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The Powers Of Tidal Power

Oct 18, 2007
Tidal Power, often referred to as tidal energy, is achieved through the capture of the energy created as water moves in ocean currents and tides. Two types of tidal power can be harnessed for energy-efficient power. The first is called kinetic energy. This is tidal power directly created as the water is moving in rivers and in oceans as tides. The tidal power that requires one more step, called potential energy, comes from the difference between low and hide tide height. This height is commonly referred to as head.

The kinetic tidal power process uses turbines to produce the renewable energy. To understand this process think of windmills and visualize them underwater - this is the means for kinetic tidal power. It is becoming increasingly more popular because its impact on our ecology is so much less dramatic than the building of dams, or what some refer to as tidal fences or barrages. The United States and other countries across the globe are studying their coastal areas with an eye for the suitability of the region for the production of kinetic tidal power. The ideal of these have high speeds of the water that occurs in the local channels as they enter the river or bay. Water currents in rivers that run between islands are especially good for tidal power as the currents there are highly concentrated and often quite powerful.

Tidal power, with solar and wind energy, are one of the most popular and well-touted of the sources of renewable energy. This is because ocean tides especially are caused by the orbit of our solar system. Ocean currents, as part of this process, happen because of the way winds are affected on the earths surface. This tidal power supply is, thus, deemed inexhaustible. The primary energy source here is the kinetic energy produced by the orbit of the system of earth and moon, and earth and sun. Tidal power has an excellent potential as a future source of the generation of electricity because the energy generated by these galactic rotations will continue unabated forever - or so scientists believe. Tidal power is not something new, however. European tidal mills have been a part of grain grinding operations for almost one thousand years.

How efficient tidal ocean dam power is depends on the height of the tidal swells rise and fall. This is commonly referred to as amplitude. This amplitude can be as high as 33 feet 10 meters. This occurs where the tidal waves are funneled into fjords or rivers and water velocity is extreme. The speed of the water might be as fast as 16 knots. One example of this is Vancouver Island in Canada. Even greater amplitude is experiences in the Bay of Fundy, where the amplitude might reach 56 feet 17 meters. This is because the tides resonance amplifies the ocean waves.

Thus, we see that the selection of the right location for a tidal power generator is crucial to its success as an efficient source of green energy.
About the Author
James Copper is a writer for http://www.plumbing-course.co.uk where you will be a able to find out about a plumbing course
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