Both the fish and visitors to the Bay of Fundy will keep enjoying the vistas and benefits of the way it is, for a long time to come

Wither Tidal-Current Power?

By —— Bio and Archives--November 1, 2018

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Cape Sharp Tida
In 2016, with considerable fanfare, the Cape Sharp Tidal (CST) company launched its “long-awaited” underwater test turbine in the Bay of Fundy. CST, co-owned by Nova Scotia’s Emera Inc. (EI), and the Irish co. OpenHydro Ltd. (OH), a subsidiary of the French co. Naval Energies, (NE), have hit the end of the road. Both CST and OH have now filed for bankruptcy.

“Undersea turbines aim to harness the legendary tidal power off Nova Scotia,” Bay of Fundy; photo by OpenHydro


According to a CBC report, Emera recently pulled out of the CST venture after “The surprise application by Naval Energies to Ireland’s High Court on July 26 requesting the liquidation of OpenHydro and Naval Energies’ subsequent statement that it will no longer support or invest in tidal turbines left Emera with no practical choice but to withdraw from Cape Sharp Tidal

As recently as Sept. 18, 2018, “An Irish technical team brought into work on the Cape Sharp Tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy is trying to determine why the machine’s rotor is not turning.”

The Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy has one of the world’s largest tidal ranges, up to approximately 50 ft. (17 m) with some small sub-bays having even higher diurnal ranges. As you can imagine, the water mass regularly swapping in and out of the Bay of Fundy is in the order of 100 billion cubic meters, or about half a trillion gallons.

With the changing tides, fish come into and move out of the Bay as well, not to mention the many visitors who, at low tide, are awestruck by walking on ground that a few hours later will again be several house-story’s deep under water.

Hopewell Rocks, Bay of Fundy, at low tide

Hopewell Rocks, Bay of Fundy,

Ocean Power Generation Ideas

Tidal power generation ideas have come and gone. A few actually work, like the Annapolis Royal in Canada and France’s Saint-Servan water embayment systems and power plants. Most of the other ocean tidal and wave power ideas have failed. Apart from the fact that none of these forces are constant or steady, between tidal variations (particularly during storms) and the harsh corrosive environment of the ocean, and also the detrimental effects by barnacles and other marine growth, they rarely deliver even a fraction of the anticipated energy generation. For example, see the fates of the Pelamis system and the osmosis idea or suffer from rapid wear and tear, material fatigue, corrosion, and other unforeseen technical problems.

The CST tried to use the underwater currents associated with the incoming and outgoing tides to generate electric energy. For as yet unknown reasons its turbine stopped turning. I have a hunch, perhaps some larger fish or seaweed (kelp, etc.) got between the turbine flukes and the vane surrounding them.

In Summary

What may appear to be a “perfect” engineering design on a drafting table (oops, I mean computer design program) is no match for Mother Nature’s superior powers, especially when it comes to ocean power energy-generation ideas.

Both the fish and visitors to the Bay of Fundy will keep enjoying the vistas and benefits of the way it is, for a long time to come.


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Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser is author of CONVENIENT MYTHS, the green revolution – perceptions, politics, and facts Convenient Myths

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