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Tidal Energy Power Systems

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Tidal Energy Systems

Europe has a long history of employing tidal forces to generate power, and tide mills dating back to the Middle Ages can be found across the continent.

A dam with a sluice was constructed spanning a tidal inlet, or a section of a tidal estuary was turned into a reservoir. At high tide sea water flowed into the reservoir through a one way gate. The gate closed automatically when the tide began to fall and when the tide was low enough, the stored water was released to turn a water wheel.

Woodbridge Tide Mill, dating from 1170, in Suffolk, England, is an excellent example. Another good site is the Rance estuary in France. These tidal mills are the precursors of modern tidal barrages.

Problems

“The use of Tidal currents and planetary movement of water to extract energy is one of the most irresponsible and thoughtless short term visions possible”. Quote from Dr Len Cubitt in 1978, forensic mechanical & structural engineer.

The fact that numerous projects have been justified, funded and built belies belief, as clearly top flight engineers in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics had never been consulted. Sadly this is a result of many electrical engineers looking to solve a problem using limited information – and not knowing they need to consult and engage with non-electrical engineers.

In order to avoid being derailed, it maybe worth noting the top 10 ways to undermine an expert are:

  1. The question does not require an expert.
  2. The point is outside the expert’s expertise.
  3. No proper basis is set out to support the opinion.
  4. An objective, demonstrative procedure is not set out.
  5. Opinion given is based on speculation or inferences of fact.
  6. Intrusion on an ultimate issue.
  7. Impermissibly argumentative.
  8. Irrelevance.
  9. No “body of specialized knowledge” exists.
  10. Failure to comply with the Expert’s Code.

Why all the negativity? Well, you see that tidal currents are generated solely by the relative movement of the Moon, Sun and to a lesser extent, Venus. The extraction of say multi-megawatt energy from the tides has to come from somewhere.. and it is not sunlight, it is not coal, not marine organisms, but from the kinetic energy stored in the rotating earth! Sure, there are other factors slowing the Earth’s rotation, but why add to it with tidal power systems!

It does not take much imagination to connect the dots with ultra precision time keeping where the rotation of the earth is slowing each year by an irregular amount, estimated to be around 1 second every 4~5 years.

The slowing effect of Earths rotation also conveniently ignores tidal power systems.

In light of this, have a read of this article, and you will see that the energy source is NEVER mentioned.