Ocean Power Can Serve Future Generations and Be Environmentally Friendly
Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the earth's surface and are full of saline water and a number of life forms. The vast areas of the oceans that are exposed to the sun, cause a lot of changes in the weather patterns and can affect climate in all parts of the world. The forces of nature unleashed by storms in the oceans are an indicator of the potential energy that is generated by oceans, and if only a tiny portion of this can be tapped, the energy needs of man can be met for ever.
The Recycling of Ocean Water
Heat from the sun causes the heating of the water surface over the oceans and the resultant convection causes winds to be geenrated. The water also evaporates and forms clouds. Winds blow these clouds to different parts ofthe earth and also aid the precipitation of the water back to the ocean in a very refined form. Similar clouds blowing over land areas also causes rain to fall on them, which convert into streams and rivers that flow back into the ocean. So as a result the water is recycled and any losses come from the use of this rain water by life forms that populate the earth.
The Forms of Energy Available in Ocean Power
Winds over oceans cause waves. This allows the ocean water to gather potential energy if properly harnessed can be used to generate power for the needs of mankind.
The gravitational force of the moon and sun and the rotation of the earth causes rise and fall in ocean water that are called tides. It is very easy to predict the heights achieved by ocean water during such tides. This again allows the water to gain a lot of potenetial energy which can be tapped to run turbines to produce eelectrical power.
The sun heats up the surface of ocean water, while the deeper portions of the water remain cold. This thermal difference between the upper and lower layers of ocean water can be tapped to produce ocean power.
Ocean water contains a lot of salts and it is much more saline than the fresh water that most rivers carry. Scientists have developed methods to exploit this difference in salinity to produce power.
There are number of ocean currents present in all the oceans of the world. Most of these are very predictable and contain a lot of possibilities to be converted into power if turbines can be properly positioned to harness their energy.
All this energy from the ocean, if tapped, can help mankind to get away from the use of fossil and other fuels that are not renewable. Ocean power however comes from an unending source of energy that is renewed continually, even when it is not being harnessed. A major advantage in ocean power is that any installations of equipment does not involve any land use. Land is a commodity that is constantly scarce and adds to the cost of power generation.