To Tap the Vortex for Hydro Power
A good place to start to create energy from the tides is in the Bay of Fundy where there is one of the highest tides in the world in order to tap its Vortex.
As usual it took an inordinate amount of time to raise the initial amount of investments mostly from various government bodies from both Canada and United States. Then the predictable came true, the propellers of the turbine system failed. Risks can be expected when working in entirely unfamiliar environments. Then, there is more time wasted trying to raise funds for a different type of blade.
We are talking about a five-story turbine that weighs 400 tons for a 35 kW turbine. Size and weight has become the problem. The cost of the power sky rockets to $0.53/kWh compared to the current average of $0.06/kWh.
OpenHydro and Nova Scotia Power
So how does these “innovations” start? It starts with a minimum requirement of one megawatt. The formula for kinetic energy dictates how big this system has to be, which is humongous. Think of the maintenance problems if these huge systems were on land, and then double the problem under deep water.
Researchers at the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) chose the site because it has flows up to 12 knots between islands at Uldolmok. Again the unexpected happened: the installation time was miscalculated and a 1000 ton system on a barge capsized, which caused a two year delay.
There is an important reason why a large engineering company (Boeing) walked away from commercializing the R.E.R 250 kW hydro turbine system costing $130 million Canadian, which was tested at the Lachine Rapids near Montreal: maintenance. Bankruptcy was declared at losses of $49 million.