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Sunday, March 20, 2011

16 Hydroelectric, Wave and Tidal Power Designs

By Ecoist in Energy & Fuel, Science & Research, Technology & Gadgets

(Images via: OceanWorldCNN, HIE and  Geekologie)
Water power is arguably the most valuable renewable energy resource – and also could be considered the most ignored, until recently. Tidal power farms sustainably harnass renewable energy generated by lunar cycles, wave power parks take advantage of the natural repetitive motion of the surface of water and hydroelectic power plants harvest the kinetic energy produced by gravitation from changes in water levels. Here are sixteen of the most innovative tidal, wave and hydroelectric power designs currently pushing the alternative energy envelope. Click below for larger images of and additional information on these awesome designs:

(Advantages of &) How Ocean Tidal Power Works

Tidal power is in many cases the lowest-impact but also the most reliable form of taking energy from water. Because it relies on repetitive lunar cycles, unlike wind or solar power, a tidal power station (aka tidal farm) can be relied upon to produce a predictable amount of energy. Also, since most tidal power generators sit below the surface of the water they are not obstacles or eyesores to humans but can impact ecosystems.

(Advantages of &) How Surface Wave Power Works

Like tidal power, wave power generates energy energy primarily from large open bodies of water (seas and oceans) using an array of machines that individually harness the kinetic energy around them. Water power stations (or parks) take advantage of the elliptical motion of surface waves to drive pistons and convert the power around them into electrical energy. They are also relatively inexpensive to build and deploy.

(Advantages of &) How Hydroelectric Power Works

Unlike tidal and wave power, hydroelectric power relies on gravity that naturally pulls water from one level to another – often around artificial or natural waterfalls in large rivers. Though they range in size and type they work primarily on the same principles: water passes through with force which rotates a series of turbines that in turn generate renewable alternative which can be used for all kinds of purposes.