According to a story published in the Telegraph "a revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim. The new device, which has been inspired by the way fish swim, consists of a system of cylinders positioned horizontal to the water flow and attached to springs.
"As water flows past, the cylinder creates vortices, which push and pull the cylinder up and down. The mechanical energy in the vibrations is then converted into electricity." Read more about Alternative Energy Sources.
The article then explains that the device is more efficient than similar-sized turbines or wave generators.
The scientists behind this invention claim some impressive numbers:
"Systems could be sited on river beds or suspended in the ocean. The scientists behind the technology, which has been developed in research funded by the US government, say that generating power in this way would potentially cost only around 3.5p per kilowatt hour, compared to about 4.5p for wind energy and between 10p and 31p for solar power. They say the technology would require up to 50 times less ocean acreage than wave power generation."
That just blows away the costs of wind and solar. Whatever it takes to get the U.S. off Saudi oil, particularly an energy producing device like this is well worth the research.
Research on VIVACE was performed by Michael M. Bernitsas at the University of Michigan. He applied for a patent.
Gammablog.com commenting on the VIVACE writes. "Most of the sun’s energy on earth is absorbed by water and the movement of water. Michael Bernitsas, professor of naval architecture, has been fighting the destructive effects of vortexes on underwater structures for years. These vortexes are similar to the wind effect that destroyed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. His devices can produce energy at a much lower flow rate than is required by turbines, and because of their slower movement, they are not likely to harm fish as turbines do. Also, as the devices can be put far below the surface, they will not be an eyesore or interfere with recreation or navigation." Read more about Renewable Energy.
Reported by and reprinted from the Gnostic's diary of Daily Kos.