New Energy Technologies Promise Brighter Future

Untapped energy in the oceans
The kinetic energy in the Florida Current and in Florida’s ocean waves can be captured and used, said Howard P. Hanson of the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center at Florida Atlantic University.
“Capturing the kinetic energy of the Florida Current will require both materials advances and new designs for marine current turbines and their efficient deployment,” said Hanson. “The hydrokinetic energy of tidal and open-currents, as well as ocean waves, and the thermal potential of the oceanic stratification, can be recovered using ocean thermal conversion technology.”
Hanson calls this concept “marine renewable energy,” or MRE, and noted in his article that the U.S. Department of Energy has formed three national MRE centers to investigate the resource potential in the oceans and to advance the technology for recovering MRE.
Nanoscale “rectennas” can convert waste thermal energy to electricity
“Converting waste heat to electrical energy can be a reality by using a rectenna, a combination of high frequency antenna and a tunnel diode,” wrote three clean energy engineers from the University of South Florida’s Clean Energy Resource Center.
According to article co-author Yogi Goswami, thermal radiation, or the infrared (IR) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, is often an overlooked source of renewable energy and more than half of the power provided by the sun – both directed and re-radiated – lies in the infrared part of the spectrum.
“If the IR radiation potential of the earth could be harvested with 75 percent efficiency, it would generate more energy per unit area than a fixed orientation solar cell located in a prime solar location,” said study co-author Subramanian Krishnan.

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