Underwater Turbine In Place Off Scotland

Another marine power player has tugged a device to the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC), as the busiest year yet closed out for the center’s test sites in the waters off Scotland’s Orkney Islands. The latest entry: The Hammerfest Strom HS1000, a 100-foot underwater turbine with a generating capacity of 1 megawatt.

Hammerfest Strom is a joint venture of Iberdrola – the parent company of ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) – Andritz Hydro and Statoil New Energy. The company said the HS1000 will be tested at the EMEC to confirm the tidal power device’s performance and reliability “in preparation for larger scale production and deployment.” The plan is for the same machine to be used by SPR at the turbine array it is developing in the Sound of Islay, with deployment there expected to take place between 2013 and 2015.

tidal power device, hammerfest strom

image via Hammerfest Strom

“This is a major milestone in the development of tidal power technology in Scotland, and for the tidal power industry across the world,” SPR’s Chief Executive Keith Anderson said in a statement. “We anticipate using this turbine as part of our project in Islay, which will be the first of its kind in the world, and remains the only consented tidal array project in Scotland. Beyond this, we have ambitions to use this turbine as part of even larger scale projects in the Pentland Firth, which we are currently investigating.”

While the HS1000 employs an underwater turbine to grab energy from the tides, SPR has also deployed versions of the Pelamis device at the EMEC’s wave power test site. This device is semi-submerged and uses hydraulic cylinders to capture energy from the motion of waves.

Sports columnist, newspaper desk guy, website managing editor, wine-industry PR specialist, freelance writer—Pete Danko’s career in media has covered a lot of terrain. The constant along the way has been a fierce dedication to knowing the story and getting it right. Danko's work has appeared in Wired, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

    • Acone

      Hah! I remember taking two semesters in college to perform a feasibility study on using marine turbines located withn tidal inlets only to have my engineering advisor scoff at the idea. Who’s the fool now? Fool. I pity the fool.

      • Jmarshall9

        I live near a tidal river on the East Coast. Water power from riversu00a0was used in New England in mills of all sort. I too wrote a paper on “trapping the tides”. Water is heavy and here it rises 9.5 feet twice a day. That is many foot-pounds of energy. The paper was labeled a failure by my engineering professor.

      • dave_young

        That`s why he is an “educator”, not a R&D engineer – no imagination or creativity.

    • Lou Cypher

      There is a big difference between “feasible” and “prudent”.nnThe new power facility may generate 1MW continuous over a 10 year operating span, but if the components and supply-chain needed for the capability consumes more than 10 MW/yr of energy, it is a lousy trade, you’ve merely robbed your grandchildren to support your neighbor’s lifestyle. While such a ‘modal energy-deficit’ has existed every time man has upgraded energy technologies, previous transitions always yielded a net-surplus of energy, while current scenarios are challenged to even meet parity demand curves. nnAt this point, population-reductions are an inescapable element of our future, and our choice is whether to initiate a controlled-burn now to try and give our grandkids a soft landing, or we just let the whole thing crater and let the survivors figure out how to reboot Man v2.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Harlem/100002053261632 David Harlem

        They have to start someplace.u00a0The technology is nascent. Would you have us continue to harvest energy from the earths crust until it’s completely depleted?u00a0 What do you imply by “population reductions”?u00a0 Forced sterilization of undesirables? nnYour response isu00a0little short sighted.u00a0 We can’t keep relying on fossil fuels and we need to look for alternatives now for the health and welfare of future generations.u00a0 Funny people worry about “finances” for their grandchildren but aren’t concerned about the environment.u00a0 I bet I know who’ll you’ll vote for in November.

      • Anonymous

        Ah, yes (sss “My Precious”), “Population-Reductions”. Another term for forced euthanasia and an argument for “Death Panels”? Anyone want to bet on which side of the decision making Mr. Cypher believes he’ll be on? Anyone?

      • Hotvedtshed

        Freedom  of choice has now taken care of 50,000,000 babies since Roe vs Wade. I’m sure with the right people in the right places we as a great nation could double that figure in half the time. China has……. Come Lord come we desperatly need you. 

        • StateofReason

          50 million?  You’re living in a dreamland if you believe that.  The current total population of the US is only 300 million.  That would be 1 abortion for every 6 Americans.  Every abortion Dr in the country would have had to work 24hours a day every day without a vacation to make that happen.  

          • Patrick

            This article indicates 52,000,000…..  http://www.lifenews.com/2010/01/22/nat-5910/

            • StateofReason

              Oh, well if “lifenews.com” cites a “study” by “the National Right to Life Committee” which they say is based on “hard data and estimates” then I don’t see any reason we shouldn’t take that number as fact.  

              I’m still not sure what this has to do with underwater turbines.  

          • Midlandr

            50,000,000 since ’73 you idiot.

            • StateofReason

              Midlandr, I’m well aware of when Roe v Wade happened.  I know what Hotvedtshed was referring to.  I know math is hard but try to follow me here.  In order to perform 50 million abortions since 1973 we would have to perform 3,512 every day, including weekends and holidays.   That would mean that roughly 2% of the women in this country had an abortion each day for the last 40 years.  

              If you really believe that, you’re completely delusional.  

            • Midlandr

              It happens dude, daily.

            • StateofReason

              You’re really suggesting that 2% of the women in this country (counting women of all ages so realistically a far larger percentage of the women of childbearing age) have an abortion every single day?  That means if you work in a business with 100 female employees at least 2 of them are taking off each day to get an abortion.  

        • http://www.earthtechling.com/ earthtechling

          Sorry folks, but this particular discussion on Roe/Wade, etc, isn’t on topic, so we are puling it from the thread for this story.

    • gold2512

      harnessing tidal power makes sense and so does trying to capture and redirect the power of gravity. this will certainly cost a lot less than solyndra and be more practical.

    • Anonymous

      I thought the whole idea was to have sustainability combined with consistency? Tidal currents are dependent upon what? Yes, the tides. Even a cursory glance at a tide book will reveal that they are subject to daily variations as to length, direction and intensity; and that that effect is subject to amplification or diminution according to both lunar and solar influences, which also cause seasonal changes in intensity. After all, once you poke a hole in the earth’s crust, the liquid and/or gaseous carbon product just gushes out at a fairly predictable and steady rate independent of solar and lunar forces, making it easier and more profitable to harness. I think here, the trick is to find the method and real-estate that will allow us to harvest the earth’s energy potential in a sustainable, consistent and profitable way. Without killing either fish or birdsu00a0by tilting at windmillsu00a0with whirling blades placed in less than ideally predictable locations with fairly consistent energy output potential, regardless of the aforementioned short term variables that keep getting in the way as they are now.

      • Cratethief

        why would it have to be profitalbe? Thats whats got us where we are now….remember J.P. Morgan and Nikola Tesla? We never learn from history…shame shame!!

        • Anonymous

          Of course. Why didn’t I think of that? “Socialism works wonderfully, until they run out of other peoples money”. Right? Why, if we’re not careful, we’ll wind up with government healthcare, government plains, trains and automobiles and who knows what else? Oh? We already have most of those things and more? And they all cost more than they bring in? Why, I’ve got it, we’ll just subsidize, um “Invest” in these things we can’t afford with borrowed money to be paid back (if ever) by our grand children’s children. Yes, comrade, a little studying of history is in order. Indeed.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RRAIZRDOFZOCBMT527EY2XVSCE Greg Y

            that’s about the dumbest quote I’ve ever heard, yet it keeps getting repeated.  Socialism (not communism, just so we’re clear) is based on funds provided by the citizens for us providing services FOR the citizens that fund those services.  It’s not “other peoples money”, it’s the money of citizens who are getting services in return.  Lets take Germany or Switzerland for instance.  They pay a high tax rate, yet in return get a phenomenal public infrastructure, public transit, highways, airports, harbors, communications systems, schools, free public education for those who have acceptable grades (and not simply the ability to spend $150,000 on an education), affordable health care, etc…  These are services that are used by citizens in all strata in those countries, rich and poor both use these services freely and equally.  IF you want BETTER health care in Germany than the basic services provided under the national health care plan, then you buy supplemental insurance which helps pay for such things as private rooms and so on.  If you want better and more individual transportation than the public transit system, you buy a car, but if you need it, the bus/train/tram is still there.  When you retire, you have a basic decent standard of life which you’ve paid into all your working life, and won’t end up homeless. And these socialist systems don’t stifle creativity, entrepreneurial spirit or wealth.  Mercedes Benz, VW, Philips, and NUMEROUS Swiss and German pharmaceutical companies all do QUITE well despite being run by socialists.  Bosch is a leader in innovation, yet by the conservative logic, there is no personal drive to succeed because the “Nanny State” takes care of everything so why work?(every German and Swiss counterpart I’ve dealt with in 16 years of extensive travel and work there is just as driven and passionate about work, bettering themselves, etc.. as anyone I know in America)
            As for Churchills quote, let’s also remember that this was the man who planned the Galipolei raid in WW1, and basically sold out all of Eastern Europe (or was duped) to Josef Stalin behind the backs of America.  He was either calculating, cruel and manipulative, or an idiot.  He might have been an inspirational leader, but as a human being does not deserve admiration due to many things he did that are often downplayed (such as selling out Europe to the communists!)

      • StateofReason

         I’m always amused when conservatives suddenly become environmentalists when talking about how many birds are killed by windmills.  Of course you ignore the fact that more birds are killed every day running into skyscrapers in NYC than are killed in a year by all the windmills in the country.  If you really care that much about birds we’re going to have to bulldoze all the cities.  You also ignore the number of animals that are poisoned by exhaust from coal fired power plants. 

        Who says we have to have “sustainability combined with consistency”?  Currently almost 60% of our electricity in the USA is generated by coal, the dirtiest possible source.  If we could replace just 10% of that with renewables like tidal electricity we’d greatly reduce the amount of pollution in our air.  If renewables give us 9% on Tuesday and 11% on Wednesday that doesn’t make it any less valuable.  Currently as demand for electricity increases and decreases throughout the day power plants turn on and off generators to create supply.  If we had more supply from renewable energy we could turn off more dirty coal generators.  Our time of highest power demand is typically during the day so solar energy is a perfect solution.  It creates more power when we need it most. 

        We don’t have to replace all of our fossil fuel usage overnight.  We can replace it little by little.  It’s possible that we’ll always need some amount of our power to come from fossil fuels but that’s no reason not to start reducing our consumption of it now. 

        “once you poke a hole in the earth’s crust, the liquid and/or gaseous
        carbon product just gushes out at a fairly predictable and steady rate” at least until we run out.  One of the interesting facts about non-renewable energy sources is that they are, by definition, non-renewable.  We may be at peak oil now or we may not get there for another 50 years but that doesn’t change the undeniable fact that fossil fuels are a limited resource that will run out.  There’s no way of avoiding it.  It will be far cheaper and easier to build up our renewable sources now while fossil fuels are relatively cheap and plentiful than later when supplies are gone. 

        • MyronJPoltroonian

          O.k., it’s obvious that you (and several others) don’t see the forest for the trees, so to speak. I’m not arguing for just increased fossil fuel “Harvesting”, I’m pointing out that all of these “Sea Power Harvesting Schemes” are all “Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places”, as the old song goes. Even if you figure out this clue (The Coriolis Effect), it’s the harvesting method I envision that’s the secret to it’s eventual success. A success, I might add, that I believe will provide more steady, sustainable electricity to the world, than all the wind, wave and tidal plants (farms, if you prefer) in the world combined. Of course, distribution systems will necessarily have to be beefed up (upgraded) to handle the load and provide the energy where and when needed. And no, it won’t be cheap to build and maintain at first (technology always seems to catch up and improve on first and second generation problems in a rather steady, and occasionally spectacular, way, so I have faith that the world will catch up to and improve upon what I envision.)

          • StateofReason

            It’s not so much that we don’t see the forest or the trees.  It has more to do with the fact that you’re utterly full of crap.  If you’ve got some magical method of harvesting ”
            more steady, sustainable electricity to the world, than all the wind, wave and tidal plants (farms, if you prefer) in the world combined.” then patent it, get yourself a good lawyer and find a company to produce it.  Then, buy yourself an island (maybe Hawaii) and retire.  Until you develop your “idea” the rest of us will continue to push for real clean energy sources.  

            If your idea is actually valid you should stop pushing for  “increased fossil fuel “Harvesting”” because narrow minded conservatives will keep fighting any clean energy until it’s substantially cheaper than fossil fuels and probably for many years after that.  

            BTW, if you actually come up with this genius energy idea and make it happen you’ve just found your biggest fan.  

            • MyronJPoltroonian

              Dear “Biggest Fan (To Be)”, 
               I’m taking steps to patent (copyright, whatever) my ideas on this matter. The biggest stumbling block thus far is obtaining a truly iron clad, bullet proof non-disclosure agreement. (Would a public or private lawyer, executive or administrator of a corporate or government entity really steal an idea worth potentially trillions of dollars? “You Betcha”.) 
               And yes, I’m an “Evil Conservative”.

            • StateofReason

              It’s a patent you’re looking for.  Copyrights are for copy (words) patents are for things.  If you don’t know that you’re off to a bad start with your invention.

              Find yourself a patent attorney.  If you live near any halfway decent sized city, or can get to one, there will be plenty of them.  They will all have a standard iron clad bullet proof non-disclosure agreement standard in their initial meeting to discuss your idea.  I happen to know a number of patent attorneys in a few different cities and as an IT provider a few of my customers are patent law firms.  If you’d like some contacts I’d be happy to refer you.  As I said, if this idea is legit, and green, I’m a big fan and I would do what I could to move it from idea to reality.  
              A good place to start would be 
              https://oedci.uspto.gov/OEDCI/query.jsp
              and 
              http://www.inc.com/guides/finding-patent-lawyer.html

              BTW, I don’t think conservatives are inherently evil.  Just disconnected from reality and lacking an understanding of history.  As a liberal I believe there are some things that are more important that money, thus my offer to help.  You can keep the money.  

            • CommonSense

              Stating that a conservative is disconnected from reality and lacking an understanding of reality is like saying that Obama is not a liberal. It’s just sheer idiocy.

              The mere concept of liberalism couldn’t be more disconnected from reality. No basis for logic, no pragmatism, no common sense. Facts and figures have time and time again disproved the platforms that liberalism stands upon.

              You need to change your name from StateofReason to StateofInsanity.

              Who else runs their mouth supporting ‘freedom of speech’ unless it offends them? Who else screams about defending all cultures and religions except christianity? Who else decries the 1% rich, yet adoringly supports George Soros, Michael Moore(hypocrite), and other billionare democrats?

              Conservatism was not only FOUNDED on history, it is based and continues in it.

              You probably decry killing of animals and think we should only get meat from the grocery store. And you will be the first one to die when grocery stores and fast food chains close. Get a life and stop trying to run everyone elses you moron.

            • CommonSense

              Stating that a conservative is disconnected from reality and lacking an understanding of reality is like saying that Obama is not a liberal. It’s just sheer idiocy.

              The mere concept of liberalism couldn’t be more disconnected from reality. No basis for logic, no pragmatism, no common sense. Facts and figures have time and time again disproved the platforms that liberalism stands upon.

              You need to change your name from StateofReason to StateofInsanity.

              Who else runs their mouth supporting ‘freedom of speech’ unless it offends them? Who else screams about defending all cultures and religions except christianity? Who else decries the 1% rich, yet adoringly supports George Soros, Michael Moore(hypocrite), and other billionare democrats?

              Conservatism was not only FOUNDED on history, it is based and continues in it.

              You probably decry killing of animals and think we should only get meat from the grocery store. And you will be the first one to die when grocery stores and fast food chains close. Get a life and stop trying to run everyone elses you moron.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/5LY6T5RRFVV7I2LHRWR5CYL3O4 Ronald

      I’m not an engineer, but I do have a degree in Economics and have been a full time Paramedic for 18 years, (go figure!).u00a0 Daily I see the waste of tax dollars in our health system.u00a0 I recall reading about how a study was done on world population growth.u00a0 When Oil was discovered and became part of our everyday lives the world population jumped, or should I say went ballistic.u00a0 The graph was eye catching.u00a0 This article was tied in with Peak Oil.u00a0 Our planet and manpower can support ONE Billion, which was what the graph was creaping up to before Oil.u00a0 With oil we’ve increased food production, etc. etc.u00a0 Regarding the comment on population-reductions, I do not think he meant death panels, etc.u00a0 We cannot support our current world population growth.u00a0 If you believe so, then I wonder if you’ll be willing to fight in the future resource wars that will inevitably come.u00a0 This problem is just one link in the chain of horrors hidden from our eyes behind our consumer greed.u00a0 My father was a WWII Vet and grew up during the Great Depression.u00a0 He was pessimistic about our government.u00a0 I, being raised in the Public Schools of the 60’s and 70’s thought otherwise.u00a0 Then came Vietnam, Martin Luther King…the list goes on and on.u00a0 That paradise called America we were taught of in school was nothing but a fantasy.u00a0 I will not go into who, what and why is doing this to us.u00a0 If you cannot figure it out for yourself, then your in denial.u00a0 We have families living in autos or cardboard boxes.u00a0 Fallen off the grid and hidden from plain site.u00a0 We turn a blind eye as long as we have what we want.u00a0 Until you’ve suffered, which many children born since the 80’s haven’t, your eyes are not open to reality.u00a0 Like Donald Trump stated during an interview when he was thought to run for President:u00a0 paraphrase – I have Chinese business friends who tell me they cannot believe what our government lets them get away with !u00a0 Our Government and Business Elites have sold the USA down the drain.u00a0 You need to seek the truth on the net, not in the press or TV news.u00a0 In 10 years China has gone fromu00a0sweat shop clothing manufacturers to making High Tech equipment makers.u00a0 The article told of companies that tell of Chinese goods that sell here for less than the cost of the raw resources need by US companies to make the goods.u00a0 It’s now that our raw resources cost less, its that our Government lets them DUMP the goods over here to take over the market.u00a0 Americans cannot find good paying jobs because they are not here anymore.u00a0 They’re in China, but over there they get pain Sweat Shop wages.u00a0 In the article it paraphrased on US business executive as stated that Sweat Shops are Good.u00a0 They don’t want a middle class or Unions.u00a0 They want it all !!u00a0 That is why our Country, for one thing, wants to take away my and your right to carry a concealed weapon, let alone, own one in your home.u00a0 They fear what is going to happen if an armed America wakes up to what they’ve done to us.

      • Cratethief

        Theu00a0US isu00a0already fighting in resource wars….. thats all we fight for these days.

      • Anonymous

        “I may disagree with [most of] what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American peopleu2019s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.” u2014 George Washington. Or,u00a0″The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” Thomas Jefferson. (However, I’m beginning to believe he may’ve had more than just the use of the second amendment in it’s own defense in mind.)u00a0″The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1787. I put it much more simply:u00a0u00a0When this speech becomes illegal, I’ll become a criminal: “I may become an enemy of the state, but never of the people”.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Shelton/1529402870 Steve Shelton

        Wow, how did you connect all of that to natural energy technology?

        • DrMaxH

          REad the last sentence, Maestro: They fear what is going to happen if an armed America wakes up to what they’ve done to us. Billion spent on Fake energy schem es that are obviously defective from the get-go are part of what they’ve done to us — bankrupted/raped us and the squandered our life’s savings. Underwater windmill: anyone who has ever worked on anything in the sea, whether a ship or soemthing submerged, knows that the ocean eats away and destroys whatever you put in it.

      • dave_young

        Investors` capital ( owners of corporations both in the USA and elsewhere), are international investors. They have no allegiance to any one country, only to their respective investments. Most stocks of U.S. corporations are owned by equity funds and by international shareholders. You need a better understanding of how the market works. If Chinese labor is cheapest, then those people will get the menial work, won`t they? Don`t demonize corporations or their management. They must compete in world markets.

        Duhhhh

      • str009

        Then why, oh why on earth do the republicans, the same political entities that facilitate and defend the centralization of wealth with a few powerful corporations and their leaders, also make political dogma of advocating guns ownership?!?

    • T-Maaz

      All politics and what-not aside – I’m not anu00a0engineer (so please feel free to correct me), but wouldn’t a design based on a paddlewheel or some sort of turbine-type shape work better in this scenario than a propeller design? Seems like it would be more compact & potentially less disruptive to whatever may be swimming, boating or floating around them.

      • StateofReason

        A paddlewheel will only work if the force (tidal currents in this case) only pushes on one side of the wheel.  On a paddlewheel boat the wheel only pushes against the water on the bottom so it can create forward movement. If you tried to use a paddlewheel on a submarine (just shooting for an underwater comparison) you wouldn’t move forward as the top of the wheel would push backwards as fast as the bottom pushed forwards.

        The turbine works in situations where the force (water or wind) is coming at you more like a wall, than a floor. What do you see as the downside to the turbine in this situation?

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RRAIZRDOFZOCBMT527EY2XVSCE Greg Y

          Carry the idea all the way through, shroud the top half of the paddlewheel and it would work.  A better idea though would be to build shrouded fan type turbines, so that you don’t lose efficiency at the blade tips.  Enclose these turbines in tunnels so that pressure is increased, which will increase the speed and force of the tidal currents, producing more energy.  And as another poster pointed out, these could be fitted with some type of screen to prevent such debris as netting to get into the turbines.  If such a net got caught on the incoming tide, it would most likely be flushed out on the outgoing tide.

          • StateofReason

            I suppose your half shrouded paddlewheel might work but I don’t see how it’s an improvement on the design in the article, much less an improvement on the design from OpenHydro posted by the guest above.  In fact, the OpenHydro design is somewhat similar to what you’re proposing.  You should check it out.  The “blades” are enclosed in a stationary outer ring that prevents nets and other things from getting caught in them.  

            As for losing efficiency you’d be surprised at how much power these tidal forces produce.  I’ve read about early tidal power turbines, just a few years ago, where the fan blades were ripped right off because the tidal forces were orders of magnitude stronger than anyone predicted.  We’ll always be missing the majority of the potential energy of the tides, just as we’ll always be missing the majority of the sunlight for solar power.  Luckily there’s a lot of energy out there so even grabbing a relatively small portion of it makes a huge difference.  

      • Guest

         http://www.openhydro.com/home.html

    • Employed101

      Can’t wait to see a fishnet caught in this mess.nnGreat idea but poor execution

    • Paulreynolds

       like article..nimrod says we cant use canadian oil..no pipeline..smart.. verysmart.  we need someone who will tell the green morons like soros to get out of america while we have a chance to reverse this madness.

    • dave_young

      Let`s see how many whales they can chop into canned food.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TGHDGRF2HWR7ZUDZLF56NQ7E4M chris

      I guess they’ve got a team of divers who would go down every three months with scrubbing brushes and scrapers to remove barnacles and all the marine growth that will accumulate.

      • pdxpete

        Hi Chris. Biological growth is an interesting challenge, and I don’t know how this project plans to deal with it. Speaking to the issue in general terms, the 2010 University of Washington conference on tidal power and its environmental impact wrote: “Fouling from biological growth on devices is a significant performance risk (Orme et al. 2001) and structural risk. Turbines operating below the photic zone may be at lesser risk; however, fouling by barnacles, algae, and other organisms remains an issue for any deployment with a long maintenance interval. Working surfaces are generally treated with an anti-fouling or foul-release coating. Possible coatings include conventional biocide paints and inert, low-friction coatings. For economic or environmental reasons, other components of the foundation and support may remain uncoated, with sacrificial anodes providing corrosion protection.”
        (Pete Danko, EarthTechling)

        • John

          Well another question is, will things grow on something moving fast or with such force?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HYXU2EBRQ6MPHR3QSTOOCKYU2M Yiddish

      Innovative power technology.

    • Suesviews

      Give me the old reliable source which fuels “ALL” of us….not just 1%…while making our landscape atrocious! also…what about marine life that gets in the way of these turbines as they d their thing?!
      with every action there will be a reaction…the jury’s out on all of these wind and sea turbines…doonbogle, as most of them fall into disrepair and do not function a late percentage of the time!