Harnessing Tidal Energy

David Wolfe First full scale tidal lagoon power plant

There's something more massive and more forceful than the wind that can push turbines to generate electricity: the omnipotent ocean. I think we should all look into leveraging the immense power that creates tides.

To have a rough grasp on how much work or power that could be, let's try to compare at a simpler scale. We all drink distilled water nowadays, right? And it's usually a 5 gallon container of clean water put on top of a dispenser. It takes some strength to hold up and place that container onto the dispenser. That's a very small scale: a few seconds of lift for a 5 gallon of less dense clean water. And it's not easy for a lot of us. Take that "unit of power" to deal with the dispenser and multiply it into a tub of water (assuming the tub itself adds negligible weight) and how much man or truck power would be needed to move that. Then expand from tub to a truckload of water. From truck to large house. From large house to a small building. From small building to skyscraper. From skyscraper to the SM Seaside mall. You get my drift at how much amount of work would be needed to move all of those? And those don't even cover a small portion of the sea!

Now, scale up the work needed to move the mall to the amount of work to move an enormous sea with much higher density with movement that spans the whole day change from tide to tide. And the cycle keeps going all year, all our lives. The wind may change in strength and may not even be there sometimes but the tide will always be moving, always pulling and pushing so much sea water. I haven't done the math but I'm guessing it has more than enough power to transfer all of the skyscrapers in Cebu City into Tagbilaran and back when I think about how much water is moved when the tide changes.

What makes the idea in the video even more awesome is the mini ecosystem it adds around the "tidal lagoon": aquaculture farm and cycling/walking roads. It's almost reclaiming land for more infrastructure but at the same time, still leaving most of the the water surface as is. I'm no environmental expert but that sounds like a great idea for a sustainable energy source.

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