Many great inventions are evolving behind garage doors across the world. The really great ones are solving problems that we created in the past having destructive qualities, without contributing to other problems we will have to resolve in the future. These sustainable inventions are the foundation we need to build our future upon like a nassau county apartment. One such invention is the ECO-Auger. W. Scott Anderson has been developing a spiral corkscrew tidal energy converter that is safe for marine life, cost effective, scalable, and easy to incorporate an array. The ECO-Auger ™ is the evolution in hydrokinetic energy.
There are a few companies that have developed tidal systems that function similar to the way a windmill does. While the idea is good, an application for water is a much different than in air with rotating blades. Mr. Anderson’s invention produces power through a unique hydraulic pump system in the nosecone that turns a generator outside of the water. The spiral auger is safe for marine wildlife, and does not affect whales or naval sonar. Thus the ECO-Auger ™ design is more suited for harnessing energy through a constant tidal supply. Scott Anderson also won the 2009 Energy Prize with ConocoPhillips with his ECO Auger ™ design.
As the system is scalable, its use can be used in rivers or oceans. In Alaska, a ECO-Auger is in development for the Tanana River and is expected to produce between 50 and 300 kilowatts. As solutions for emerging and developed technology to produce clean and green renewable energy become more abundant, there will be many opportunities to cut back on expensive and destructive energy systems in rural areas like Alaska. One of the ECO-Auger ™ partners, Michael McNamara, speaks about its potential. A smaller version is use in Maui produces about 7 kilowatts an hour in a 3 knot current, or enough to power about 50 homes a day. The technology is more cost effective, easier to build and deploy, and easier to service.
Testing continues on the ECO-Auger ™ with two-foot diameter units in the tidal basins of New Jersey. The ECO-Auger ™ passed the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement’s Ohmsett Renewable Energy Testing in July 2010. In 12 knots of current, one six foot diameter version can produce 77,000 kW/year. As the system is easy to array, it can easily be expanded.
The implications for ECO-Auger are most apparent for rural areas that are situated near an ocean or river source of current. This is just another type of clean renewable energy resource that is naturally present in the world. And to think this is but one idea that started behind a garage door as a simple idea. What more proof do we need to see how good intentions can change the world?
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