Marine energy, also known as ocean energy, ocean power, or marine hydrokinetic energy (MHK), refers to a variety of techniques for drawing energy from our seas.
While the sun and wind may provide energy, you might not be aware that our water, which covers more than 75% of the earth, is also abundant and renewable.
The waves, tides, and currents of the ocean carry energy that may be captured and transformed into electricity to power our houses.
It is a renewable energy source that uses the currents, tides, and waves that occur naturally in rivers and oceans. Ocean thermal energy conversion is a method for obtaining marine energy from variations in water temperature.
Significance of Hydrokinetic Energy
Over many decades, the possibility of generating energy from hydrokinetic systems has been investigated. However, the interest in capturing energy from water-based hydrokinetic devices has increased as a result of technological improvements over the past 10 years and the sporadic nature of other energy harvesting methods.
The state-of-the-art of these systems in applications based on the sea and rivers is reviewed and studied in this research.
And the next renewable energy source that is anticipated to be implemented in one or more of its varieties during the next few years is hydrokinetic energy.
Arguments are made in favor of taking into account the marine environmental effect together with the development of turbine technology and geographical site evaluation when determining the technology readiness level in order to shorten the time cycle for technology deployment.
How does Hydrokinetic Energy work?
A hydrokinetic system is an electromechanical device that uses a generator and a power electronics converter to transform the kinetic energy of flowing water into electrical energy.
The marine kinetic energy services comprise of a hydrokinetic system built on free-flowing water and does not need the creation of a reservoir or impoundment. The compact size of the plant makes the system simple to move and carry. You may also place the device alongside a river by tying to a stationary object or on a floating pontoon.
Deep ocean currents and shallow coastal tidal currents are the two main subvariants of hydrokinetic energy (HKE). Similar to wind energy, river current energy has two subvariants: unregulated water currents downstream of hydroelectric power plants and natural water river currents.
River current HKE is expanding quickly, even if it demands additional technoeconomic evaluation studies. This type of HKE is extremely important for bringing power to remote rural regions, where connecting to an electrical grid is not feasible financially.
Two key pillars—HKE conversion device (turbine) technology and geographical site HKE resource assessment—support the implementation of HKE successfully.
Benefits of Marine Energy
Current aids in transporting large volumes of water throughout the oceans of the world by the currents which are generally consistent. With the help of technology, you can transform the energy from ocean current into useable power.
Devices that use wave power generate electricity either directly from the surface motion of large ocean waves or through pressure changes below the water’s surface.
Given that more than half of the population of the United States lives within 50 miles of the coast, marine energy resources are geographically diversified and ideally positioned to power towns.
These resources are prospective contributors to a dependable, steady sustainable energy infrastructure since they are also quite predictable.
The majority of marine kinetic energy services take place underwater, or near sea, so they provide clean energy while keeping stunning views of the ocean and other bodies of water.
For instance, it also includes blue economy applications, and improvement of desalination systems for the provision of clean drinking water.
Various forms of Hydrokinetic Energy
Strong winds that have travelled great distances tend to provide the finest wave resources. The numerous forms of technologies that can convert wave energy to electricity comes in a variety of ways.
Wave energy converters, or WECs, use ocean waves to generate power. The U.S. Department of Energy has made it a priority to determine the kind of machine that can carry out this function most efficiently. Since WECs harvest energy from waves of different sizes and moving in multiple directions.
Following are some major sources of hydrokinetic energy that can help in generating electricity.
- In-stream Hydrokinetic Energy
The ocean generates two very distinct sources of energy: mechanical energy from tides and thermal energy from the sun. The moon’s gravitational pull is the main force behind tides, whereas winds are the main force behind waves.
As a result, whereas ocean thermal energy (from the sun) is generally continuous, tides and waves are sporadic energy sources. Good mechanical equipment helps in converting both tidal and wave energy into electricity.
- Tidal Energy
You can utilize ocean and tidal current energy by constructing semi-permeable barrages across bays with high tidal ranges. Tidal and ocean currents are rather predictable, in contrast to wind and waves.
Barrages enable tidal waters to fill an estuary at high tides through channels. And then, close when the tide starts to recede. Tidal energy generation is most likely to occur in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and the Atlantic Northeast.
Marine Energy is the Future
Marine hydrokinetic energy is the best developing sector which play a significant role in the renewable energy revolution. MHK has advanced significantly in this decade alone, with various tests and demonstrations. And it has been producing highly encouraging results for a technology that is still in its infancy.
However, MHK was once a tale of immense potential and immature technology. Wave energy converters, tidal energy converters, and ocean thermal converters, are the major categories of this process. These categories are able to classify the technology we employ to collect all this heat and motion.
The good news is that these gadgets are capable of supplying electricity that is dependable, predictable, and sustainable.
When the gravitational pulls draw water, it flows more freely. Because tides, waves, and currents are cyclical, marine energy is quite predictable.
People utilize marine energy to supplement other energy sources like wind and solar. However, the electricity production often declines when tides are at their strongest due to their seasonal cycles.
A reliable source of energy is the marine environment. Marine energy solutions can help the resiliency and dependability of the power system by requiring short transmission lines.