Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bahia-honda Bridge ~Tidal Energy \ Water Turbine Project~

Anyone who has driven South on U.S 1 from Miami to Key West know of the 100+ small bridges, and one BIG 7-mile bridge, along the 150+ mile ride to KW...
I have made this ride numerous times and fished around many of these bridges during slack-tide and full range of tide changes. There is an incredible amount of water moving under these bridges going and coming between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. And this changing of tides happens 4 times a day...

The Key West Citizen paper reports that there are efforts being made to harness this energy with a water turbine that will be moved by the tidal water flow running thru it...

"Keys Hydro Power late last month received a state Department of Environmental Protection permit to test a Fiberglas composite underwater turbine in the channel off the old Bahia Honda Bridge, said group founder Douglas Bedgood."

"Keys Hydro Power has been asked to install rigid, cage-like mesh near the front and back of the turbine to keep the marine life from being snagged in the rotors. The excluder will keep out anything larger than 4 inches wide. Anything smaller can pass through unharmed, Bedgood said."

"Keys Hydro Power plans to test one turbine in the Bahia Honda Channel for 60 days to determine whether it can efficiently harness power from the ocean. The turbine would yield energy by having the currents pushing the rotors. Keys Hydro Power has been working with several Florida engineering firms on designs for the underwater turbine that would be placed a half-mile south of the bridge. If the test is successful, the group wants to place more turbines, or farms of turbines, off the Florida coast."

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