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Norwegian Scientists Unveil Plans for World's First Underwater Energy Storage Plant
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May 22, 2013

Norwegian Scientists Unveil Plans for World's First Underwater Energy Storage Plant

By Drew Hendricks

As dawn breaks, a group of Norwegian scientists prepare to unveil their latest discovery in energy conservation projects. This patent pending breakthrough is described as being a hydroelectric power plant on the sea bed that can generate and store electricity to be used on the mainland later through the pressure of the sea. It is said in conjunction with wind farms and solar power plants that this new hydro powered underwater energy storage facility can complete the chain for there to be no use for the nuclear plants.

Rayner Schramm is the founder of Subhydro As and together his company has teamed with SINTEF to share their expertise in underwater technology, as well as energy generation. They know that their group was not the first to “Think deep” so to speak, however with their technology awaiting a patent it is clear they feel their project is the best.

Schramm gave an analogy of how this process works when he said that the force of water volume shooting through the turbine could be the same as flooding a submarine with seawater. The wanted effectiveness of this technology is at their grasp so the scientists there believe that this storage power plant allows for charging by pumping water into a reservoir, where the water is then shot through a turbine. At a depth of only 400 to 800 meters on the seabed, the undersea turbine is equipped with a tank that will allow for the water to flow into it. A valve is fitted to the turbine and when it is opened water flows through and begins spinning the turbine. Electricity is then generated from this motion by driving a generator.

The undersea pumped hydroelectric power plant is envisioned as a back-up source of sorts when connected to other lines of electricity along the shore. Utilizing this technology with wind farms can make for a steady flow of electricity as strong wind conditions makes the undersea storage tanks be pumped, sending excess electricity subsea. When the winds are calm, the storage tanks can be utilized without an interruption of power to anyone. It is said that this technology can produce 300MW (or enough electricity to power near 200,000 homes) alone without the use of a secondary power source.  

Green energy training courses across the globe are now working on teaching students how this new process works in effort to create more green jobs in the future. Undersea hydroelectric power plants can work in tandem with solar powered energy as well. Hopefully, between Subhydro As and SINTEF we can see a future for cleaner energy and less reliance on fossil fuels.

Edited by Ashley Caputo

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