Wednesday, February 20, 2008

From water mills to free standing turbines

Water power has been used for centuries in form of the old humble water mill, but free standing turbines may well turn out to be one of the developing technologies that we will hear a lot about over the coming years, as this from The Economist explains.

The image is an example of a Gorlov Helical Turbine, being developed by Lucid Energy Technologies, one of a number of free standing turbines that are currently in development and undergoing trials.

The great thing about this method of power generation is that it doesn't necessitate the construction of huge dams or tidal barrages as the need for a large head of water is obviated. And the three major problems of poor efficiency, costly maintenance and protecting the key electricity generating components appear to be on the verge of being fully overcome.

Definitely a technology to keep an eye on. Perhaps the Severn tidal barrage may not be necessary in its proposed form after all?

1 comment:

Peter said...

What's not to love?

I'm sure there will be issues... there always are... and the COMS-cycle (construction / operation / maintenance / strikedown) enviROI over lifescycle will make interesting reading.