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Wave & tidal

  • Tidal and Wave Power Featured Article Tidal and Wave Power Tidal and Wave Power

    Sailors and surfers can attest to the power of the sea. Tides rise and fall from the interplay between Earth’s rotation and the gravitational forces of the sun and moon.... More »

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Tidal and Wave Power Last Updated on 2010-12-19 00:00:00 Sailors and surfers can attest to the power of the sea. Tides rise and fall from the interplay between Earth’s rotation and the gravitational forces of the sun and moon. Waves develop from the pressure and friction of winds blowing over the open seas. Humans have a long history of harnessing tidal and wave power. The ruins of a tide mill, used for grinding grain on Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, date to A.D. 619. On a larger scale, a tidal power plant on the Rance River in northwest France has generated 600 gigawatts (GW) annually since 1967. The basic design of tidal plants has not changed in over a millennium: The power plant lowers gates when the tide is rising, allowing water to enter, and raises the gates as the tide begins to recede, trapping the water behind them. At low tide, this water escapes through a turbine that turns the millstones or an electrical... More »