Off the coast of Northern Ireland in the rough waters of the Strangford Narrows, scientists have installed the world's largest underwater turbine. The project, built by Marine Current Turbines, should generate power for about 1,000 homes when it becomes operational this summer.
SeaGen Underwater Turbine. The turbine is called SeaGen, and it consists of two 52-foot-long blades. The blades spin about 10-20 times per minute - slow enough to allow sea creatures to get out of the way if they're swimming in the path of a blade. The blades can spin both clockwise and counter-clockwise, depending on which way the tide is flowing.
The underwater turbine will generate about 1.2 megawatts to power the nearby homes, and do so more consistently than wind turbines. Although the idea of harvesting the ocean as an energy source has been considered for many years, Ireland's SeaGen project is one of the few commercial endeavors to take advantage of the ocean's strong currents.
The cross beam and turbine rotors in assembly at Harland and Wolff, Belfast If the SeaGen project is successful, then Marine Current Turbines is planning on a second sea turbine project off the coast of Wales. There, a farm of underwater turbines would be used to power thousands more homes.
More information: seageneration.co.uk
via: Popular Scientist