|Colin Gross (United Kingdom)|
Green Energy from the rise and fall of tides
Background: Every object that floats in tidal areas (harbours, the sea, etc.) moves up and down with the tides. The energy that is required to lift the object and the energy disipated as the object descends is all wasted. (Imagine the energy required to lift a relatively small 2000 tonne barge.)
Practical Application 1: This energy can be harvested by connecting the object to a harbour wall or seabed. The relative movement between the fixed harbour wall etc. and moving object can be made to pressurise hydraulic fluid, this can operate an hydraulic 'wobble pump' which turns a generator.
Practical Application 2: In its simplest form this electrical energy would be cyclical, in line with 'still' high and low tides. In this simple form the energy could be sold to a national grid.
Practical Application 3: There are approx. 1500 harbours around UK. Most of them have underutilised harbour walls (built prior to the shrinking of our fishing industry). The oil industry alone discards many barges as 'unseaworthy' and sells them for scrap. A 'nodding donkey(s)' based on a harbour wall, one arm attached to a rising and falling barge and the other to a hydraulic piston(s) would produce the pressurised fluid necessary.
- Most forms of 'green' energy are complex and expensive. This one is DIY in its basic form and should provide money from selling power to the grid (in UK).
- The floating body should be relatively wide and long (not deep draught). Hence the 'barge' suggestion.
- To stabalise the electrical output - generator output could be passed to the windings of a bank of alternator/flywheels. Ideally, these would be rotating in a vacuum and suspended by magnetism (giving zero mechanical friction).
Reward: That if this idea is put to use and developed, that process in no way limits other users from using and developing this idea.