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Posted Mon Nov 24 2008: from Environmental News Network:
'Fish technology' draws renewable energy from slow water currents
Slow-moving ocean and river currents could be a new, reliable and affordable alternative energy source. A University of Michigan engineer has made a machine that works like a fish to turn potentially destructive vibrations in fluid flows into clean, renewable power.... Here's how VIVACE works: The very presence of the cylinder in the current causes alternating vortices to form above and below the cylinder. The vortices push and pull the passive cylinder up and down on its springs, creating mechanical energy. Then, the machine converts the mechanical energy into electricity. Just a few cylinders might be enough to power an anchored ship, or a lighthouse, Bernitsas says. These cylinders could be stacked in a short ladder. The professor estimates that array of VIVACE converters the size of a running track and about two stories high could power about 100,000 houses. Such an array could rest on a river bed or it could dangle, suspended in the water. But it would all be under the surface.
[Read more stories about: alternative energy, technical cleverness]

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Jordy says: "Voila! Voltage via vortices!"
Ned says: "Sounds like voodoo to me."
Plaque says: "vortex voodoo validates volition!"

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'Doc Jim says:
I love that sound of that: VIVACE energy from vortices -- va va VOOM.

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