In 2008 Michael Bernitsas invented a device that would help in harnessing renewable sources, the device which he named Vivace utilizes vortex induced vibration, and these forms of vibrations have been destructive in the past example the destruction of the Tacoma Bridge. According to Bernitsas these destructive forces can be controlled and converted into electric energy using his device.
The prototype device created by Bernitsas contained a submerged cylinder that is supported by a spring, when this cylinder is submerged then the vortex induced vibration enables the cylinder to move up and down, this motion is then converted into electric energy. Bernitsas also points out that vortex induced vibration also exit in the atmosphere and that scientist should work on a device that would help in harnessing these forms of energy.

His invention was based on fish motions, according to him a fish is able to swim against currents due to this form of energy, a fish will harness this form of energy and shreds it and therefore it is able to swim against strong currents.

Bernitsas tested this device in a lab whereby the device was placed in a container filled with 8,000 gallons of water, results showed that when the water circulated at a slow speed of 3 knots the device produced approximately 51 watts of electric energy. This amount of energy is enough to light 6 electric bulbs.

Bernitsas stated that a large device could produce electricity enough for an entire community, and many small devices would also be used by ship owners, who would use them to power to power batteries when their ships were anchored,

One advantage of this form of energy is that it is a renewable source of energy and also environmental friendly. Another advantage of this device is that it can capture energy in slow moving water currents, it can also be adjusted to harness energy in fast moving water currents, this is an advantage given that other techniques such as hydroelectric power generation can only harness energy at stated water currents and may be impossible to generate power when there are slow water currents.

The device is relatively cheap compared to other devices used to harness renewable energy. However energy costs of this device show that it is relatively expensive, according to him this device would produce electricity at a cost of 5.5 cents KWH, and this is relatively high compared to coal energy which costs 4 cents per KWH. However, this form of energy is relatively cheap compared to solar energy that costs 16 to 48 cents per KWH and also wind energy that costs 7 cents per KWH.

The greatest challenge of this form o0f energy is that oil prices have remained relatively low the low cost of oil makes it impossible for individuals to harness renewable sources of energy. However scientist state that as oil reservoirs decline then there will be an increase in oil prices, the high prices of oil will encourage people to utilize alternative sources of energy, in the last few years there has been increased efforts by nations to promote the utilization of green energy sources such as hydroelectric power, solar and wind energy, therefore the introduction of this device in the market will aid in promoting the use of renewable forms of energy.


Post a Comment