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SeaGen – Our Green Future Is Now

The Future Is Here When Fun Finds The Green Innovation

seagenwithyacht_919589Since May 2008 the innovative tide-harnessing turbine known as SeaGen has been securely in place, linked up to the grid, and turning the rapid ebbs and flows of Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough into green electricity. The largest tidal stream power device in the world it is the first tidal turbine to generate energy on a commercial scale and has been rated as an official UK generating station. Regularly running at it’s full 1.2MW capacity, SeaGen delivered several hundred MWh into the grid during the summer of 2009 alone. Turning at a ‘fish-friendly’ 10-20 rotations a minute, producing enough electricity for over 1,000 homes.

Developed by Marine Current Turbines (MCT) Ltd, SeaGen has twin axial flow rotor blades of 52.5 ft. (16m) in diameter, each driving a generator via a gearbox much like a hydro-electric turbine or a wind turbine. These turbines have a patented feature by which the rotor blades can be pitched through 180° in order to allow them to operate in bi-direction flows – that is on both ebb and flow of the high and low tides. Plus the rotors achieve over 45% efficiency over a broad range of current velocities with complete control over the machine – it can be shut down in less than three seconds even in the fastest current. The twin power units of each system are mounted on wing-like extensions on either side of a tubular steel monopile nearly 10 ft. (3m) in diameter and the complete wing with its power units can be raised above sealevel to permit safe and reliable maintenance. The rotors drive a generator that sends energy along a cable that then links into the national grid across the Lough in Strangford village.

And now that the hard work is done — time for a little fun…..

Think you can have that much fun in the exhaust of coal-fueled power plant?

…. as the green future unfolds.

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No Responses to “SeaGen – Our Green Future Is Now”

  1. nothingprofound Says:

    Technology, handled responsibly, may turn out to be our friend yet.

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi nothingprofound … I am counting on it! 😀

  3. Rich Says:

    Ahhh yes! Wave power. I’m a big fan of this – harnessing the sea is what we should REALLY be looking into – rather than wind farms which acheive very little.

    .-= Rich´s last blog ..Becoming intensely driven – 3 traps to avoid when fuelling your goals =-.

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Rich … I somewhat agree. Wind farms do have their strengths in certain areas of the world.

  5. Karen Says:

    What is the easiest number one thing we can do to keep the planet green?

  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Karen … The easiest thing to do is for all of us to jump on the internet, order ourselves electric or hydrogen vehicles, and never drive a combustion engined vehicle again. Lordy that would slam us to the Green side of the Force!

    Really though, the one easiest most economical first step is if EVERYBODY started using reusable bags and refusing paper/plastic disposibles, that would be an outrageous start. Walmart sells reusable bags for $1.00 each (should be no more than 50 cents). If need be, buy only one or two per trip tell you have all you need.

  7. A. @ A Changing Life Says:

    This is such good news. There is an enormous wind turbine farm being built in the English Channel and I can just about see it from my window. We’re short of space here in the British Isles, so it’s good to see that finally use is being made of the space at sea.

  8. Linda Says:

    Hi A@A … The UK has always had a strong relationship with the sea. So, it’s not surprising to see your island nation turn to her again for innovative solutions to a world wide problem. And thanks for the mental picture of your home, it sounds so charming.

  9. Audrey Says:

    The person in the kayak is obviously having lots of fun. Anyway, people are more conscious now about the health of the planet and most places also encourage the use of reusable shopping bags. If we all do our bit, let’s hope each small step would make a difference somehow.
    .-= Audrey´s last blog ..Composting Toilet – Not The Smelly Pit You Think It Is updated Sat Jan 23 2010 1:16 am CST =-.

  10. Linda Says:

    Hi Audrey … It does make a difference little bit at a time. Before you know it …

    Hi smith mountain lake … It looks like real fun to me as well…

  11. smith mountain lake virginia Says:

    I’m a big fan of this harnessing the power of the sea thing too. I’m also liking how you can use the tides for other fun things like kayaking!

  12. Nathan Rodriguez Says:

    This is very clever, waves movement is continuous flow of energy, nice to known that it is operational.
    .-= Nathan Rodriguez´s last blog ..Tirinhas Engraçadas 89, 90, 91, 92 e 93 =-.

  13. Linda Says:

    Hi nathan … it is operational and generating power… neat!

  14. Lissof Says:

    … 🙂 🙂 Whatever is available to be sourced in the local area, with all of our diverse localities, each providing their own resources, we have the chance to change the dependance on fossil fuels to renewable resources.

    It brings a smile to my face… 🙂 🙂

  15. Linda Says:

    hi Lissof … I can see that! 😀 The more that is done, the better!

  16. ConnieFoggles Says:

    If this is currently working, what’s holding up other companies from doing the same thing?
    .-= ConnieFoggles´s last blog ..Prilosec OTC Sponsors Everything You Do Without Heartburn =-.

  17. Linda Says:

    Hi Connie .. It boggles the mind, Mrs. Foggles. ;D

  18. DJ Says:

    This turbine is a great example on how technology can help us create a greener, energy efficient future. Turbines like this that power about 1,000 home a piece could be deployed across the world in seas with tides forceful enough to power them. In some parts of the world the turbines may not be as useful an generate the same amount of energy as the one mentioned above in Ireland, a country with massive tidal power, and other forms of clean energy would be more suited.
    I’ve also heard concerns about turbines such as this turning the local fish population into chum with it’s blades, and that some designs have slowly rotating blades that wouldn’t harm marine life, is this true?
    The problem I believe with the issue of companies switching to tidal power is that the wealthy individuals of our society have a lot of money in oil and coal companies, and these wealthy individuals sometimes are the ones who donate money to campaigns of politicians. So making the switch isn’t the easiest thing to do overnight, I’d have to do more research on what each turbine costs but another reason is that they might cost a good amount of money and it’s simply cheaper to burn coal and oil, and most people are apt to go the cheaper route instead of thinking ahead into our future.

  19. Linda Says:

    Hi DJ … Yes, there are turbines that do turn slowly along with the current but it is soooo slow, it does not affect the fish population. All projects in this area are being re-evaluated to ensure that fish do not become shark chum. 🙂

    we are certainly going to have to start somewhere so it is bottom up and educating all that we can.

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