Years of over exploitation of non-renewable resources have accelerated the development of ground-breaking technology for renewable energy. Swedish inventor Magnus Landberg at Minesto has designed a novel approach to sustainable energy: underwater kites that harness the power of ocean currents.
The project called ‘Deep Green’ uses underwater kites that harness the power of hydrodynamics – the study of fluid in motion. To take advantage of those fundamental principles, the kites are attached to a turbine. As the ocean currents push and flow through the kite, the turbine turns the generator located in the nacelle to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Power cables and other tethered lines then run down to the ocean floor to transmit the energy.
Since the water in the ocean is nearly 800 times denser than air, the underwater kites generate that much more energy than their airborne cousins. The Deep Green technology utilizes low velocity currents in deep waters, even though the hydrodynamic technology enables it to withstand velocities ten times faster.
Tidal currents are predictable and powerful, allowing energy production to be maximized while reducing risks associated with severe fluctuations. Because the kites are lightweight and always placed sufficiently below surface, the aesthetic and environmental impact on the ocean is minimized. The kites also have a low maintenance cost due to its gearless turbine motor. Deep Green is a simple and efficient electricity production technology that has already been experimented with on the waters off Northern Ireland. It retains the ability to produce energy for the world, from anywhere in the world.