University of Groningen researcher Eize Stamhuis is working with the company Sea Current to develop a new method of generating energy from tidal flows with a technology based on underwater kites. The method has significant advantages over wind and sun energy, as it can generate electricity from low-velocity flows of seawater, such as those found along the Dutch coast. What’s more, tidal flows are almost always available and are 100% predictable.
The new technology involved placing large, kite-like systems ten to twelve meters below the water surface, where they move back and forth with the flow of the water. The energy generated is brought onshore using a cable. The technology is particularly well suited to sea water with low-velocity flows, which are in abundant supply around the world, and certainly along the Dutch coast. Other technologies tend to require high-velocity flows, which are much less common.
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