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babaji's avatar

How much Energy/Power do you think is in the Sea?

Asked by babaji (1440points) February 27th, 2010

What do you think of the Ocean as being a giant untapped source of undying energy and power? Not a new subject i know but, Always moving, always with the power to create sustainable Energy, through tidal movement and wave power,
Seems like an open door for immense possibilities for the planets energy sources.

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7 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

There have been all types of inventions to use the movement of the ocean to generate power. None were practical in a cost/result sense.

jaytkay's avatar

As you mentioned , it is not a new subject. As a kid in the 1970s, I was a devoted reader of Popular Science, and ocean power was a fairly frequent topic.

The most interesting to me was ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), where the temperature difference between deep cold water and warm surface water drives a motor. It was dreamed up in 1881 and the first working power plant was built in Cuba in 1930.
http://www.energysavers.gov/renewable_energy/ocean/index.cfm/mytopic=50010

I assume that oil and natural gas and coal are still too cheap for OTEC, wave power and tidal power to compete.

laureth's avatar

The problem is mostly in capturing it effectively. Tidal-based power generation has proven to be less effective than wind-based power generation, when used in the same place.

cockswain's avatar

Enough to power 200,000 flux capacitors (200,000×1.21 gigawatts)

Nially_Bob's avatar

A near-incomprehendible amount I would wager but as many have previously stated such matters are often restrained by issues of practicality.

It is fascinating and abnormally pleasant to consider how the immense number of organisms living within the sea all contribute towards its total potential energy. Entities that co-habitate, conflict and generally interact regularly all unwittingly creating a readily available source of sustenance to the surrounding world.

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