Monday, September 22, 2008

Air Force Dives into Wave Energy

I found this three weeks old news both interesting and surprising. Surprising, because one usually does not expect to connect wave energy in the ocean with the Air Force. But the following explanation is very plausible:
Years of research on military aircraft have given Aeronautics researchers the rare and necessary expertise in feedback flow control and fluid dynamics to potentially harness wave energy to meet the nation’s growing power needs.
So it is actually the Aeronautics Department of the Air Force Academy teaming with the Oregon State University to use their wave tunnel for some of the experimental side of this research project. The project, as the news reports, is:
The National Science Foundation has awarded the Academy’s Aeronautics Department $285,619 to support a cyclodial propeller wave energy converter research project to harness the ocean’s power.
The first thought come to my mind: "It's about time!"

The U.K. and Japan have both invested in ocean wave energy over the years. But the U.S. had hardly shown any interest what so ever. They could not care less. So this news is mildly encouraging for the first time.

I say "mildly" because the miserly $285,619 can hardly enough to support a couple of graduate research assistants. Of course it's better than nothing. And at least, NSF is having the far sight to do it. Where are the Department of Energy? Navy? NASA? NOAA? They spent tons and tons of tax payers money to worry about the temperature 100 years from now, but can't even tell us the temperature next week accurately. Now that "alternative energy" is a talking point on everyone's list. Who's going to do anything meaningful???

Well, it's only a minor news I dug out this morning. No need to over-react. What ever will be, will be!

1 comment:


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