Ocean Power

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The ocean waves that are the inspiration for surfers and a wide variety of water sports can also be used to generate electricity. There are a number of plants currently in operation, but how exactly is electricity generated from the tidal forces of the oceans?
One method is to capture the tides of the ocean and utilize them to produce mechanical motion; another is to capture the forces of the high or low tides.

Energy produced using waves: The kinetic energy produced using waves is tapped by putting in place suitable apparatus so as to harness that energy. A mechanism filled with air allows the high rising tidal wave in, which in turn pushes the air outside. The rushing outflow of air sets a turbine into rotary motion which can be used to generate electricity.

Tidal energy: Tides rising about on the surface of the oceans, which are caused by the gravitational forces of the sun and the moon, can also be tapped just as the way they are in a hydro electric plant. The rising tide is captured behind a dam like structure and is let out when there is a low tide, similar in operation to a hydroelectric plant.


Although extracting energy from the oceans is a relatively simple process, the practicality is limited to, obviously, where the oceans are located and concerns have been raised by environmental groups about the effect on the habitats of various marine and plant life. Also the cost of constructing and putting into operation such plants can be high.

In light of the fact that oceans cover almost 70 % of the earth's surface, they could be thought of as a planetary solar cell. With energy-generating potential of that magnitude, it is only a matter of finding the right way to harness and deliver this energy for our everyday residential or commercial use.

While it is uncertain if it could be used for mainstream industrial purposes, there is little doubt that energy generated in this manner can and, one day, will prove to be a useful supplement to the more established and traditional methods of generating reliable and useful power to our homes and businesses.

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