Grant for Studying Use of Buoy to Capture Energy from Ocean Currents

  • Capturing energy from ocean currents project wins EPA grant. (Nanowerk News) A University of California, Riverside student recently learned he will receive a $15,000 grant from an EPA national sustainable design competition for his idea to capture energy from ocean currents. Raul Delga Delgadillo, who will be a senior this fall at the Bourns College of Engineering, plans to spend the upcoming school year building a small-scale turbine and buoy system and testing it in a flow tank to determine the best way to maximize energy extraction. He expects the system will provide as much energy as an average wind turbine.

Power Plants of the Future

Planet Earth is experiencing rapid change in its atmospheric composition. Carbon dioxide concentration has spiked above 400 parts per million and is inexorably headed higher as humans burn increasing amounts of fossil fuels. A vast majority of scientists attribute a rapid spike in global temperature to a greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are produced from burning fossil fuels. The inevitable result of continuing and increasing use of fossil fuels is that the planet will become much less livable for human beings and countless other species of life:

  • Island nations are disappearing under rising oceans.
  • Species are becoming extinct at a rate never before seen during human history.
  • Wild fires are becoming larger, and catastrophic storms are becoming more frequent and more energetic.
  • Crops are failing because of drought and extremely high temperatures.
  • Almost every aspect of human culture is being affected or will be affected.

See here information about developments in power production that are important because they have promise to help stop global warming. Too often, we focus of developments that are incremental and are constrained by scientific or academic discipline. Needed are breakthrough attempts to find solutions to global warming that are large and ambitious enough to actually give hope that global warming can be stopped. Incremental advances are important, but they are now coming too slowly to meet the challenge of rapidly deteriorating environmental conditions. We need to think bigger.

Below is an artist’s conceptual illustration of “Energy Island,” an example of the kind of innovative approach to energy development that is highlighted at this site. Energy Island is an invention that integrates both well-known and new technologies to supply abundant electricity from non-fossil-fuel sources that are safe, clean, and renewable.

Illustration of Energy Island shows multiple devices for tapping renewable energyfrom water, wind, and sun

Scroll down to see synopses of reports about innovative developments in green energy and related topics. Click links to access detailed reports and to find references to more information.

        • Energy Island – generates abundant and reliable electricity from an ocean-based platform. Multiple well-known and new technologies are co-located and integrated to tap energy from wind, water, and sun. A unique storage capacity allows Energy Island to deliver electricity when it is most needed.
        • New Hoover Dam – Energy Island, West of Los Angeles. Electricity generation capacity from a drought-stricken Hoover Dam can be replaced by tapping ocean energy.
        • Proposed Effort to Slow Melting of Glacier in Antarctica – Energy Island in Antarctic waters can use simple, known technologies to slow melting of glaciers by cooling water that is melting them on the bottom and by fostering new snow fall to protect glacier surfaces on top. Melting of top surfaces is quicker when snow and ice become dirty and less able to reflect sunlight.
        • Funding for Research and Development of Energy Island and other Large Projects to Combat Global Warming – Funding to combat global warming will grow with public awareness. The present level of funding in the USA of research and development on solutions to global warming is compared to funding for military preparations prior to the the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Funding for R & D on global warming solutions is expected to increase many fold as public awareness grows that global warming is an existential threat.

Futurist Predicts Significant Role for Capacitors in Electrical Storage and Efficiency

  • Super-capacitors are already changing the future of energy. According to futurist Daniel Burrus, “When we look at renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and waves, great strides have been taken, but until we find a way to store electricity for use at a later time, these will help but not be game changing. The good news here is that there is a technology that is already changing the game.” Super-capacitors can store energy to meet peak electricity demands and to smooth delivery of output from renewable sources. They are also being developed to improve energy efficiency in electricity applications — from autos to laptops.