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Underwater Kites Harvest Energy From Tidal Currents

  • Posted by SHFT on November 27, 2013 in Energy
  • A kite-like tidal power device off the coast of Northern Ireland has begun producing electricity.

    The technology, called Deep Green, consists of a hydrodynamic wing and a turbine tethered to the ocean floor. The tether also contains the unit's power and communication cables. As water flows over the wing, the turbine rotates and generates electricity. In an offshore control room, located in the inlet, operators control the kites' trajectory to maximize energy output.

    The pilot project involves a scaled-down version of Deep Green; the full-size versions have wingspans of between 26 and 46 feet. Minesto, the company that makes the kites, hopes to field a 3-megawatt array in 2015.

    The kite arrays could potentially be deployed in more locations than other tidal turbines, but they still face the same challenges that all tidal and wave technologies face, such as surviving in harsh, salty waters and being cost-competitive with other renewable energy options. The first tidal project to deliver power to the grid in the United States started operating just last year. 





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