Intelligent Underwater Swarming Turbines

September 1, 2010 | 08:01
Intelligent Underwater Swarming Turbines
Intelligent Underwater Swarming Turbines
Efficiency is key when it comes to harvesting renewable power, and innovation is an important aspect in upping that efficiency. How about this for some innovation? Researchers from the American Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are thinking up ways to create intelligent underwater marine power turbine swarms!

Say what? The idea is actually pretty straightforward. So let's break it down. The marine power turbine bit speaks for itself; harvesting power from marine currents as is already put into practice in various ways. The underwater bit is clear enough as well, however quite innovative. Instead of floating turbines, or ones close to the water's surface, underwater turbines will have a bigger action radius to generate power where the current is strongest (and stronger than at the surface). That's where the intelligence and swarming bit pops up too. The idea is to create multiple autonomous turbines (a swarm), able to find the most efficient spot in the ocean to generate power (intelligent!). The turbines would be able to align themselves and to move to the location where the current is strong, and adjust this position dynamically.

However, before we see these intelligent uber turbines swimming in our oceans remains unclear. It'll take lots of work says experienced turbine builder Trey Taylor to Treehugger. I can imagine.

via Treehugger
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