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					Information Sheet                    Wave & Tidal Energy - Key Stage 3




 Wave and Tidal Energy
 What is Wave and Tidal Energy?
 How can we use Wave and Tidal Energy?
  Waves contain A LOT of energy. Have            How does wave energy work?
  you ever been knocked over by a wave?          Specially designed machines are used to
  Have you ever been surfing or body-             harness the power of waves. There are two
  boarding and experience the speed you          main types of machines: 1. Fixed 2. Floating.
  move at when you catch a wave?
                                                 1
  Waves are caused by wind, wind is caused
  by the uneven heating of the Earth’s
  atmosphere and the heat comes from the
  sun.




                                                 2




                                                 Source: dti


                                                 TIDES are caused by the pull of the moon. Tides
   Portballintrae, Co. Antrim – the              involve the rise and fall of sea levels. Around the
   energy from waves is seen in the              coast of Ireland, the sea level rises and falls twice
   wearing away (erosion) of sand,               daily.
   stones and other material from the            Tidal energy can be used to generate electricity. The
   beach and sand dunes.                         movement in and out of water can be harnessed by
                                                 barrages or dams. In the UK, the Severn estuary
  Wave energy can be used to produce             has the greatest potential for generating electricity
  electricity. Ireland’s location, on the edge   in this way. It is believed that by harnessing tidal
  of the Atlantic Ocean has some of the          energy in the Severn estuary, it could supply up to
  best wave-power sites in the World.            5% of the UK’s electricity needs. BUT, there are no
                                                 plans to do this yet.


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                                                               Wave and Tidal Energy - Key Stage 3   Page 1
Information Sheet                        Wave & Tidal Energy - Key Stage 3



  How does tidal energy work?
  There are 2 main ways:




  Source: dti
                                                     Marine Current Turbine
                                                     (MCT)
                Tidal Barrage
                                                     • Works like an underwater
                • A dam is built across a
                                                       wind turbine
                  bay or estuary
                                                     • The fast sea currents that
                • The movement of water
                                                       are caused by the moving
                  drives the turbines
                                                       tides, turn turbines, which
                • The turbines, turn                   turn generators to produce
                  the generator, which                 electricity
                  produces electricity
                                                     • Strangford Lough,
                                                       Co. Down - is currently
                                                       testing a MCT




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                                                        Wave and Tidal Energy - Key Stage 3   Page 2
Information Sheet                 Wave & Tidal Energy - Key Stage 3



   Advantages                              Disadvantages
   WAVE                                    WAVE
   • Once constructed, low running         • Only effective with sites that are
     cost                                    exposed to large waves
   • No waste or pollution created         • Can be noisy
   • Potential for generating large        • May cause problems for ships and
     amounts of energy                       sailing boats


   TIDAL                                   TIDAL
   • Running costs very low                • Few suitable sites for tidal projects
   • No fuel required                      • Technology is still being developed
   • The amount and time of electricity    • The amount and time of electricity
     production is reliable                  production is reliable
   • No waste or pollution created         • Building dams/barrages can have
                                             negative environmental impact on
                                             marine life




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                                                    Wave and Tidal Energy - Key Stage 3   Page 3

				
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posted:3/18/2011
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