For centuries, the tides have fed the needs of these Scottish islands. Today, they’re providing something new: power.
In a new YouTube video by GE, the conglomerate revealed how they’ve managed to harness the power of the moon to produce electricity.
How does it work?
Tidal power, or, to put it another way, the power of the moon, is certainly a powerful energy source.
The renewable source of power which is created by harnessing the energy built up in the oceans currents by the gravitational pull of the moon depends on the moon revolving around the earth. As the moon moves relative to the surface, it drags waves of water with it. The tidal movements steal energy from its orbit, slowly making the moon farther from earth, and have less power over tides, but for now that gravitational energy is being wasted and GE is using turbines to capture it.
The turbines resemble large aircraft propellers submerged in 180 to 240 feet of water. They stand in strategic “pinch points” of the firth, where the tides rush in and out at the highest speeds. Engineers then capture energy from the vertical and horizontal movements of the tides.
GE Power Conversion is currently in the process of testing out new tidal turbine generators and other underwater technology in turbines standing on the sea floor near the Orkneys in Scotland and at Ramsey Sound in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Watch how Moon Power works in Scotland below: