The AK1000™: World’s Largest Marine Turbine

Atlantis Resources Corporation one of the world’s leading developers of Marine Power Systems, unveiled the largest and most powerful tidal power turbine ever built, the AK1000™ on August 11th 2010 at Invergordon, Scotland. The AK1000™ is due for installation at a dedicated berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (“EMEC”), located in Orkney, Scotland later this summer.

The AK1000™ is seventy three feet tall and weighs one hundred and thirty tons. According to the CEO Timothy Cornelius “The turbines turn at six to eight revolutions per minute, so are incredibly slow turning and will have zero impact on the surrounding environment.” Hypothetically therefore the turbine rotors should cause no harm to the marine environment and its residents.

Timothy Cornelius added: “The unveiling and installation of the AK1000™ is an important milestone, not only for Atlantis, but for the marine power industry in the United Kingdom. The AK1000™ is capable of unlocking the economic potential of the marine energy industry in Scotland and will greatly boost Scotland’s renewable generation capacity in the years to come.”

So what is Tidal Current Power?

Tidal current technology is a form of hydropower and harnesses the energy in tides and converts it into usable power.

Tidal current power is different from wave power. Wave power harnesses power of the waves while Tidal Current technology extracts energy from the high tide bulge created by the gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun moving horizontally around the Earth’s surface.

As per the Atlantis, Sea water, which is 832 times denser than air, gives a 5 knot ocean current more kinetic energy than a 350 km/h wind; therefore ocean currents have a very high energy density. Hence a smaller device is required to harness tidal current energy than to harness wind energy.

Tidal Power and Tidal current power differ in that, Tidal power requires the building of barrages to manage and direct the flow of the current etc… the civil construction cost and impact on the environment is much higher in the tidal power barrage systems.

Tidal Power facts:

  • The first large scale tidal power system the Rance Tidal Power station in Brittany, France, started functioning in 1966! It is still the largest tidal power station based on installed capacity.
  • Tidal power stations were first developed and tested in the 1970’s; they harness the water masses that periodically flow into sea bays and drive conventional hydro turbines when the tide goes out. The disadvantage of this technology is that they require large barrages in the sea.
  • Unless taken to extremes, Tidal Current power system does not require blocking of any waterways, and hence does not have the adverse environmental effects associated with Tidal Barrages.
  • Tidal current energy takes the kinetic energy available in currents and converts it into renewable electricity.
  • As oceans cover over 70% of Earth’s surface, ocean energy (including wave power, tidal current power and ocean thermal energy conversion) represents a vast source of energy, estimated at between 2,000 and 4,000 TWh per year, enough energy to continuously light between 2 and 4 billion 11W low-energy light bulbs.
  • USA and UK could produce 15% of power they need from the Ocean itself.

On the whole the project sounds and looks really good and it has been working in Australia. Will wait to see how it works out in Orkney, Scotland.

If what they say about no impact on the environment proves to be true, this is definitely another way to harness green energy and keep the environment clean simultaneously. Live Green!

Read the Press release from Atlantis HERE

Check out the video of Tidal Turbines in Manhattan:

Links of Interest:

Source of pictures and Info Atlantis Website

Voith Hydro

There is a study going on the effect of tidal power systems in Orkney read the press release here

Suggested reading from Amazon:

Ocean, Tidal, and Wave Energy: Power from the Sea (Energy Revolution)

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