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What is Tidal Energy

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					An Introduction to Tidal Energy
McMaster University
03.05.2012.

Also known as wave energy, tidal energy refers to power produced by the ocean tides. It is
now considered as an alternative source of energy.

How Wave Energy is Produced

When ocean tides are made by the gravitational pull of the moon, energy is produced. The
energy can be harvested via tide generators or underwater turbines. This can be done in places
with high tidal movements. The underwater turbines are similar to the wind turbines.
However, the underwater turbines are more robust.

When the tide is high, the water may be gathered at the back of a barrage. When the tide ebbs,
the water is released. The water goes through the turbine as it is dispensed.

Electricity is generated by using the kinetic energies of the low and high tides. The energy is
then processed on the generators. It can then be sent out to the transmission and power lines.

The energy is renewable and environment safe. It is these qualities that make it attractive as
an alternate energy source.

Tidal Fences

The energy may be gathered using wave energy. This is comprised of vertical axis turbines set
on a fence. This permits water to go through into the turbines. Application is ideal when the
fence can link up landmasses that are separate.

Reliability of Tidal Energy

It is considered as a dependable energy source because the rise and fall of tides is constant.
Unlike other types of green energy, i.e., geothermal or wind, wave energy can be depended
upon every time. As stated earlier, wave energy is clean. It will not pose any threat to the
environment.

Potential Drawbacks

The biggest disadvantage is limited technology. To this day, researchers and scientists have
yet to come up with a design to meet the vast power needs of people. The oceans are large and
the source of energy is virtually unlimited. But locations with sufficient tidal range are
limited. This means only limited energy can be produced.

The type of barrages used must also be devalued. If not built properly, these structures may
actually harm the environment or disturb the marine life. Some tidal barrages may disrupt
ocean navigation too. For this reason, the tidal fence is preferred by researchers.

Other Information
In many ways, the structure needed is similar to the hydroelectric dam. But the “dam “needed
here is considerably bigger. The other difference is the turbines in the structure.

Without them, energy cannot be produced. With the turbines, energy can be produced whether
the tides come in or out. Tides move only ten hours a day. But the movement is easy to
determine so an alternative source can be set up.

There is no questioning the need to develop alternative and clean energy. Even with the
limitations of tidal energy, it may be overcome with technological innovations.

References:
http://www.energysavers.gov/renewable_energy/ocean/index.cfm/mytopic=50008
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_power
http://www.tech-faq.com/tidal-energy.html

				
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Description: Pollution caused by traditional supplies of energy is leading to the development and search for alternative sources. One of the most promising is tidal energy. Get insights on how tidal energy works and its benefits.