Environment

The Environmental Benefits Of Aqua Power Technologies

Overview

Aqua Power Technology aims to help reduce the number of homes and businesses being powered by fossil fuel power stations and non renewable means of energy production. It is clear that carbon levels are rising and renewable forms of energy must account for a larger proportion of energy production if the levels are to subside.

Harnessing the power within the waves allows the power generated to feed straight into the national grid’s power distribution network. It is important to note that the method by which Aqua Power Technologies devices generate energy is an environmentally preferable method. Whilst being installed, in operation and under maintenance, the devices do not cause any harm to the surrounding environment. Due to the anchoring systems minimal contact with the sea bed, there is only a minimal radial area of disruption to the surrounding environment. In addition, the units semi submersible nature means there is no visual impact when viewing the units from a distance. Given that the devices will be placed offshore in deep water, it is unlikely that the devices will cause any visual scarring to the environment.

Throughout the development of the wave energy convertor, a great deal of thought has gone into a number of environmental factors. Scenarios range from pressure ranges to humidity ranges and from shock loadings to debris accumulation. Evaluating the production and manufacturing techniques of the units through the use and disposal stages of the design has allowed a comprehensive environmental study to be undertaken. The combination of clean energy generation and an environmentally sensitive design make the wave energy convertor an environmentally considered system.

%

CO2 Absorbed By The Oceans

%

Increase in CO2 Since Industrialisation

%

CO2's Contribution To Green House Gases

Facts & Figures

One of the main greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide. As trees grow they take in CO2 from the air, but when the wood decays the CO2 is returned to the air. Forest clearance and wood burning is increasing the latter half of the process, adding to the CO2 in the atmosphere. In 1987 an area of the Amazon rain forest the size of Britain was burned, adding 500 million tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere. With deforestation out of control, there are now fewer trees to absorb CO2 which is a major disadvantage when trying to control CO2 levels.

As the world warms it causes a feedback processes. Increases in temperature cause the liberation of CO2 and methane which then cause further warming. Another feedback mechanism arises through higher air temperatures evaporating more water and so providing more cloud which both traps heat from below and reflects back sunlight from above. As the world warms, the effect of clouds could become more and more significant. About half the CO2 released by burning fossil fuels is absorbed by the oceans and is taken up by tiny sea creatures or dragged to the ocean depths by the circulation of water. Recent research suggests that as the earth heats up, the oceans will be less efficient in absorbing CO2 , leaving more in the atmosphere and so adding further to global warming.

The effects of global warming can already be seen by the increase in power of weather systems. Storms, tornadoes and hurricanes will become more frequent and stronger as oceans heat up causing more water to evaporate. Tornadoes have been seen on all continents on earth except Antarctica, but the United States has the most tornadoes of any country due to its size, location and geography. In addition, sea levels are already rising at a rate of 1 to 2mm each year due to expansion of the top layer of the oceans as they warm and the melting of the polar ice caps. The predicted rise by 2050 is between 20 and 50cm. To put this into context, this increase would submerse the majority of Bangladesh’s lower lying land and reduce its land area by 40%.

Power Plant

Perspective Case Study

The Taichung Power Plant situated in Taiwan has an installed coal-fired generation capacity of 5,500 MW, and is the largest coal-fired power plant in the world. However, putting these impressive figures aside, the plant is also the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide with approximately 40 million tons annually. To put these figures into perspective, this is approximately the cumulative annual total output for the whole of Switzerland.

The power plant uses 14.5 million tons of coal a year. The majority of coal supplied is through long term, long distance and high carbon output contracts with Australia, United States and South Africa.

Aqua Power Technologies Benefits

It is well documented that CO2 output is rising, energy demands are increasing and fossil fuel reserves are declining. The combination of these significant facts and an increased awareness of the available power within the oceans means that alternative energy supplies such as wave power are being invested and developed.

Aqua Power Technologies wave energy convertor considers the environmental impacts on all stages of the life cycle. The design optimizes the use of environmentally responsible processes and materials in conjunction with locally sourced and manufactured parts.  This not only helps to boost the local economy by safeguarding jobs, but also helps to eliminate unnecessary CO2 output from the transportation of internationally manufactured parts and assemblies.

Given that the initial power input is a wave, there is no pre processing to be undertaken to prepare the energy for conversion. This is in stark contrast to a coal power station or a nuclear power plant. Both of these energy generation schemes require considerable amounts of pre processing to produce the power source. There is a considerable amount of CO2 generated at both the pre processing stage and the generation stage for these non renewable forms of energy production. Since there is no investment or CO2 expelled for a wave to occur, this immediately puts a wave energy convertor in a far more economical and environmentally beneficial position.

Whilst in operation Aqua Power Technologies wave energy convertor does not become an eye sore on the horizon, nor does it cause any harm to the surrounding environment it is immersed into. With no carbon emission generated in operation and a matrix of environmentally friendly hydraulic oils, materials and maintenance parts, the power generated is clean and renewable.