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CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Message Board

  • lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Apr 26, 2001 9:08 PM Flag

    Another New Generation Technology

    "Monopiles Provide Key to Capturing Ocean Energy"
    Civil Engineering (03/01) Vol. 71, No. 3, P. 14; Brown, Jeff L.
    Engineers at Marine Current Turbines Ltd. believe they have solved many of
    the problems associated with tidal power. Earlier attempts have failed due
    to the lack of a low-maintenance method of suspending turbines in the water.
    Marine Current plans to adapt the steel monopiles used for offshore wind
    turbines for tidal turbines. Seacore Ltd. has developed an installation
    process that uses jackup barges to drill a fitted socket in the seabed into
    which the monopile is then inserted. The monopiles are inexpensive to
    install because no underwater construction is necessary and are ideally
    suited to withstand the upward pull of the rotor. Marine Current believes
    the monopiles could last as long as 40 to 50 years. The 1-Mw turbines will
    have a base diameter of 3 to 4 meters, a rotor diameter of 20 meters, be 50
    meters to 70 meters long and would be drilled 12 meters to 16 meters into
    the seabed. Ideally, the rotors will be situated in narrow channels where
    currents are the strongest. In addition, peak operating conditions include
    water depth between 15 meters at low tide and 50 meters at high tide. A
    recent move by Parliament requiring the United Kingdom's utilities to
    generate 10 percent of their power from renewable sources makes the
    expansion of tidal power likely in the country. Marine Turbine will
    construct a 300-kW test model near Lynmouth, England in 2002, with
    commercial construction being undertaken two to three years later.

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