With dwindling fossil fuel resources we are working with solar, wind and tidal alternatives to generate power. Just a few days back we talked about an underwater kite feeding on tidal energy to generate power. Taking a step forward, researchers at the University of California are working upon sailing ships that could harvest energy from the ocean far away from the shores.
The scheme includes sailing ships equipped with hydropower generator comprising two blades which oscillate by the force of water to generate power when it is ploughed through the water. The power produced is used to generate hydrogen by splitting seawater into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen can be stored onboard to be later used for electricity generation. According to the proponents of the scheme Platzer and Sarigul-Klijn, sailing ships with 400 square meters of sail, and operating in a moderate force of 15 metres per second, could generate up to 100 kilowatts of electrical power. And, with shops larger in size possibly even meet the energy needs of the entire planet.
The method is advantageous in terms of amount of energy extracted because the underwater flowing through the blades has greater power density of 36 KW/ sq meter – way more than the 1.2 KW/ sq meter from a rotating wind turbine.
Via: New Scientist