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Ocean Energy

The ocean can produce two types of energy: thermal and mechanical.
There are three types of thermal electricity conversion systems: closed-cycle, open-cycle, and hybrid. Closed-cycle systems use warm ocean water to vaporize low-boiling point fluids which expand and turn turbines which then activate generators to produce electricity. Open-cycle systems boil the seawater at low pressures and the steam produced passes through turbines/generators. Hybrid systems combine Open-cycled and Closed-cycled systems.
Ocean mechanical energy can be sub-divided into tidal and wave energies. A barrage (dam) is used to convert tidal energy into electricity by forcing the water through turbines, activating a generator. For wave energy conversion, there are three basic systems: channel systems that funnel the waves into reservoirs; float systems that drive hydraulic pumps; and oscillating water column systems that use the waves to compress air within a container. The mechanical power created from these systems either directly activates a generator or transfers to a working fluid, water, or air, which then drives a turbine/generator.

Click here to visit ocean energy photo gallery.