An off-shore demonstration by OceanBased Perpetual Energy, LLC in collaboration with the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center at Florida Atlantic University has demonstrated that clean, renewable perpetual energy can be derived by harnessing the Gulf Stream current off the coast of South Florida.
While various hydrokinetic projects worldwide focus on tidal or wave-based sources, the OceanBased demonstration is the first to yield energy from the Gulf Stream for a continuous 24 hours The findings of the May 25 to 28 experiment bode well for future development of commercial applications to harness and distribute the Gulf Stream’s energy in Florida. The electricity could be transmitted through a relay substation connected by a seabed cable running 15 to 20 miles back to the seashore. On land, an additional substation would connect to the power grid or be tapped for other uses, such as powering hydrogen fuel plants, blockchain mining or server and data storage centers.
The team fielded three types of ocean current energy converters, which are turbines configured for hydrokinetic use. The converters were submerged in the Gulf Stream about 20 miles offshore between Broward and Palm Beach counties, where the water’s velocity typically ranges from 3.5 to 5.5 miles per hour without interruption.
The team of 12 included scientists, researchers, engineers, videographers, photographers and the crew aboard the Go America, a 150-foot research vessel.
“This historic demonstration shows the world that the Gulf Stream can produce clean, renewable perpetual power on a 24-hour-a-day basis using a variety of turbine concepts,” said OceanBased Chairman Nasser Alshemaimry. “It is the starting point for commercializing ocean current energy in the Gulf Stream, thus reducing fossil fuel dependency and benefiting our climate and the planet for generations to come.”
OceanBased formed its strategic partnership with FAU in 2019 to advance the company’s hydrokinetic research into responsible marine-based power generation. The FAU center is one of three centers designated by the U.S. Department of Energy to assist companies with the responsible development of marine renewables.
“Population growth and public desire to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear energy will continue to strengthen demand for responsible alternatives,” Alshemaimry added. “Especially in Florida, where population continues to grow by 1,000 people per day, there is a clear need to invest in clean ocean energy technology.”