Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Nov 04

Osmotic Power Plant Set To Open

Posted in Future Technology | Tidal Power | Wave Power

Osmotic Power Plant With the big push on alternative energy sources, world leaders everywhere are pushing for new power technology to create power plants that will use different resources to keep the earth greener. Her Royal Highness, The Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway has just made a huge step as a leader in this movement as she has announced the opening of the world’s first osmotic power plant, due to begin operations on November 24, 2009.

Osmotic power plants operate by combining salt water and fresh water. Cost has been one of the major obstacles in taking this type of power to the masses, but they have obviously fixed that problem and the new power station is being watched by all with much anticipation. With well over 10 years of research behind it, this osmotic power plant is literally world changing technology.

While this particular osmotic power plant is more of a prototype than energy source, it will be curious to see how things work. They will use this plant primarily for testing and development of a commercial model, but if all goes well, we can expect to see a power station that will be made for public energy use in just a few years.

The basis of this energy source is the meeting of fresh water with salt water. That being the case, these osmotic power plants can be set up anywhere that there is a runoff into the ocean. Believe it or not, they can actually be built right into industrial buildings if this testing model is found to be successful. The power plants are both noise and pollutant free and are a great alternative to some of the means of power that industry is currently using.

Because much of industry around the world is located on waterfront areas, if this source of power proves to be successful, this becomes a very viable source of energy for industry to use to dramatically cut down on the pollutants that are released into our atmosphere from this business sector. Anyone having driven through an industrial section of town knows how important this would be to creating a much safer breathing environment.

The project itself is headed up by Statkraft, which is the largest renewable energy company in Europe. They have over 10 years research invested in this project and are very excited to have Norway behind them in this venture, the princess in particular. In addition to developing this osmotic power plant, Statkraft is also involved in developing other renewable energy sources such as solar power and marine power.

  • Mike Maybury

    Fascinating! It only needs a few scientists and technical specialists to think a bit about the problem for all sorts of new ideas to come to market. Who knows when ‘the holy grail’ may be found, and a new billionaire made?

  • slaps

    This sounds like another opportunity for waste treatment plants to generate power, and it should produce lots of electricity for cities at the mouth of rivers.

  • Clement

    Good development. The only low point for my country, Malawi, is that we are landlocked such that we will not be able to benefit from this technology.

  • Nawa

    Exciting! It’s a very good news for the people working in the renewable energy and climate change sector.

  • Tex

    I wonder how long the plant at 25Mwatts would have to run to break even on its construction, maintenance and decommission in the future? It sounds good offhand but someone will find a reason why the fresh and salt water have to mix “naturally” instead of in the plant.

  • slaps

    Tex, you hit one of the huge stumbling blocks for any new energy source. Someone, somewhere, without any real data, but with a great sob story, will be able to block this from happening. It will threaten wildlife. It will cause global warming. It will make the river sad. The reason doesn’t have to be accurate or even comprehensible. Protesters will come out in droves to make sure it never happens.

    But the good thing is, we can probably get a few built before that happens.

  • clare jane mcvety

    Will it damage the countryside? I hope it don’t otherwise it sounds like a good idea. I wish more factories would do it and stop coal and do it like you, all solar power which is a lot better because their equipment will still work the some and it help with the environment.

  • Abdobe

    The only potential damage this form of power plant can give is the spill of high concentrated seawater, however this can easily be prevented by leading the water farther out through pipelines, where the water will be added normal seawater on it’s course towards the end of the pipeline. No way this will be hazardous. It’s no need of any fall height, since it’s the osmotic pressure that runs the generators. Fresh water and saltwater is all that’s needed, though… enough of it.

  • B K Bhaskararao

    Yes , the osmotic pressure can drive the belt that changes the flexibility .when the belt made of a polymer changes its flexibility, due to difference in concentrations of salt in solution, however after some time when the concentrations of brine and fresh water become same, it stops you have to constantly provide fresh to get fresh water will be the problem.

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