As the majority of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans that are constantly shifting and changing throughout the year, there is a tremendous amount of power that is able to be tapped by harnessing the wave movements from the tides. Tidal wave energy refers to the ability or process of utilizing these shifts in the ocean to produce electricity and power conventional appliances.
Similar to other forms of hydropower such as that used in dams across the world that harness the natural flow of rivers and regenerate electricity, tidal wave energy is produced by harnessing the power of tide shifts and channeling waves into turbines that can generate electricity. Unlike conventional hydropower, however, tidal wave generators to not have to necessarily block off the natural flow of water and can operate by simply utilizing an ocean’s natural current without impeding any water flow.
Currently there are a number of different title wave generator designs that exist and are used throughout the world along the coasts in order to generate power. The simplest form of these is to simply place a turbine into the direct flow of the current and allow the current to rotate it as it comes and goes. While this is a very simple way to generate electricity, it is not necessarily the most efficient as it relies entirely upon the arbitrary flow of the ocean and cannot guarantee regular energy production.
A more efficient form of tidal wave energy can be achieved by utilizing natural tide currents to channel a flow of water into a container unit, which can then be used to feed a steady stream into a turbine at much higher speeds than may be able to be achieved in most natural cases. These forms of tidal energy generators can produce substantial amounts of electricity with little or no impact upon the environment.
Though tidal wave energy is extremely environmentally friendly, the reason why it is not as heavily used across the world as other forms of energy production is simply due to its lack of ability to output large amounts of power regularly that can be utilized by large numbers of people. Other forms of hydropower such as dams can generate much more electricity at a regular rate and can provide adequate power production for a number of areas. An example of this is Las Vegas, Nevada, which is powered almost entirely off of electricity produced by the Hoover dam.
Nevertheless, tidal wave energy has been seeing some improvements in recent years that have been allowing it to develop stronger, steadier sources of electricity in order to become a more viable alternative energy source. These include developments in to both design as well as hardware, including more efficient turbines that can generate more electricity with less input so that even weaker ties can be used to generate some power. Look for tidal wave energy to become more common in the future as people shift more away from conventional fuel sources for energy towards renewable, alternative energy sources such as these and technology continues to develop support the needs of the people.