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Hydro Review

Marine Hydrokinetics

UC-Berkeley team reveals ocean power "carpet"

Ocean energy generating units have taken a number of forms as developers look to capitalize in the expanding marine and hydrokinetics sector, but researchers at the University of California-Berkeley have proposed a new one: carpet.

This "seafloor carpet" draws its inspiration from real-world seabeds that seem to absorb wave energy, says UC-Berkeley Assistant Professor Reza Alam.

To turn this action into a form of power generation, Alam and his team placed a thin sheet of rubber on top of a grid of hydraulic actuators, cylinders and tubes. As waves move the rubber "carpet" up and down, the hydraulic pressure created is then converted into power.

The wave carpet is capable of absorbing more than 90% of incoming wave energy.

The team is looking for areas for testing. Ideally, the group said the system should be located in coastal waters about 60 feet deep and in an area with little marine life.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on HydroWorld.com sister site GenerationHub.com.

Electrical engineering reference book released

The Institute of Engineering and Technology published Electrical Design for Ocean Wave and Tidal Energy Systems in December. The reference book offers an electrical engineering perspective on ocean wave and tidal systems and how to integrate stations to the grid.

Edited by Raymond Alcorn and Dara O'Sullivan, the book includes content from a panel of industry experts. Topics include: selection and sizing of generators and their interaction with other machinery, grid integration, power quality issues, relative costs, and more relevant topics.

The book is available for order online at iet.styluspub.com.

Developer signs deal with First Nations groups for ocean studies

Western Tidal Holdings has executed an Investigative Use License Agreement with the Shishalh Nation of British Columbia, allowing the ocean energy developer to explore the development of tidal power projects in the province.

The agreement establishes a "constructive working relationship," Western Tidal says, which will allow the group to conduct feasibility studies for a project in Agamemnon Channel in northern Vancouver.

The agreement also gives Western Tidal an investigative use license for tidal power at Skookumchuck, British Columbia, although any studies or development must first be expressly approved by the Shishalh chief and council.

Permit granted for tidal energy in Alaska

On Feb. 12, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a successive preliminary permit for Turnagain Arm Tidal Energy Corp. for a tidal energy project in Alaska.

In February 2013, Turnagain Arm Tidal Energy filed an application proposing to continue to study the feasibility of the Turnagain Arm Tidal Electric Generation Project. The project would be located on the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet and adjacent lands of the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the municipality of Anchorage, Alaska.

The proposed project would consist of: an 8-mile-long tidal fence situated between Fire Island in Anchorage and Point Possession in Kenai Peninsula consisting of: 24, 10-MW low-head, bi-directional horizontal bulb turbines for a total installed capacity of 240 MW; a 2-mile-long, 1-mile-wide water storage tank attached to the tidal fence; one control building/substation onshore near Anchorage and one near Point Possession; an 18-mile-long, 230-kV submerged transmission line connecting the tidal fence to the existing Chugach Electric Association substation at Point Woronzof in Anchorage and a new substation at Point Possession; and a 28-mile-long, 230-kV above-ground transmission line running parallel to an existing Homer Electric Association transmission line corridor and extending from Point Possession to the existing HEA Nikiski substation.

The proposed project would have an estimated average annual generation of 1,271,950 MWh.

The company previously held a three-year preliminary permit for this site that expired on Jan. 31, 2013. During the term of the previous permit, it filed reports outlining its progress toward a license application. It also filed a notice of intent to file a license application and a pre-application document for the project under the commission's integrated licensing process. This demonstrates that the company was diligently pursuing the requirements of its prior permit such that issuing a successive permit is reasonable, FERC noted.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on HydroWorld.com sister site GenerationHub.com

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