Created for the Evolo Skyscraper Design Competition, the Gyre Seascraper is a floating zero emissions eco-development from Zigloo Design, a Canadian based company. Only at the conception stages this underwater skyscraper was created to bring both scientists and tourists together to better understand the ocean.
The multi-level design spanning 52.3 acres, uses wind, solar, and tidal energy generation technologies all while providing adequate space for living and working, shops, restaurants, gardens, and recreation activities. Cool, sounds like its right out of an amazing Sci-Fi movie!
With radial arm that extend out from the central area for stabilization this also creates a 1.25km long port which makes it perfect for accommodating the worlds largest ships.
The centre column of the Gyre Seascraper features multiple floor levels within a double-hulled vortex with glass windows. The top two levels are dedicated to restaurants, shopping and community activities while the intermediate levels are designed to accommodate long-term residents, ocean experts, and hotel guests, with room for more than 2000 people. The lowest levels are dedicated to oceanographic research and also will feature space for a public interpretive centre.
The largest hydro-electric wave energy device was launched by Queen’s University Belfast, Aquamarine Power Ltd. and the Scottish government recently. Called Oyster, it is the only hydro-electric wave energy device producing power in the world.
While officially launching Oyster at the European Marine Energy Centre, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond pointed out the many benefits of this technology and the commitment of the Scottish government to advance it. He said:
“Our waters hold around ten per cent of Europe’s wave power potential and as much as a quarter of its tidal power potential. The European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) provides world-leading test facilities for Aquamarine and other companies to develop the technology needed to harness this huge untapped potential.
“I am delighted to confirm further R&D funding of almost £1m to Aquamarine Power for the development of Oyster 2, which could be installed within two years. Through our investments and initiatives such as the Saltire Prize, the Scottish Government is working to ensure we capitalize on our rich natural resources, to meet our ambitious climate change targets, to create more high-skilled green jobs and to make a substantial contribution to one of the most pressing global challenges.”
Any fledgling technology is going to have its troubles gaining ground but trying to get a foothold during an economic crisis is doubly hard. Such is the lesson currently being learned by tidal power as yet another major wave power company, Pelamis Wave Power, announces it is pulling its tidal power generators out of the water.
The three generators, which were off the coast of Portugal, were yanked out due to “technical and financial difficulties.”
The removal of the Pelamis Wave Power project along with the wrecking of Verdant Powers East River project in New York has brought the world’s totally number of wave power projects down to 19 (although Verdant Power’s project may be reinstalled).
While both nature and the credit crisis wage a war of attrition on current tidal power projects, new projects are also meeting resistance. Recently, Vancouver, British Columbia’s Finavera Renewables decided to opt out of the wave power industry when the California’s Public Utilities Commission sank its plans for a project there.
All news isn’t bad however, as San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom is still pushing ahead with plans for a large wave power project that could produce as much as 100 MW in the Bay Area. The U.K. is also mapping the currents of its coastal regions in anticipation of sinking more money into wave power.
University of Michigan researchers have developed a device for harnessing the energy in slow water currents called a VIVACE. By imitating the swimming strategy of a school of fish it is able to generate electricity in currents under three knots.
VIVACE is a potentially very significant advancement in harnessing renewable energy since a vast majority of the Earth’s currents fall below the three-knot range.
Our friends at Eco Geek are reporting that the Scottish government is investing in the mapping of potential sources of tidal power. The project is being called the Marina Spatial Plan and will map the tidal and wind energy of the northern parts of Scotland. It will also go the extra step of analyzing the seabed, water depth and distance to shore so it’s definitely being done with the instalment of devices to harness the energy in mind.
Based on this map of the world’s wind power, Scotland has more than it’s fair share of the stuff to harvest. I’m no tidal expert but it’s probably safe to say that the tidal energy of northern Scotland will prove to be pretty fruitful as well.
The mapping of renewable energy sources is an important and growing component to the whole renewable energy industry. Currently the wind power industry is looking for assistance from the U.S. federal government to expand wireless Internet in rural areas to help gather information from wind turbines with wireless Internet capabilities. With info coming directly from the wind turbines themselves extremely detailed wind maps would become available to the industry.
Lockheed is partnering with wave power company Ocean Power Technologies to develop a utility-scale project off the coast of California or Oregon. Lockheed will construct and run the project while Ocean Power will provide its Powerbuoy generators. OPT’s PowerBuoy system extracts the natural energy in ocean waves, and is based on the integration of patented technologies in hydrodynamics, electronics, energy conversion and computer control systems. The PowerBuoy is a sophisticated system capable of responding to differing wave conditions.The Lockheed-Ocean Power project would be the first commercial wave farm which generates reliable, clean, and environmentally-beneficial electricity in the U.S.
This is a big green step for Lockheed, and a real forward thinking investment in the company’s future. By getting into wave power, Lockheed is doing it’s best to solidify it’s place in the future’s more eco-friendly business world. Oceans are considered by scientists and engineers to be one of the most powerful sources of energy on earth and studies have shown that harnessing that energy could power the entire planet twice over.
A silent but informative introduction to how wave power works. The power in our seas is vast – and wave power is at an innovative stage. According to government and industry figures, wave and tidal power combined could meet 12.5 per cent of today’s electricity demand – economically and practically – by 2025.
The ocean is a source of two significant sustainable forms of energy: thermal energy associated with the sun’s heat absorbed by the ocean, and mechanical energy associated with the waves, currents and tides. Since the oceans cover more than 71% of the earth’s surface, these forms of energy represent the largest solar collectors and retainers of the sun’s vast energy that reach the earth’s surface. This project is being developed by Florida Atlantic University’s Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy Technology.