Harnessing ocean power to generate electricity is the aim of a Rs.58.93 crore ($13.75 million) effort at Florida Atlantic University's Centre for Ocean Energy Technology (COET).
The Centre has already built a fleet of acoustic doppler current-profiler platforms to be anchored later this year off Florida's Atlantic coast. By 2009, the Centre hopes to have permanent mooring sites picked for underwater adaptations of wind turbines. The ocean turbines would be mated to on-shore hydrogen storage facilities that could recharge fuel cells and generate electricity. The moorings will also house pumping facilities to pipe frigid deep ocean water coming from the Arctic Circle into buildings' heat exchangers for cooling.
"The Gulf Stream works 365 days a year, allowing electricity generated from its current to be available 24/7, compared with solar or wind resources. Plus there is a possibility of using the thermal difference between the warm waters nearer the surface, and the very cold water at the bottom which comes from the Arctic Circle," said Sue Skemp, COET's executive director.