Can Underwater Turbines Solve Our Energy Problems?

Real Engineering
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Writer/Narrator: Brian McManus
Writer: Eli Kintisch (www.elikintisch.com/)
Editor: Dylan Hennessy/
Animator: Mike Ridolfi (www.moboxgraphics.com/)
Sound: Graham Haerther (haerther.net/)
Thumbnail: Simon Buckmaster twitter.com/forgottentowel

A great deal of information in this video was found through phone interviews with Simec Atlantis engineers
[1] 4,170 TW is annual US energy production (table 1.1 here) - US wave power potential is ~2000TW, according to this 2011 DOE report
[2] www.iea.org/topics/renewables/ocean/
[3] no-vid.com/video/video-pwChk4S99i4.html
[4] Figure 9.6 and 9.7 on page 82 tethys.pnnl.gov/sites/default/files/publications/MeyGen-2012-ES.pdf
[5] tethys.pnnl.gov/sites/default/files/publications/La_Rance_Tidal_Power_Plant_40_year_operation_feedback.pdf
[6] tethys.pnnl.gov/annex-iv-sites/sihwa-tidal-power-plant
[7] Page 19 tethys.pnnl.gov/sites/default/files/publications/La_Rance_Tidal_Power_Plant_40_year_operation_feedback.pdf
[8] tethys.pnnl.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Final_EMP_report_SeaGen.pdf
[9] www.power-technology.com/projects/strangford-lough/
[10] icomps.co.uk/seagen-decommissioned-after-successfully-delivering-11-6gwh-to-the-national-grid/
[11] www.seai.ie/publications/Renewable-Energy-in-Ireland-2019.pdf
[12] Page 14 www.climatexchange.org.uk/media/3100/state-of-the-wave-and-tidal-industry-report.pdf
[13] www.bt-projects.com/wp-content/uploads/documents-public/Environment/RHK-2011-SeaGen-Environmental-Monitoring-Programme.pdf
[14] www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/13491/meygen-to-develop-400-mw-uk-tidal-power-site/
[15] vimeo.com/237566185
[16] Figure 11.2 and 11.3 page 114 tethys.pnnl.gov/sites/default/files/publications/MeyGen-2012-ES.pdf
[17] Page 154 tethys.pnnl.gov/sites/default/files/publications/MeyGen-2012-ES.pdf
[18] Page 43 tethys.pnnl.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Final_EMP_report_SeaGen.pdf
[19] Page 39 tethys.pnnl.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Final_EMP_report_SeaGen.pdf
[20] Page 17 tethys.pnnl.gov/sites/default/files/publications/MeyGen-2012-ES.pd
Thank you to AP Archive for access to their archival footage.

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Dec 7, 2019




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Comments 2 732
Real Engineering
Have you watched our new video on Real Science? When we posted it we only had 30k subscribers. Somehow it now has 1.4 million views. Madness no-vid.com/video/video-Bh4jKXsquWA.html
Johnny boi Supreme
No offense but I don't think the effect that industrial development has on property value is important when it comes to economics. Property values will fluctuate and the most efficient way to deal w/ those is simply to leave them alone so people may make their own choices.
Ron Brideau
Ron Brideau Month ago
@first name last name Probably easiest to think of it as the energy comes from the spin of the earth and gravity is rope tugging from ocean to moon
CD3MC Month ago
There is also a tidal power plant (Annapolis Royal Generation Station) in the Bay Of Fundy in NS, Canada.
Jonathan Garzon
Jonathan Garzon Month ago
Corrosion is far more an issue than you can imagine, this technology has been around for years now, has relatively non existent restrictions and has yet to be instituted by any large companies due to the break down of the turbine's being so constant. This doesn't even begin to address the inconsistent currents not to be confused with tides that are, unlike commonly believed by most people, not on a set schedule not direction. They follow large scale flow like the Atlantic jet streams but are hectic beyond belief. Liquid salt reactors are safer less costly to build and maintain per Kw/h and killl less animals not to mention produce less pollution. Thorium salt reactors in particular would allow for a massive advancement on cancer research as well. It's not PC though so most people will keep repeating "CHERNOBYL!!!!"
P16 Month ago
Hi, I'm from India. Is there any job opportunity in Australia after doing any course you talk at the end of the videos?
Billy Mehaffey
Billy Mehaffey 6 hours ago
Why does NASA State the earth is flat and stationary in this PDF 5 separate times in summary sections ?? ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19890005752.pdf
Osiris Rex
Osiris Rex 15 hours ago
Wasn't this channel called Reel engineering? 🙄
American Outside
American Outside 18 hours ago
Yes and clean and forever for free.
Larry MacDonald
Larry MacDonald 23 hours ago
You throw away half the energy you produce... at least half if not more.... you should concentrate on using the energy you produce properly.... how many electric motors do you people run ?.... they all produce heat and you throw it away, air conditioners, fridges, dryers, commercial freezers all sources of heat energy you throw away.... Liquid cooled motors???? yep we got em, heat sink to transfer that heat, yep we got em.... producing electricity using steam.... yep we been doing that a long time..... take all that heat energy you throw away and use it to pre-heat water for steam genny's...
John Coloe
John Coloe Day ago
There is no silver bullet. Only silver buckshot. I've maintained for 30+ years that wave/tidal energy is a reliable renewable resource that, like solar and wind, should be tapped. Had we embarked upon research and development even 20 years ago, imagine the progress that could've been made; how much less fossil fuels would've been burned; the amount of greenhouse gas emissions avoided. Beyond environmental impacts, which are rather benign, the single greatest issue with wave/tidal is that of concentration. Yes, the majority of the world's populations live near coastlines. However, vast expanses of land and billions of people do live inland. So, the expense, environmental impacts and losses associated with long-distance energy transmission mandate diversification into additional means of renewable/sustainable energy generation. The single biggest error in U.S. and world energy policy has to be nuclear. Since the publication in 2006 of research into molten salt reactors conducted at Oak Ridge National Laboratory during the 1960's, the world has had a clear road map for "green" nuclear energy: • Worldwide elemental abundance (no more wars over oil) • Walk-away safe designs (no risk of meltdown, etc.) • Dramatically lower toxicity (a fraction of the waste of legacy designs, as well as shorter half lives [hundreds of years instead of many thousands]) • Low proliferation risk Best of all, these small, affordable molten salt reactor facilities can be built wherever needed and have much lower total costs of ownership than any similarly sized alternative.
SUCH Developments
Australia has Carnegie energy with up to 12m dia buoy filled with the seawater which moves with waves they sit 6m below the surface. The buoys drive power piston similar to that used by oil rig back to shore where goes through a turbine to generate power or the pressurised water is used in desalination plant to give fresh drinking water. www.carnegiece.com/
Brian Mullinax
We all know we are years away from this. In the meantime we are fools to ignore nuclear.
Roger Woodruff
first we were told plastic bags good, paper bags bad, they kill trees, now the liberal scientist say plastic bad no bags so we buy reusable bags same thing here, lets put water turbines in the ocean and see what happens
İka 2 days ago
Ah yes, let's tap into this wasted energy resource and kill out the essential and energetic underwater currents necessary for maintaining heat, and underwater ecosystems which are being used by actual living beings unlike us engineers all jokes aside just engineer a damn Dyson sphere already
El Rolo
El Rolo 2 days ago
This is disgusting! You are advocating more long term pollution of our world. The land has been littered with broken down rusted relics of wind turbines and strewn with plastic solar panels that after their useful life cycle, nobody is cleaning up due to costs. Now you are advocating more pollution ruining of our coastlines that energy companies will abandon once they take their profits out. I say stick to conventional tried and proven energy systems like hydro, nuclear, natural gas, clean coal.
Son of Baconator
Son of Baconator 3 days ago
I hope this is very successful! It could help save the planet along with solar and air👍
Brian Bob
Brian Bob 3 days ago
this is going to be a huge expensive barnacle covered high maintinence mess.
VenomStryker 4 days ago
I hate the fact that good ideas never get off the ground because of something as petty as money.
GeoFry3 5 days ago
No, every 2-3 years this pops up and nothing has changed. Material science has still not come up with anything that can survive in an ocean environment for any meaningful, ie profitable, length of time.
The1stHomosapien 5 days ago
i hate his accent, its so shite.
Sounds incredibly inefficient.
Robert Hernandez
Robert Hernandez 5 days ago
why is he hissing so much?
CUBETechie 5 days ago
What about the Wels turbine?
Salciano 6 days ago
I did a work on this around 10 years ago, for Portugal. I'm surprised to know how little seems to have changed...
dj blake1215
dj blake1215 6 days ago
This needs to happen now,should have been sooner fuck the money spend it stop killing our planet we or we won't have one
Jacob Opstad
Jacob Opstad 6 days ago
I would hardly call it "wasted energy." All that churning and flowing is part of the water cycle which helps to regulate weather around the earth. The more we tap into that cycle, the more unpredictable the effects will become. Still, it's obviously a better choice than what we have now.
Walter Kurka
Walter Kurka 6 days ago
How many fish, seals and whales where hit or killed by the unprotected blades. How can I get a copy of that report. I love this underwater via water chanel flows.
Wiener Woods
Wiener Woods 6 days ago
Maintenance is gonna kill this idea. I own a boat, and keeping the hull clean requires monthly scrubbing underwater. Then there's all the problems with keeping seawater out of the electrical system. The deeper you go, the more of a problem this becomes. There's also a huge problem with dissimilar metals, which will lead to severe corrosion and failure is not managed properly. Oh, and how are you gonna get the power produced back to shore effciently? Solar and geothermal power are the most economically and technologically viable "free" energy sources we have, and they are plenty. Look at how badly we've screwed up the planet with difficult to extract and refine fossil fuels. Unlimited energy would simply encourage irresponsible development and waste. What's needed is better management and development of existing energy sources, not hare-brained schemes for new unlimited sources.
Apple apple
Apple apple 7 days ago
Fuck like imagine going for a swim and something hits your foot
eM Jay
eM Jay 7 days ago
10:19 Hahaha
jim parsit
jim parsit 7 days ago
benign D
benign D 7 days ago
I am so mad that nobody caught that personal massage at 13:26
Pe Ka
Pe Ka 7 days ago
by extracting energy, we slow down the waters, do we not? Does this not massively affect the organisms living there?
No you would need to make the moon disappear to do that.
Duggy Dugg
Duggy Dugg 7 days ago
the elite think there are too many of us... I agree ... they want to kill us I think attrition is the better plan than catastrophe
Peter Sellers
Peter Sellers 8 days ago
This topic makes me hungry for assorted turbine-diced fish.
Lee Turnbull
Lee Turnbull 9 days ago
Geothermal energy is the best option, it is feasible in engineering terms, clean and pretty easy to do. Much less engineering involved than sea power
Triadne Jessica
Triadne Jessica 10 days ago
i liked how there was a clear demarcation of the end of this video and a satisfying conclusion before your segue into your sponsor.
Ron Lawson
Ron Lawson 11 days ago
Environmentalist will be against this and it will have nothing to do with hurting the environment. If you want to succeed you must ignore them . You can not argue with leftists you should know that by now !
Jerome Reyes
Jerome Reyes 11 days ago
Can humanity solve nature problems ?
PB&J Racing • 13 years ago
What about using a corkscrew design?
rassooneggs 12 days ago
Elon-chan must look into this
SWOA Studios
SWOA Studios 13 days ago
This is actually so cool! I really hope we can save this amazing planet with this product
Robert Weekes
Robert Weekes 13 days ago
Tidal energy is probably harder to do than wind. Just do advanced nuclear -see *thorium* molten salt reactor videos
PULLUP J 14 days ago
This videos title is so fucking dumb even the most basic brain of understand science can tell you yes. It’s call water energy. Now please figure it out. “Can a damn bring power to a city”😂😂 no shit
Volksverarschung 14 days ago
David Fraser
David Fraser 14 days ago
30 minutes to remove. Yes theoretically. First you need to mob a vessel, transit, perform weather dependent lift, do the work and then reinstall. So 1 day. What is the frequency of maintenance. Large wind turbines have fleets of maintenance vessels. 3.5 years to pay for the installation, what is that when maintenance is considered. Always will be niche.
Colin van der Voort
Why are we not funding This shit!?!?!? Stop with the stupid windmills (that are a waste of mony and defile the view) and I m from thé netherlands for God sake!
Sean O'Rourke
Sean O'Rourke 14 days ago
We'll just have to see how many sea mammals get hit. I bet they thought birds would avoid the wind turbines too, but nope. They get slaughtered during migration every year.
Afridi Hassan
Afridi Hassan 14 days ago
THankyou i have hope for it
andrew Davis
andrew Davis 15 days ago
wave generators anywhere but where rich people live...Just the look of them would lower the value of their homes ?????
weekok wong
weekok wong 15 days ago
the issue of turbines is the issue of wear and tear that makes frequent maintenance a requirement. and not all locations are easy to harness energy as shown in videos as operations in deep sea will greatly increase time and cost even for transport of workers
Hope Filled Sinner
Hope Filled Sinner 15 days ago
Hmm great idea, lets create a electrical energy system surrounded by salt water. Then we can produce sushimi with a high revolution propeller under the water at the same time. Asians can simply eat while Europeans could bbq on the sea shore collecting fish pieces with a net.
rainwolf034 16 days ago
You forgot the earths rotation in your tide explanation.. rivers are some of the most dependable energy..
Pomp Mag
Pomp Mag 16 days ago
Tidal energy = terrifying consequences. I studied tidal energy at university in the early 2000s. It has obvious benefits that are discussed in the video But has massive potential consequences. The environmental issues are a side issue. The real problem is that the movement of the tides an orbit of the Moon are fundamentally linked as said at the start of the video, but what is not said is that the tides and lunar orbit are a balanced system in which the movement of the Moon puts energy into the movement of the tides, and then the movement of the tides themselves puts energy back into the orbit of the Moon. Obviously if you remove energy from an otherwise balanced system you unbalance that system and thus major generation of electricity through tidal power will fundamentally change the tides, and the orbit of the Moon. In particular even relatively minor energy extraction (a small percentage of the world's annual electricity use) from the tides is likely to impact the Moon's orbit to such an extent that the orbit will stop being elliptical and instead become a spiral. There are complicated factors I can no longer recall which determine if that spiral orbit would move the Moon outward or inward but both are catastrophic for all life on Earth. Outward would lead to the atmosphere ultimately being pulled into space, so no more breathing, whilst inwards would lead to a collision of such force that the asteroid that ended the dinosaurs would be a drop in the ocean by comparison. Tidal energy is superficially attractive in terms of being able to supply a constant flow of electricity for a while, but the long term consequences of doing it are even worse than climate change (which frankly terrifies me enough). It seems irresponsible to do a factual video about all the benefits but then only mention the small (and manageable) problems, ignoring the big picture problems, almost as though many of the facts you researched come straight from the tidal industry lobbyists and industry...
justspazzin 64
justspazzin 64 16 days ago
What energy problems?
edward091111 17 days ago
Is it not a danger for the fish ?
Theodore Castro
Theodore Castro 17 days ago
All this sun and we're still coming up with stupid ideas like this.
Zyl'Aaeria 17 days ago
"Wasted energy" That is what I think of whenever I look at the stars in the night sky.
Alexander Kale
Alexander Kale 15 days ago
Every day we are down here instead of up there, the sun makes a mockery of every tree hugger who wants to "save energy"...
I. Peterson
I. Peterson 17 days ago
What a lovely message you have written toward Wendover!
Jairion 17 days ago
Can't we just drill artifical geysers literally anywhere and use them for steam turbines? Anything underwater or in the sea must require lots of maintenance. On the plus side, we might prevent volcanoes from erupting if we manage to vent out the excess energy that would blow up otherwise.
Max lopolo
Max lopolo 17 days ago
No. Or not yet. Here is what can solve it: HUMAN INGENUITY. And time. So maybe next time a crazed alarmist start screaming "the end is niiiigh, we need to regulate the number of breaaaaaaaths!", smash his face with a brick. In the last 100 years every 10/15 years there is some SCUMBAG that cries wolf to get money and power using "eco threats" to the planet. All of them turn out to be fake, but people are dumb. WHAT solves problems? Time and ingenuity. Solutions are PROFITABLE, so stop pissing yourselves and shut it, people a hundred times smarter than the scam artists you keep voting for are working on solutions. Hey, what happened to the OZONE HOLE THAT WAS GOING TO DOOM US ALL???????? Oh right, turns out it's a natural phenomenon. Guess all those billions and rules implemented were a sham.
SlovesL 17 days ago
Wind turbines: killing birds. Engineers: kill fish instead?
Max Davies
Max Davies 18 days ago
No, the only thing that will stop energy problems is nuclear.
Max Davies
Max Davies 14 days ago
@Aidan S Nuclear fusion reactors when they come out, also more modern designs of nuclear fission reactors are extremely good.
Alexander Kale
Alexander Kale 15 days ago
@Aidan S Dude, we have stone formations on this planet that are both dry and millions of years old. Waste storage is not a problem. People dying for lack of clean energy IS.
Aidan S
Aidan S 15 days ago
You'll need to find a nuclear material without radioactive waste
Ryan Nix
Ryan Nix 18 days ago
Once again, nuclear power is the clear winner as the preferred source of clean energy.
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