Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Oct 08

Wind Energy From Ocean Surface

Posted in Energy Inventions | Wind Power | Wind Turbines

Wind Energy Ocean When we talk about wind energy, we don’t specifically mention ocean winds. But global satellite maps from NASA promise a new hope. Nearly a decade of data from NASA’s QuikSCAT satellite gives us hope that we can harness ocean’s wind for energy generation. These maps can help in locating and planning the offshore wind farms for producing electric energy.

QuikSCAT, was placed in the orbit in 1999. It is detecting the speed, direction and power of winds near the ocean surface. A specialized microwave radar instrument named SeaWinds is gathering data continuously for QuikSCAT. This data will also help in predicting storms and reducing the inaccuracy in weather forecasts.

It is estimated that wind energy has the potential to provide 10 to 15 percent of future world energy requirements. But If we can make use of ocean areas with high winds for wind energy, they could potentially generate 500 to 800 watts of energy per square meter. Though it is slightly less than solar energy (which generates about one kilowatt of energy per square meter), wind power can be converted to electricity more efficiently than solar energy and at a lower cost per watt of electricity produced.

It seems that floating wind farms in the open ocean will soon be a reality. A number of wind farms are already operating worldwide. Ocean wind farms have less environmental impact than onshore wind farms. Those onshore wind farms’ noise disturbs sensitive wildlife in their immediate vicinity. Another advantage of onshore wind farm is they have generally stronger currents over the ocean than on land because there is less friction over water to slow the winds down. One more positive aspect is – there are no hills or mountains to block the wind’s path.

Ideally, offshore wind farms should be situated in locales where winds blow continuously at high speeds. The new research discovers such areas and presents clarifications for the physical mechanisms that produce the high winds.

The new QuikSCAT maps, will be helpful to the shipping industry by highlighting areas of the ocean where high winds could be dangerous to ships, allowing them to steer clear of these areas.

  • bob belden

    It is my understanding that the proposed wind energy project off the coast of Washington state near Westport has been scaled back to include tidal generators only.
    Wind turbines have been eliminated. Can you tell me why that project has been amended.

  • larryhagedon

    There are several energy sources in addition to the wind that are associated with oceans and even lakes; tidal, wave, current, temperature variances. Ocean platforms can support solar cells.

    There is a vast amount of experimenting going on world wide to find optimum energy combinations, all working together, for given locations.

    One big benefit will be in making fresh water. We will use these energy farms to desalinate massive volumes of sea water and pump it where we need it, mining the water for valuable minerals and chemicals as we do so.


  • Sam Sadler

    Offshore windfarming has taken great leaps and bounds in just the past few years. Pioneer stations are popping up all over the globe. Blue H Group, a single, privately help deep water windfarm specialist, has not only placed a pioneer station off the coast of the UK but is now working on doing the same off the coast of Italy. The list goes on.

    I will be the first to admit that windfarming in general has it’s flaws with many antiquated designs and lower than anticipated returns on investment.

    It is thrilling however, to see the world finally awaking from it’s trans and looking to better windfarming. Recent technological breakthroughs are quickly taking the spotlight as a result of the change of focus. With the introduction of these technologies and greater acceptance by governments and investors, we will see magnificent impacts in reducing our caarbon footprint.

    Sam Sadler

  • mr.singh chandra bhan

    sir g.m

    This is more beneficial to other source of energy because it natural resource.

  • Paul Stemen

    I live in Michigan right in the middle of the proposed 200 wind turbine farm presented by Scandia Wind LLC from Norway. They want to put 5 to 10 megawatt wind mills as close to 1 mile off our pristine shoreline. The 200 generators would only be in a 100 square mile area. What an impact this would have if approved. I strongly believe in windmill generator energy. But why can’t they put these very large windmills farther out in the water. I’m concerned about noise pollution. And why can’t an American co. come up with this idea and American co. build this project if approved.

  • larry hagedon

    I get a kick out of people talking about pristine wilderness settings, all visible from their house or road or driveway.

    Pristine only means that all the development predates my arrival. Now that I have my house built, sticking up like a sore thumb in the middle of someone else’s million dollar view, stop all development.

    Americans often do spend money on wind, but there are so many regulatory hurdles that Europeans sometimes have more tolerance and patience for the long battle to build than do American firms.

  • Mike Maybury

    It would seem to me that giant floating platforms out at sea could form the base for wind turbines, kites generators, wave generators and tidal generators. Solar pv and other systems might all be capable of providing energy.

    On such a large platform part of the energy might produce pure water, via a desalination plant. Hydrogen and other gases might be produced.

    In future years such platforms might be capable of producing large quantities of clean energy for any countries having a coastline.

  • Paul Stemen

    Comment re: the pristine. I have always been in support of alternative natural energy. I did not say not to build the wind farm. I have always been in support and beside myself why America has not done this on a large scale basis 50 years ago. I do not live on the shoreline. I live 10 miles inland in the country. I believe that 200 wind generators might be a factor in environmental health being on such a large scale. I believe amongst others that this if completed would bring in the tourists by the thousands and increase capital for all business in 3 towns that are in the proposed sight. Our shores are untouched by very large oil rigs or wind farms. To the north of this area the oil companies have been trying for years to construct oil derricks off the coastline. They have not been allowed as of yet.

    I have lived in Santa Barbara California for a number of years and first viewing the oil rigs there was a cool sight. But after living there, I did not want to see these huge things out in the ocean as it took all the beauty away. Did they really have to build them in that area. I know as well as the next person that oil rigs and wind farms will dot the Lake Michigan shoreline in the future as it is rich with the said natural resources. Incidentally a wind mill farm is in it’s final approval stage which will be constructed just a mere 3 miles from where I live inland so I can walk out my door everyday to admire the 260 feet windmills. Am and not looking forward to it. I am not a proponent of building a sore thumb and ruining everybody’s view. I am totally against this.

    The little town of Pentwater has already allowed those people and corporations to build there beautiful condo and business’s to obstruct every single view this small town had to offer. This is a tourist town run by greedy politicians and as America is: money talks. Main street in Pentwater USA is only 6 blocks long. Only 7 miles away on the shoreline of lake Michigan was the first hydro pump storage electrical generator facility built on the great lakes by Consumers Power an American Corp. You don’t even know it’s there.

    Why haven’t they built 10 more hydro pump plants on the great lakes? In conclusion I did the fast lane rat race for 20 years and I chose to live in the country to avoid the scream of sirens, car alarms, L.A. pollution, nuclear power plants, traffic jams, oil rigs and concrete cities. It took a year for my ears to stop ringing. I know we can not stop progress. I made a proposal that our President allocate billions of dollars for American companies to build our alternative energy developments. NOW. Change some laws re: regulatory hurdles. NOW. We all know that many laws are archaic and should have been changed many many years ago. Invest in America and limit outsourcing to foreign countries. We have the know how, intelligence and resources. How many regulatory hurdles did Obama jump to allocate billions to kick start our economy. Well I’m still waiting and so are the 450,00 unemployed workers in Michigan.

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