Can Ocean Energy Solve no. 1 World Energy Crisis?
The world has come to a time when it needs more and more energy as energy consumption is increasing significantly. The world does, however, require energy, and it needs it from environmentally benign, renewable sources that do not contribute to environmental issues like global warming and air pollution.
One of those new renewable energy sources could be ocean energy, whose power will be much more significant in the future. Since the oceans make up more than 75% of the surface of the Earth, they may, in the future, be used to power buildings and industrial facilities. In theory, ocean energy is one of the best solutions to solve the number one world energy crisis.
Because there are now only a small number of power plants using ocean energy, as well as the fact that these power plants are still of low power, the amount of energy associated with ocean energy is currently minimal worldwide.
However, as the renewable sector gains more and more importance, the use of this at least exciting source of energy should also increase. There are three fundamental ways in which we can use ocean energy:
- By converting wave energy into electrical energy,
- By converting tidal energy into electrical energy,
- By utilizing the difference in temperature between deep water to transform the thermal into electrical power.
How can we convert Ocean Energy into Electric power?
Wave energy is a form of transformed solar energy that creates constant winds in some parts of the Earth. Those winds cause constant waves in certain areas, and these are the places where it is possible to use their energy.
A big problem with such energy use is power plants should be built offshore because the waves are weak near the coast. It significantly increases the construction cost but also causes problems with the transmission to the user. The results in the current phase have only reached prototypes and demonstration devices.
See Only Green Tech’s 45 Fascinating Questions & Answers for more details.
The principle of transforming Ocean Energy into Electic
First, we convert the energy of the wave into the airflow, and that wind drives the turbine. The wave amplitude must be large for the conversion to be effective. Wave energy is a form of kinetic energy that exists in the movement of waves in the ocean, and the wave’s movement causes winds to blow across the ocean’s surface.
That energy can be used to drive turbines, and there are plenty of places where the winds are strong enough to produce constant wave motion. Wave energy has a great energy potential since enormous amounts of energy are concealed inside it. Wave energy is captured directly below the wave surface or from various pressure fluctuations below the surface.
Then that energy can drive the turbine, and the simplest and most common way of functioning is as follows: a wave rises in the chamber, and the growing forces of the water force the air out of the chamber, and the moving air then drives the turbine, which then starts the generator.
Conversion of Tidal Energy Into Electrical Energy
Tidal energy is another form of ocean energy because as seawater flows ashore, it can be trapped and used in reservoirs behind dams.
Tidal energy is a form of hydropower that uses water movements, which occur due to sea changes, i.e., the lowering and rising of the sea level.
Large underwater turbines are placed in areas with large sea currents, designed to capture the kinetic movement of the encroaching sea currents to drive the turbines and the rotors of the generators that would produce electricity. Tidal energy has huge potential for future energy projects due to the vast areas of the world’s oceans.
Converting ocean thermal energy into electrical energy
The process of converting ocean heat into electrical energy relies on the temperature difference between the deep and shallow waters of the ocean, where the deeper water is cooler.
The warm surface water is used to heat a liquid that has a low boiling point, the steam created drives the turbines of an electricity generator, and then the steam is cooled by cold water from the deep ocean, turning it back into a liquid state.
Compared to other ways of harnessing ocean energy, including employing wave or tidal power, the total quantity of energy that can be collected through this type of energy conversion is one to two orders of magnitude larger. A big problem with using this form of energy is the expensive equipment and the low overall efficiency of the process. The efficiency is due to the insufficient temperature difference of less than 4%. The main advantage of the process is the ecological purity of the energy production and the huge reserves of energy that could be used.
The benefits of using ocean energy
One of the great benefits of getting energy from our oceans is the number of new jobs and companies that can be created and grow thanks to this new technology making its way into the markets. Another advantage is that the energy generated is clean and sustainable, so we could help mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing the number of greenhouse gases we emit into the atmosphere.
Finally, thanks to the fact that the oceans would be a more important energy resource, it would help us to give it even more value and to be able to protect it better. Our survival and the survival of all other life on the earth depend on the preservation of our oceans.
The benefits of wave energy are numerous: First off, because ocean surface waves always exist, wave energy is renewable. Second, it is simple for people to capture the energy of waves because there are many locations close to an ocean or harbor. Thirdly, there are several options for people to harness wave energy due to the abundance of wave power equipment. Fourthly, wave energy may be predicted with ease. Calculating how much a wave can produce is practical for humans. In the end, there is no environmental harm caused by the ways in which individuals capture wave energy. Source.