Your Questions About Solar Energy Generator Wikipedia

James asks…

could the weight of a boat generate energy?

in other words can you harness the energy from the rise and fall of the tide with a cable tied to a very heavy boat then to a pier generate energy? or used to pull a flywheel or something? would the weight of the boat pulling on the cable be able to wind something or spin a flywheel?
what about the simple fact that the boat lowering down would pull the cable with the force of the weight of the boat?

admin answers:

Yes, and New York has installed them on the bottom of the Hudson River.

In this case they are using the in flow and out flow of the tide to generate electricity. The installation was shown on the Discovery Channel and the first one installed was bent because they didn’t plan on the force being so great.

There are wave generators and have been for a while they use up and down motion of the water to move a piston harnessed to a wheel that turns a generator making electrical energy.

Since the waves always move you won’t have to worry about not having enough windy days or not. The problem is that if you are not careful with the design ti will break too easily. This is using wave motion not tidal energy.

If you wanted to create a tide generator then you should go to the Bay of Fundy (, which has over 12′ tides each day.

The tides themselves are not that strong, they are only dependent on the gravitational energy of the moon and the sun. The heat of the sun drives the motion of waves and the winds that energy is more consistent and reliable. A more efficient conversion is to take the energy from the original source (the sun) in the first place. Solar panels are a good example of this and recent work in carbon fibers have increased the efficiency of them, once the price of making carbon nanofibers drops (or the price of energy continues to rise) it will become worthy of mass scale production.

There is an idea to use electrical generators on the bottom of the ocean just off the Eastern shore of North America in the middle of the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream is a reliable current that constantly runs and the turbines can be made large enough so that they would move slowly so as to not harm fish. It would be just like putting windmills on the floor of the ocean. The only problem of course is making sure to not let the water get in and salt water is very corrosive. A magnetic induction system could solve that problem though.

Steven asks…

what is the political and social effects of geothermal energy?

what is the economical cost ?
what is the opportunity cost?
please help!

admin answers:

Geothermal power requires no fuel (except for pumps), and is therefore immune to fuel cost fluctuations, but capital costs are significant. Drilling accounts for over half the costs, and exploration of deep resources entails significant risks. A typical well doublet (extraction and injection wells) in Nevada can support 4.5 megawatts (MW) and costs about $10 million to drill, with a 20% failure rate.

In total, electrical plant construction and well drilling cost about 2-5 million € per MW of electrical capacity, while the break–even price is 0.04-0.10 € per kW·h. Enhanced geothermal systems tend to be on the high side of these ranges, with capital costs above $4 million per MW and break–even above $0.054 per kW·h in 2007. Direct heating applications can use much shallower wells with lower temperatures, so smaller systems with lower costs and risks are feasible. Residential geothermal heat pumps with a capacity of 10 kilowatt (kW) are routinely installed for around $1–3,000 per kilowatt. District heating systems may benefit from economies of scale if demand is geographically dense, as in cities, but otherwise piping installation dominates capital costs. The capital cost of one such district heating system in Bavaria was estimated at somewhat over 1 million € per MW. Direct systems of any size are much simpler than electric generators and have lower maintenance costs per kW·h, but they must consume electricity to run pumps and compressors. Some governments subsidize geothermal projects.

Geothermal power is highly scalable: from a rural village to an entire city.

A geothermal heat pump can extract enough heat from shallow ground anywhere in the world to provide home heating, but industrial applications need the higher temperatures of deep resources. The thermal efficiency and profitability of electricity generation is particularly sensitive to temperature. The more demanding applications receive the greatest benefit from a high natural heat flux, ideally from using a hot spring. The next best option is to drill a well into a hot aquifer. If no adequate aquifer is available, an artificial one may be built by injecting water to hydraulically fracture the bedrock. This last approach is called hot dry rock geothermal energy in Europe, or enhanced geothermal systems in North America. Much greater potential may be available from this approach than from conventional tapping of natural aquifers.

Estimates of the electricity generating potential of geothermal energy vary six–fold, from .035 to 2 TW depending on the scale of investments. Upper estimates of geothermal resources assume enhanced geothermal wells as deep as 10 kilometres (6 mi), whereas existing geothermal wells are rarely more than 3 kilometres (2 mi) deep. Wells of this depth are now common in the petroleum industry. The deepest research well in the world, the Kola superdeep borehole, is 12 kilometres (7 mi) deep. This record has recently been imitated by commercial oil wells, such as Exxon’s Z-12 well in the Chayvo field, Sakhalin.

System efficiency does not materially affect operational costs as it would for plants that use fuel, but it does affect return on the capital used to build the plant. In order to produce more energy than the pumps consume, electricity generation requires relatively hot fields and specialized heat cycles.[citation needed] Because geothermal power does not rely on variable sources of energy, unlike, for example, wind or solar, its capacity factor can be quite large – up to 96% has been demonstrated. The global average was 73% in 2005.

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