Friday, June 13, 2008

Minch madness(?)

Just saw this in the Hebrides News. Seems like ideas for floating wind turbines are taking shape, although we remain extremely sceptical.

This new idea is for semisubmersible offshore wind turbines, generating hydrogen which they pipe to shore.

In addition to our earlier questions around the engineering challenges of floating turbines and bearing wear associated with the movement, our additional worries are:
  1. How much will the offshore to onshore hydrogen pipelines cost?

  2. Doesn't hydrolysis of seawater produce Chlorine gas - both poisonous and corrosive? How will the technology deal with this?

River power - time for some sums

Just back from Budapest, where the Danube transects the city in a stately curve. It seems to run at a reasonable walking pace (this in June - faster in March/April, I'll bet), and must contain a fair slug of energy available for capture. Of course, this is exactly what Verdant are doing in New York at the moment.

The difference here is that Budapest has lots of lovely bridges, which could potentially act as foundations for tidal turbines (as Southampton University demonstrated at a small scale on Yarmouth Pier).

What the world needs now is some calculations on the possible power available from the Danube in Budapest. And once you've covered the Danube, there's the Rhine, the Rhone, the Volga, the Thames....

Sunday, June 08, 2008

"have been deployed"?

The Economist this week has a section on wave energy technology, and intriguingly refers to Pelamis as follows:

"Three such devices...have been deployed (my italics) off the coast of Portugal.

Now, the Economist is usually pretty reliable on its fact checking, but the Pelamis Wave Power website makes no reference to a successful installation. I wonder who's right...has the Economist got ahead of itself, or is PWP being unexpectedly modest?