t’s easy to track the tidal movements of the ocean by looking at waves, but all of that energy is moved around under the surface of the water as well. Florida Atlantic University’s Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy Technology hopes to harness these underwater currents by placing 100-foot-in-diameter 20 kilowatt turbines that are anchored to the ocean floor along the Gulf Stream of the Atlantic. The system would be hooked up to floating generators and monitored by solar powered control buoys and small naval vessels.
The team at Florida Atlantic University will first test the waters with smaller prototype turbines to be deployed in February 2008. How much renewable energy the system will be able to generate is still up in the air, but the team hopes it will provide a significant amount to the state of Florida.