/Public/shell/why-shell.htm l

yeah .... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196895)

microsoft also does not use slave labor or arrange for somebody to kill protesters. Oh and by the way "i wasnt at the helm" is no excuse for a captian. the Valdez, aside from killing many fuzzy and non fuzzy animals, also deprived many people of their livelihoods.

Re:Another drunk exxon captain? (1, Flamebait)

daeley (126313) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196954)

Look, kids, a Troll for the Oil Companies! A Troil!

One could make the argument that Microsoft has lots of people trying to hurt one particular fuzzy animal [sjbaker.org] , thus the outcries. :)

Re:Another drunk exxon captain? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196996)

You are so obviously American.

Re:Another drunk exxon captain? (0, Redundant)

sheyal (319005) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197040)

Why do oil company-lovers always have to bash people who don't like oil companies?

I swear, you could have just said that the poster shouldn't have bashed oil comapnies and left at that instead of going off on a tirade about how wonderful the oil companies are and how undeserving they are of protest (especially because that view is misplaced to a LOT of people). You aren't our mother.

Ciao!

Microsoft doesn't have death squads. (1, Informative)

dotderf (548723) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197052)

Exxon-Mobil and some other companies have hired security forces to protect their natural gas operations. Behold, these security forces have killed thousands of people. Can Microsoft do that?

Exxon was coerced into it (torture, murder, rape of employees), and I don't want to say "Exxon kills people," but Exxon did give these people money.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196836)

"and has an mou to produce "
What language is that ?

Now thats FUCKING funny (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196838)

Why the hell would sufers want to "Rail" at all? We consider the land-bound sports to be vastly inferior!

Fucking Kooks, STAY OUT OF THE WATER!

Welcome to Slashdot, Please don't feed the Janitors

Slowing down the earth/moon (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196841)

Of course, this energy doesn't come free ... I suspect that the result of extracting energy from the tides would be a very slight slowing of the Earth's rotation, or the slowing of the rotation of the moon around the Earth. Conservation of momentum/energy.

Probably a very, very small effect though.

Of course, I'm talking out of my ass now. Anyone care to do the math and figure out how much energy we would have to extract / how long it would take before we started noticing any change?

Re:Slowing down the earth/moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196877)

"Anyone care to do the math "

Uhhh

1 + 1 = 2
1 - 1 = 0
1 * 1 = 1
1 / 1 = 1

Hmm

Seems, according to my calculations ..

We are all going to die in 2011!!

Re:Slowing down the earth/moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196920)

convservation of energy/momentum would be fulfilled when the the motion of the waves is transformed into electricity. of course it's not 100% efficient, but that is lost in energy required to turn the turbines and other intricacies in the power conversion process. I don't think the earth's rotation or moon's orbit will be affected.

Re:Slowing down the earth/moon (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196925)

grr. I browse at 1 so I won't see crap like that. Can somebody mod that back where its supposed to be? Thanks.

Re:Slowing down the earth/moon (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196938)

Why don't you take a class and do the math yourself?

Re:Slowing down the earth/moon (4, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196992)

Erm, the energy already gets used up. The washing of the waves up and down (without the wave generators) gets turned into sound/heat energy anyway.

Think of this energy like using the steam coming off a kettle to drive a kid's toy windmill - you won't affect the rate at which the kettle boils (but you will change where the kinetic energy from the steam is turned into heat)

Re:Slowing down the earth/moon (2, Informative)

elfdump (558474) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197007)

Most tides are caused by the earth being attracted to the moon (The sun exerts some tides, but they are negligible). When the moon approaches the earth more closely in its orbit, and as the earth itself rotates, the distance between the two bodies changes and hence the land and especially the water rise or fall. Thus, while tides are a side effect of planetary motion, the force of the tides itself arises from the mass and distance of the moon, and not from the moon's motion around the earth. So harnessing the tides won't affect the earth's rotation, or the orbit of the moon. You may be confused with the "slingshot" technique, whereby spaceships are swung around a planet in order to bank off their natural rotation, which does indeed slow the rotation of the planet slightly.

Re:Slowing down the earth/moon (2, Informative)

AmishSlayer (324267) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197018)

It might not slow down the Earth and here's why... the oceans slow down the Earth by about 1/1000th of a second every year. If the energy is being taken from the ocean the tidal force *might* be reduced because the energy will be rerouted to my laptop. If the ocean has less energy then the force applied againts the earth should be less and it might speed up. Then we'll have to change the saying to 23:59/7

Re:Slowing down the earth/moon (2, Interesting)

happyclam (564118) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197050)

Funny... Galileo, among the first to truly understand and explain many things in the world, wrongly used the tides as "proof" of the movement of the Earth, particularly its diurnal rotation. His theory was that the oceans "sloshed" because of the earth's spinning motion. Of course, we know that's not true: the tides are caused by the moon's gravitational pull as it travels around the Earth.

The ocean's sloshing action has no more effect on the Earth's rotation or the moon's orbit than water sloshing in a glass on a train affects the speed or direction of said train.

Extracting energy from the tides will no more affect the earth's spinning than putting up windmills to extract energy from the wind does.

Fourthus Postus slashdotus (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196844)

nt

Windtraps (4, Informative)

Adnans (2862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196845)

When will those Dune windtraps become reality??

Seriously, power generation via wave is old news.

Check out this [murdoch.edu.au] site for some backgrounds.

-adnans

Re:Windtraps (1)

dakoda (531822) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196889)

No kidding, i remember an article about this exact same thing years ago (when i was a wee lad, at the dentists office iirc).

Windtraps would be sweet though

Re:Windtraps (1, Interesting)

morbid (4258) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196921)

They built one just such contraptions in Scotland back in the late 80's/early 90's but the steel was too thin, and they towed it out to sea in rough weather. The machine broke :-( Too bad, because it was a brilliant idea. The world is full of such brilliant ideas, and they're relatively cheap to make but no one wants to pay for them. If I had a million dollars I'd (fix the tree fort in our yard) fund one or two of these experiments. Alas, I'm poor.
...but not a real green dress, that's cruel.

Wavetraps (2)

mblase (200735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197026)

The URL you provided describes capturing wave power at the coastline, by installing a device into the rocks by the water.

This is completely different, a device that floats in the middle of the water and, better yet, can be chain-linked together in series. The installation expense looks to be much lower, and wouldn't damage coastlines either. In fact, you could probably install and use them when you're nowhere near a coastline, like near a free-standing drilling platform.

Re:Windtraps (3)

NaturePhotog (317732) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197031)

Yeah, though I don't think any of the wave-powered windtraps got built until relatively recently (two years ago or so). I remember discussions of wave and tide power generation from when I was a kid in the 70's.

See stuff at the BBC here [bbc.co.uk] and here [bbc.co.uk] from November 2000.

Effects of this technology (2, Insightful)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196851)

I wonder if they've studied the effects of using things like this first. I mean sure, it's clean energy....but damn first off it kills the view right off the bat. How about marine life, how do they take to giant red torpedo's in their environment. Does it confuse them? etc.... Is this only going to be done in places people don't frequent for surfing and swimming. There's very little information on the site, leaves ya with more questions than answers.

What I want to know is (4, Interesting)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196852)

How do these things interact with sea life? Often, various species of fish and invertabrate type creates cling to relatively stationary type things in the ocean- often intentional, such as when an obsolete ship is sunk for an artificial reef.

So if sea life starts to make a home out of these things, will it interfere with their operation? I could probably figure it out from their PDF's but I've left work and my brain has shut down for the day.

watch this post go (-1, Offtopic) (1, Offtopic)

cjpez (148000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196876)

(from your sig):
The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people
How true. How very very true.

Re:watch this post go (-1, Offtopic) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196942)

i feel obligated to fill you in:
http://www.realultimatepower.net/

This is actually quite old (3, Insightful)

Neorej (398404) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196853)

I remember these books I had on "How things work" when I was a kid. One of them was all about the earth itself, volcanos, wind, water, the works.

I vividly remember a picture of a wave with a bunch of strange yellow things in it. The things were wave braker like devices that used the power of the waves to generate electricity.

"When I was a kid" is somewhere around the mid eighties here, I guess.

If everything I learned from books then is going to be re-invented this century I think we still have a LONG list ahead of us. Let's hope they pass up on some of the more stupid ones, like Windows 3.0.

Re:This is actually quite old (1)

dohcvtec (461026) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196967)

I think I saw it on Beyond 2000. IIRC they were showing active tidewalls (around Venice perhaps?) but they mentioned the offshoot of using the free movement of the tidewalls to generate electricity. Chalk up another one for Beyond 2000 :)

If it's not Scottish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196858)

You gotta love a place named the Firth of Forth.

-Frank

So? (0, Troll)

/Wegge (2960) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196859)

Exactly what's new?

Put two or more linkend fliating vessels into the sea, and tap their relative kinetic energy. This has been on the drawing bord since 1980, and in the water since 199x...

Baaaaad submittter, now go back to the cave.

I wonder (2, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196864)

I wonder what nasty side-effects that will cause in the ocean.

You just can't take energy out of a system without a side-effect.

Of course, it will only be an issue if it is ever scaled up.

Re:I wonder (2)

willybur (217434) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196965)

But we're not taking energy out of a system. The energy's on Earth, isn't it? You move it around a bit, make some use of it. No loss. In the ocean, the tides expend massive energy every time a wave breaks. The little generators have the same general effect. It's like saying that solar cells will cause the premature burnout of the Sun. The energy's there, we can choose to take advantage of it or no.

Re:I wonder (2, Insightful)

Mr.Intel (165870) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197045)

But we're not taking energy out of a system.

True, but we are taking the energy out before it hits land. This will decrease natural erosion, deacrease the amount of carbon absorbed by the ocean (it is a natural carbon sink) and possibly affect sea life in that region. Granted that the energy taken from the tide would be relatively small compared to the total kinetic energy of the waves. Nevertheless, over time it would be difficult to tell exactly what the impact would be.

Talk about a place to put a bomb.... (1)

b0r0din (304712) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196866)

Seems like it'd be really easy to hide a bomb in one of these farms. They will definently need some good security to make sure these farms don't get sabotaged and in turn wipe out electricity, not to mention the possibility that such a disaster might wreak havok on the ecology. Still, a novel concept, one step closer to cleaning up our environment.

Re:Talk about a place to put a bomb.... (1)

/Wegge (2960) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196896)

Go away!

Read up on the facts of kinetics before posting such a blatant karma-whoring piece of drivel.

Or even, try to understand the physics beind the whole setup!

Re:Talk about a place to put a bomb.... (2, Insightful)

davejenkins (99111) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196933)

what a chicken little-type statement. It's not an easy place to put a bomb. You would need a raft, boat, or something, and then you would have to cross the floating fence they would put up around it.

and any 'terrorist' wouldn't really get that much bang out of it-- stuff doesn't blow up that easily when it's in the water.

How long will EVERY conversation we have about ANYTHING require the obligatory security/terrorist wanring/advocation?

The Motion in the Ocean! (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196869)

Here are your recent submissions to Slashdot, and their status within the system:

* 2002-03-20 22:20:55 Great Introduction into the .NET framework for the (articles,perl) (rejected)
* 2002-03-20 22:27:58 Katz discovers "Back Yard" physics (articles,slashdot) (rejected)

Summary:

* rejected (2)

Note: grousing about rejected submissions is Offtopic and usually gets moderated that way. It happens, don't take it personally

Woo hoo! (2, Insightful)

Tadrith (557354) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196874)

I'm wondering if this isn't something that might help us here in California with our so-called "energy crisis".

I firmly believe that we're all getting ripped off by the energy companies out here, and that the crisis would be solved if the idiot power companies would shape up. However, this doesn't seem to be happening, so perhaps this might bring some new companies to the table, and possible spark a little competition out here? Perhaps at least give us more options so we can quit being raped by our electric bills. Even with cutting back, I'm paying a lot.

Besides, to cut back anymore would require powering down my servers. That's just not gonna happen.

Re:Woo hoo! (5, Informative)

spike hay (534165) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196964)

This won't solve our energy problems. It will help some though. It is only worth putting tidal plants in areas with large differences between high and low tide. These places are few and far between. Even when they do put plants in these places, they only produce a fraction of the power of a convetional plant.

To really solve the energy crisis w/o polluting, we need to build more nuclear power plants.

It's not so bad as people think. It doesn't pollute like coal. It's not expensive like natural gas. (which, BTW, also pollutes)

Coal pollutes too much. We'd be overrun with smog, much more so than if we used gasoline engines. We don't have enough oil to be energy independant. Natural gas is too expensive and we will run out of it in about 30 years. That leaves us with nuclear. Nuclear power is not as dangerous as people think. Also, a Chernobyl-scale meltdowns in U.S. PWR are impossible. The Chernobyl reactor was a crappy commie RBMK reactor with no containment building. Of course we had the TMI reactor problem. However, that killed or injured no one. And, according to the World Health Org, only 31 people were killed in Chernobyl.


Fears of nuclear power are overblown. Radiation is just like any other pollutant. And you need a shyteload of radiation to really harm you. Nuclear power has killed a grand total of 35-50 people in it's entire exsistence. Coal power has killed somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million people.


Little known fact, but according to the Lawrence Livermore Nat'l lab, coal power realeases more radiation than nuclear power. Coal naturally contains some thorium and uranium. When you burn coal, this is realesed into the air. We burn so much fscking coal that we realease around 150 thousand tons of uranium and 350 thousand tons of thorium into the atmosphere!!! The study is here [ornl.gov] . Nuclear power is also cheap. With some new tech, they have gotten the cost of some nuclear power plants below the cost of coal.

There is not mountains of nuclear waste made by our plants. Each plant only uses several tons pounds of uranium a year. That would fit in an area just a few feet square. The total amount of waste ever created for a whole family for their whole lives would fit in a shoebox. If we reprocessed our fuel, it would fit in a pill bottle. Compare that to mountains of highly toxic coal waste with arsenic, cyanide, and other good stuff that just sits on the ground and leaches poisons into the groundwater.


Nuclear waste storage is very good. It's not like they are hauling it around in thin metal barrels like the environmentalists want you to think. No. The waste is transported in thick metal containers that have been tested by being thrown off cliffs, rammed into locomotives, and all sorts of crap. In Yucca mountain, the waste is stored inside these metal casks, which are in turn inside an ultra-thick concrete subterrainean room. Also, the storage place is 1,000 feet above the water table, so you're OK there.

Re:Woo hoo! (2, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197042)

Yes, good points. As for the 5 million figure, where did you get it? If you add in the cumulative effects of fossil fuels (even the cleanest burning engines produce unfilterable microparticulate that lodges deep in the lungs), I'd bet it's actually much higher.

Despite these logical facts about nuclear, don't expect public opinion to change any time soon. The fact is, when stuff goes wrong with nuclear power, it freaks out an entire generation who won't go near the stuff. And also, don't lump all environmentalists together; I happen to be one (a wilderness activist, to be specific), but I'm certainly aware of the advantages that nuclear offers.

Re:Woo hoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3197005)

I really enjoyed the fiasco in California especially since I don't live there. I won't deny that some small portion of what went on was a shell game between the power suppliers and power producers. However, here is my take on the California legislature's idea of managing the power industry:

1) Our environmental laws are so strict (not necessarily a bad thing) that we haven't allowed a new power plant to be built in state for the past decade (bad thing). Yet we demand that the power industry magically compensate for our growing demand/population.

2) We are deregulating the power industry but we are regulating the maximum price they can charge to a customer at X per KWH no matter what you have to pay per KWH to provide that power -- even if they have to go as far as to purchase excess power on the free market at many times the price that it would cost to generate.

You can't force a company by law to sell a dollar for $0.90 and expect them to stay in business for very long.

Harnass the Masturabatory power of Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196875)

Imagine if you could capture the wanking energy of the legions of Slahshdot users.
There would be more energy than is contained in all the nukes every built.

lock ness electticity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196879)

looks like ol nessie sightings will go thru the roof if this is deployed.
bamboo
For a good time, call jackedthoughts.com

Railing on a surfboard (2, Informative)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196883)

Would be kinda destructive. They aren't the strongest things in the world. You can abuse a snowboard or skateboard a lot more than a surfboard. Hell, they get pressure dents in the deck just from your feet.


I'd hate to skip over one of those things with a surfboard...you'd rip the fins right off, best case. Worse case you'd end up with a trashed board.

Already being done.. (2, Informative)

TwoStep (36482) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196885)

Something similar is already being done in Canada, in the Bay of Fundy. They have a massive tidal power plant there.

I think the tides are over 20 feet there, which I guess is the reason there aren't similar plants elsewhere.

Twostep

With one more coming... (1)

ghack (454608) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197014)

One more canadian tidal plant is a-coming, according to the article

recently signed a memorandum of understanding with BC Hydro to develop a 2 MW project off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada.

so canada is already ahead of US by two.

US=us and U.S.A.

Say... (1)

danielrose (460523) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196890)

That would make a nice beach...
I'd rather not put the thing near my house.. :)
Maybe they can stick it far far away!

Beware! (5, Funny)

brogdon (65526) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196891)

Don't forget this older slashdot article [slashdot.org] that deals with the dangers of tidal power, namely that since it's the moon's gravitational pull that powers the tides, by harnessing them for power, we'll slow the moon down in its orbit, causing it to fall and crash into the earth. Probably onto some kind of target laid out by Taco Bell as a free taco promotion.

refreeze the melting ice, maybe... (2, Funny)

ddeboer (197882) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196931)

Well, if you take energy out of a system (like the ocean) you cool it down, right? So maybe if we get enough of these suckers, we can refreeze all those icebergs that are breaking off down in Antarctica...

Re:Beware! ...it's not tidal power. Just dampening (2, Informative)

sanermind (512885) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196958)

Nope. That was using -tidal- power, [where you capture the high tide and then drain it for kinetic energy]. This is different, it is dampening the energy out of waves caused by wind. Of course, this could ultimately affect climate if done in open ocean or something, but generally I imagine it would be done for waves that would otherwise crash to shore. So, if anything, it will just reduce the rate of erosion, [and piss os surfers].

Re:Beware! (2)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197020)

LOL. But...

Tidal power notwithstanding, this article talks about harnessing the kinetic energy of waves crashing to the shore. So instead of sending all of their energy into the beach, some of it will go into power generating devices and the rest will go into the beach.

If anything, this scheme would help *save* eroding coastlines by diverting some small fraction of the force of the waves.

It's even better than solar power that way. While solar power isn't totally free-- every joule you get from the sun is one joule that won't go into growing plants, which can ultimately have an impact on the planet's ecosystems-- the kinetic energy of waves is just going to get smeared across the beach. Some of it will become kinetic energy in the sand and rocks and whatnot, but the rest will just be conducted into the ground in the form of heat, slightly warming the sand that's already too freakin' hot to walk on.

I say bring on the wave motion generators! And while you're at it, figure out how to build a gun out of one of them, so we can use that cool name!

Re:Beware! (2)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197053)

Probably onto some kind of target laid out by Taco Bell as a free taco promotion.

Yeah, but will they put that dumb chihuahua in the middle of the target?

Hey, Alternative Power - Cool! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196897)

No oil company bashing from this AC. However, unless this power generation technique is competitive with burning petroleum at about US$33 per barrel, it won't be practical in the long run. The same thing applies to any energy generation, recovery or conservation scheme.

This is because the petroleum supply curve has a bend in it, and that bend implies huge surpluses above a certain breakpoint, which in 2002 is about $33 per barrel.

The bend is there because of the natural distribution of oil deposits - they're lognormally distributed with respect to energy content. This phenomenon applies to the supply curves for all minerals deposited by sedimentary processes, BTW.

Wave Depletion! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196898)

Sure it sounds cool and all, but what happens when the Wave Power Source Machine Thingys suck all the wave energy out of the ocean and we're left with nothing but glass-smooth seas.

Won't the environmentalists be embarassed then!

Re:Wave Depletion! (1)

praedor (218403) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196918)

The net result being slowing the earth's rotation more swiftly than it is naturally slowing. Perhaps it will also affect the moon's orbit and even the earth's orbit around the sun.


So there.

Re:Wave Depletion! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196948)

Um.

Well, i'd say that as long as george w. bush doesn't blow up the moon [space.com] , that isn't going to happen...

More funding needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196904)

8.6m usd? According to my metric-enabled calculator, that works out to 0.86 cents in funding. This has to be a joke. How is this news?

puns (2, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196905)

What a smashing development.

They sure seem energetic about this idea.

Within months the company will be all washed up.

Re:puns (3, Funny)

Tattva (53901) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196990)

What a smashing development.

They sure seem energetic about this idea.

Within months the company will be all washed up.

Will they have to buy land for this, or do they already own the tidal?

Surfice it to say, this is a good idea.

Wave goodbye to fossil fuels.

Will the public embrace it, Ocean it?

Excellent News (4, Insightful)

lysurgon (126252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196908)


Though this design is nothing new (I remember a theoretical drawing in a high school textbook), it's excellent to hear that some medium scale implementations are going though.

I can't help but think how this compares to the US energy policy, which basically boils down to "clean coal" and scrapping regulations that would mandade fuel efficency and pollution reductions. As troubling as this is from an environmental perspective, what's more troubling is the lack of desire within the leadership of this nation to actively invest in and pursue technology.

We as a nation seem to be more than willing to let our technological advantages slip away in our moment of decadence.

Iceland is buiding fuel-cell technology into their public buses and merchant/fishing fleet. Scotland is making power from the waves. East Germany has an all-fiber telecom network, and we have... "clean coal" and SUVs that get less than 18mpg.

Hmmmm... I don't like where this is going in the long run. The US government has the biggest bankroll of any nation. We should be putting it to better use if you ask me.

Re:Excellent News (1, Flamebait)

thelizman (304517) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196982)

If you care to actually look into it, increased funding in alternative power sources is central to the Bush energy plan. Thank your DEMOCRATIC congressman for working to shoot that down. Quit making up stupid lies to bash the g-dub.

Re:Excellent News (3, Insightful)

davejenkins (99111) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196988)

Then make sure you run right out and buy that really expensive fuel-cell car. Oh, and feel free to pay some extra voluntary taxes with a little note attached 'please give to alternative-energy scientists'.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not to hip on coal either. But my point is that it's always better to pursue the cheapest energy. If we can incorporate the 'pollution' costs into the cost of that energy, then these alternatives start to look sexy.

Another source... (5, Funny)

sanermind (512885) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196909)

In a related story, researchers in belgium are working on a prototype system designed to capture usefull levels of electric power from night-club dance floors.

"Many people haven't personally seen the levels of activity that frequently are exerted in the techno-music scene. It's really quite suprisingly frenetic" says one researcher.

And because all night dance clubs are so popular in Euroland, there is a not insignificant untapped potential for power generation. The scientists are especially exited to be developing a prototype system to be deployed in Ibiza, Spain.

"What's especially fitting about this locale, is that a majority of the partiers [or, as we like to call them, acoustically stimulable periodic mass distributors] are in fact foreign tourists; which truly is free energy. They even pay to stay here, and pay for the food they are so efficiently converting into mechanical energy!

You think you're kidding, (2, Interesting)

switcha (551514) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196999)

but you're not far off. At the Crystal Ballroom [mcmenamins.com] in Portland, OR, they have a floor on a suspension system [mcmenamins.com] . The whole thing moves under your feet a little. If you could harness it, you could probably generate just enough electricity to pump out the cigarette nimbus clouds that accumulate during concerts.

Re:Another source... (2, Funny)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197012)

So you have to dance to power the music, but you have to have the music before you will want to dance?

Although really, this could be similar to the kinetic energy used to recharge the batteries of some laptops (via the keyboard).

Umm, Capt. Avatar? (1)

danboo (473483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196923)

Is it really safe to fire the wave motion gun so close to the planet like that?

Website design (1, Offtopic)

Da Penguin (122065) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196924)

I don't like to post off-topic and will probably get modded down, but that website really isn't designed to well. First of all, it has frames which in general rarely work well, and it has the scrolling marquee which has the standard problems in IE where it works, and just displays improperly in netscape. It looks like they did not even test it in netscape because of the frame borders. Even in IE, they fit the text so that you have to scroll left and right to read it (on my screen at least). It is full of pdfs, which wouldn't really be a problem, but it opens it inside the smaller frame.

<rant mode off, going back to real life... now!>

Get a Life (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196961)

You sir are a LOSER, to remidy this you should obey the following instructions:

1. Turn Off Your Computer.
2. Take a Bath
3. use deoderant; (but only after the bath)
4. Brush your teeth
5. Floss
6. Gargle (and NO, I didn't mean cum)
7. Find the nearest woman and get busy. (and Remeber most women DO NOT TAKE WELL to the type of sex you're used to. The hole you're looking for is on the front side now.)

old tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196936)

This isn't a new technology. Back in the 70's two were build... but here's an article on it here [msnbc.com] . Took 3 months to get /.'ed?

Enron and brownian motion (1)

ghack (454608) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196940)

Things like this are bound to be more efficient than wind power(the site doesnt seem to say), and produce as much power as many small/medium nuclear plants. If things like this are developed, eventually there will be no need for a company like enron.

Interesting that this is developed in the same country where brownian motion was first discovered by scottish scientist Robert Brown....

The same country that first thought alot about chaotic particle motion develops a really interesting way to get energy out of chaotic-ly moving particles ;)

sorta...

Perhaps this would make a good java game (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196947)

Drunken Exxon Captain. Extra points for dolphins slimed in the event of an oil spill, or automatic win for crashing into Cowboyneal if mating with a dolphin, because the world is just not ready for that kind of offspring.

"Raw Fury?" (2)

Triv (181010) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196951)

developed a sectional-torpedo-looking-thing as a means to transform the raw fury of the sea into electricity!

Or, if you build one in Coney Island, the raw sewage of the sea, hypodermics and all.

I used to live there. I know what I'm talking about. I used to live on the Jersey coast too, but that'd be too easy. :)

Triv

Oh my God (1)

utdpenguin (413984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196963)

No one has said "imagine a beaowulf lcsuter of these . . . " yet.

Dear God!!! What is slashdot coming to??

Im disapointed in you all.

Marine life (3, Insightful)

B.D.Mills (18626) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196968)

I'm just imagining what the marine life around these things will look like once they've been in place a few years. Far from being detrimental, they'll actually be prime real estate for marine life. They will provide shade and places for seaweed and other plant life to grow. A single piece of driftwood in the open ocean can attract a lot of marine life, so imagine what these babies will do.

Another Wave-energy project (5, Interesting)

Heerscher (560008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196970)

This isn't the only wave-energy project currently in development. There's also a project by a Dutch company (AWS BV.), called the Archimedes Wave Swing. Their 6MW pilot plant is to be tested from April onwards in Portugal. It's a really interesting concept, using the law of Archimedes to generate power.

You can find it at http://www.waveswing.com [waveswing.com]

CA and ECO-Freaks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3196971)

CA is screwed on power costs because your governor waited til power costs were peaking before he signed long term contracts, now the energy providers are making good money off the state (and your utilities are making bare minimum, thats the penalty of deregulation and the payback for the long term monopoly they had)

And for you eco-freaks that want to complain about oil companies, how many of you drive a solar vehicle? Or a hydrogen vehicle that gets H2 from solar? When hydropower becomes available, you bash the oil companies and then whine about the fish spawning in the river or the coral that will be scraped off these wave generators.
If you want to be so environmentally friendly, shut down your plastic-containing computer and go sit in the woods naked since some fossil fuel was used to make your clothes or heaven forbid nuclear energy!
Until you're ready to go back to the level of egyptian or early greek civilization, work to support clean low cost energy and minimize your use of the dirty stuff.
But don't sit there with your big monitor and the incandescent (WASTEFUL!) lamps and your big screen TV with the 300W surround sound system and bash oil companies. Go vote with your dollar. Install solar and live off the grid.

So Many Negative Vibes (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196977)

This could be really cool. It's not going to slow down the earth. It does not work off the tide. And hey, they are trying something different in an attempt to make the world a better place.

The thing that has just been pummelled into my brain lately is that every attempt at something mentioned on /. is overwhelmingly met w/"old news", or "bad side effects", or "will never work".

Come on. Aren't many of the cherished 'ideals' around here- to try different things? To be free to learn? To build on what has come before?

Man - the negativity really wears at times.

.

Tidal power and desalinization (5, Interesting)

lkaos (187507) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196991)

I had heard something about this on NPR. I do not believe they indeed on trying to use the power to power homes and such, but instead, to run a desalinization plant to provide freshwater to remote places.

It becomes cost effective because it would be overly expensive to provide power out to these remote areas which desparately need fresh water. It supposedly opens up a whole bunch of land to agriculture that was unusable before.

I remember hearing about this being done before for some third world country but it failing miserably because of storms and such.

Unfortunately, I don't seem to be able to find much info on google so I could be mistaken.

Fixed and marginal costs (4, Insightful)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 12 years ago | (#3196997)

People forget that just because some scheme gives you very low marginal costs it doesn't give you "free" (as in beer) electricity. Even with conventional gas fueled electricity generation, the cost of the fuel is not much of an issue. It is the cost of the building the plants in the first place that make the electricity costly.

So while I'm happy to see a range of things working out as possibly viable, 750kW is not alot to get out of the resources that appear to be going into this.

Another alternate form of energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3197003)

I was a lazy fuck and didn't cook breakfast and just had leftover beans for breakfast and lunch. You can harvest enough power or heat from me now to keep a village going...just don't light the match.

Buoys (1)

McOtis (114417) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197016)

Ocean buoys have been using similar physics for years...
Covert underwater waves to charge a battery system.

PDF press release, text version (2)

m_chan (95943) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197017)

I read an interesting perspective on wave power from Dr. Peter M. Duesing regarding the exploitation of wave and tidal power here [cornell.edu] that basically says that its prospects of being a major contributor to large scale production are slight. On a small scale there are several [tripod.com] cases [murdoch.edu.au] that support localised usage.

Regarding Ocean POwer Delivery, there is a pdf regarding their funding package available here [oceanpd.com] .

If their site goes down or if you don't want to click, here is the text clipped from the pdf:

Press release

Wave energy company Ocean Power Delivery secures £6m funding package

Edinburgh-based wave energy company Ocean Power Delivery Ltd (OPD) today announced that is has secured £6m (EUR 9.8m) funding from an international consortium of venture capital companies led by Norsk Hydro Technology Ventures (NTV), the venture capital arm of Norway's largest industrial company and including 3i, Europe's leading venture capital company and Zurich-based Sustainable Asset Management (SAM). Each organisation provided an equal level of funding to produce the largest investment of its kind in a wave power company.

The investment success builds on OPD's steady rise to prominence in the field and clears the way for the company to become the leading force in the sector.

"This investment is the culmination of OPD's intensive four-year programme to develop the Pelamis concept, the funds secured today will allow us to demonstrate and commercialise the system," says Richard Yemm, Managing Director of OPD. "Wave energy represents a major commercial opportunity and we have positioned ourselves well to take advantage of this."

The Pelamis is a long, thin, semi-submerged articulated structure composed of four cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints, the complete system is oriented head-on to incoming waves. The wave-induced motion of the joints is resisted by hydraulic rams, these pump fluid through hydraulic motors to drive electrical generators. A 750kW machine with a similar output to a modern wind turbine will be 150metres long and 3.5metres in diameter. An array of 40 Pelamis machines would provide enough power to supply the energy needs of 20,000 homes.

OPD aims to have a working prototype producing electricity to the grid within the next two years.

Many previous wave energy concepts have failed as they lack the inherent survivability of the Pelamis. The system uses the unique combination of a streamlined, low-profile form and proven technology from the offshore oil and gas sector to provide the required load-shedding and reliability to withstand the rigours of the marine environment.

OPD has recently demonstrated the system at intermediate scale in the Firth of Forth as part of a UK DTI supported programme to address all key aspects of technical risk. Further DTI support in conjunction with today's investment will allow all elements of the full-scale system to be thoroughly tested this summer before being installed in the first full-scale demonstrator next year.

In 1999 the company won a contract to install a pair of Pelamis machines off Islay within the Scottish Renewables Obligation and recently beat off stiff international competition to secure an agreement with BC Hydro, the Canadian West Coast utility, to carry out a full feasibility study for a 2MW scheme for installation off Vancouver Island during 2003.

Graeme Sword, 3i director commented: "OPD has developed a leading renewable energy technology which positions the business to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities in the rapidly developing renewable energy market. The combination of this unique technology and strong management makes OPD an ideal fit for 3i in the development of our support for alternative energy technologies."

"NTV's role is to seek exciting investments with venture capital financial returns, in arapidly evolving new energy economy." says Jørgen Rostrup, NTV's Managing Director. "We screened several wave energy machines around the world before finding Pelamis, and are delighted to work with OPD and our co-investors in commercialising this concept."

"SAM is proud to be part of this exciting project in what we have identified as a highly promising new opportunity in the renewable energy space. Dr Richard Yemm has managed to gather an impressive group of talented people who have produced a design that stands out for successfully marrying robustness with efficiency," says Gianni Operto, principal of SAM Private Equity.

ends 20 March 2002

For further information please contact:

Ocean Power Delivery Ltd

Richard Yemm or Max Carcas

Tel: +44 131 554 8444

Email: enquiries@oceanpd.com

Web: www.oceanpd.com

Combined benefits possible? (2)

mblase (200735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197041)

Forget about the problems of surfers crashing into these things -- what about a boat, I wondered? If a fishing trawler or passenger motorboat plowed through these things, they'd do serious damage to both themselves and the generators.

Then it occurred to me that they'd obviously want to mark these things off, along with painting them fluorescent orange to make them easily visible, to keep stray boats out of the area. Then I wondered about the impact on the fishing industry if these become widespread. Then it hit me: they could mark off a section of the water and use it both for fish farming and power generation. Double the economic benefits, and now you only have to worry about fish pirates in stealth submarines.

Wavebreaker the danish way (2, Informative)

Miklos (33666) | more than 12 years ago | (#3197043)

Back in the early 90s the danish inventor, Erik Skaarup, invented the wavebreaker and the design has been proven to work at an irish university.

It has (according to the studies) somewhat better effectiveness than the one mentioned in this article.

Read more here:

http://www.waveplane.com/indexuk.htm

- Miklos

* good judgement comes from experience - experience comes from bad judgement *
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