DANIA BEACH – (CBS4) – Local scientists say the answer to finding green energy may be as close as the ocean.
The steady flow of the Gulf Stream, the warm ocean current that flows along the east coast of the U.S. is a blessing to South Florida because it could be used to harvest energy that could one day power homes and businesses.
“We’re blessed here in South Florida,” said Bill Laing, of Florida Atlantic University’s SeaTech institute in Dania Beach. “Right off shore, 10 to 15 miles we have one of the greatest sources of natural energy in the world. The Gulf Stream runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
To go from Gulf Stream to energy, turbines would have to be placed underwater. Engineers at FAU have teamed up with the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center to test the technology by using a motor. Once underwater, the motors won’t be needed. The rushing current will power it, making it like a windmill underwater.
Just one of these turbines can power about 10 homes — it can also produce hydrogen to fuel cars.
When the research is all done – the hope is that one day there will larger turbines whirling under water – a whole farm of them – giving off enough energy to help users disconnect from current energy sources – to clean, green, renewable fuel.
Testing in the water is expected to happen this summer and that green source of energy could begin powering homes within the next five to 10 years.
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