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Green Energy from the Blue Ocean

by Kathy Chambers 13 Dec, 2016 in

Blue Ocean
Image Credit: DOE Water Power Program

Movements of waves, tides, and currents in the ocean carry kinetic energy that can be harnessed and converted to electricity.  There is vast potential for using this ocean resource to provide clean, renewable energy to communities and cities in coastal areas, and it could impact the nearly half of the U.S. population that lives within 50 miles of the coastlines. 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Water Power Program supports the design, development, testing, and demonstration of marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies that can capture energy from waves, tides, and currents.  This program also funds the creation of instrumentation, modeling, and simulation tools to enable real-condition testing of technologies.  DOE recently announced $20 million in funding for projects that advance and monitor marine and hydrokinetic energy systems and will contribute to the development of a commercially viable MHK industry.

The Water Power Program also sponsored the $2.25 million, 20-month Wave Energy Prize challenge.  This public contest was designed to encourage the development of more efficient wave energy converter (WEC) devices that would double the energy absorption base line captured from ocean waves, making wave energy more competitive with traditional energy solutions. 

The Wave Energy Prize initially had 92 teams, which were narrowed down to 9 finalists, from industry and academia who designed, built, and tested their MHK inventions with seed funding.  On November 16, 2016,...

Related Topics: Blue, energy, green, ocean, tides, waves

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DOE’s Solar Decathlon – Building the Future

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

 

The Solar Decathlon is being held September 23–October 2, 2011, at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, DC. The event is free and open to the public.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon  challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

19 teams from universities from the US and around the world are competing in the sixth running of the Solar Decathlon.  Each team’s home is monitored for its performance in five areas relating to performance and livability: comfort (maintaining comfortable temperature and humidity in the home), hot water (producing a sufficient quantity for washing and bathing), appliances (such as keeping refrigerated items at the right temperature), home entertainment (running lights, computers and other devices) and energy balance.  For the energy balance portion, homes must even out energy consumption and generation so that they use zero net energy over the course of a week. Other contests rate the teams for their communications with the public, as well as the affordability, architecture, engineering and market appeal of their homes. The winner of the competition will be announced on October 1.

To learn more about solar energy and other green energy...

Related Topics: biomass, collegiate, decathlon, energy, geothermal, green, hydro, power, solar, synthetic fuels, wave, wind, DOE Green Energy

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