I’ve already reported on the great success of Orkney’s tidal turbine. It has now broken a new record. See this from the opusenergyblog:
‘A floating tidal turbine has smashed generation records in Scotland, matching the generation capacity of offshore wind turbines. The SR2000, designed by Scotrenewables Tidal Power, is the world’s largest and most powerful tidal device. The machine is currently undergoing grid-connected testing, which saw it generate 18 MWh over a 24-hour period. This represents a serious step forward for tidal energy, which could soon become a viable renewable technology.’
Floating tidal turbines have huge potential especially in Scotland’s turbulent water. Here’s a list of the advantages of tidal power from TheNextGalaxy:
- A Very Predictable Energy Source: Ever since the beginning of time itself, the oceans have had tides. Massive amounts of water move in extremely predictable patterns. This makes it very easy to harness the energy that these tides can generate, because we can predict their movements as far as years ahead.
- An Inexhaustible Source of Energy: There will be no shortage of tides anytime soon. They are controlled by the gravitational pull between the earth, sun, and moon. This means that as long as the earth is being orbited by the moon, the tides will continue to be there producing energy.
- Very Low Costs To Operate: Once the initial constructions costs are done, there are very few additional costs to keep the tidal energy plant up and running. Little maintenance is required, and minimal personnel as well.
- Effective Even at Low Speeds: Since water is much denser than air, the amount of movement needed to generate power is very low. It has been proven that tidal energy can still be harnessed even if the water is only moving at 3 feet per second.
- Can Last Forever: Okay, maybe not literally forever, but a very long time! Tidal energy plants are very simple, and made of durable and simple materials that can withstand the time very well.
- Completely Green: There are no carbon emissions from tidal energy plants, making it an energy source that does not negatively affect the global environment.
Although the Orkney machine was designed for the fast tidal flows you get there it can be calibrated for more gentle flows and still be productive. However, the Orkneys are particularly suitable to generate power for local communities or the national grid. According to the blog there are another thirty comparable areas in Scotland.