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This is possibly a question for Crazy Horse. Is it possible to submerge turbines in the water to take advantage of the strong tidal currents as opposed to damming the Severn estuary? Also, could something similar (submerged turbines without damming) be done in the Thames estuary, which also has large tidal currents?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 28th, 2008 at 10:36:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_power#Tidal_stream_generators

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed May 28th, 2008 at 11:12:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In water, one could also use a vertical axis turbine to avoid having to reorient the nacelle in turbulent water. My reasoning is that the higher density of water may put more strain on the mount point of the nacelle on the base of the turbine.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 28th, 2008 at 11:37:17 AM EST
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"Windmills" in water do exist

http://www.marineturbines.com/

by Francois in Paris on Wed May 28th, 2008 at 01:18:06 PM EST
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They are doing it in the East River in NYC.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 28th, 2008 at 01:44:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is that maintenance under water is a bitch. It's not bankable as of today.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed May 28th, 2008 at 06:28:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And sea water is corrosive, not to speak of all those barnacles.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 28th, 2008 at 06:35:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
plastic turbines!

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed May 28th, 2008 at 07:36:35 PM EST
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Or Amory's forged carbon composites shown in the reference provided by Crazy Horse yesterday in the EV diary.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 28th, 2008 at 09:27:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

maintenance under water is a bitch.

As is off-shore oil platform maintenance.  Companies supplying divers for the oil industry could supply divers for these facilities.  Hopefully, the East River Project will provide information on that issue.  It may prove possible to remove-repair-reinstall.  For some aspects tidal estuaries seem worst case, but at least, in this case, they are close to shore.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 28th, 2008 at 09:24:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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