Florida launches tidal research program for undergraduates

Illustration (Photo: Florida Atlantic University)

The Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) at Florida Atlantic University is hosting a summer research program focused on tackling various challenges of power generation from ocean currents.

Ocean currents off southeast United States represent an untapped energy source with a technically feasible power production potential estimated at 19GW in US waters, according to SNMREC.

The time average energy densities in this ocean current reach 3.3 kW/m2 off Florida’s east coast, several times greater than the most energy dense wind resource in the US, the center added.

In this regard, SNMREC’s on-campus research will focus on three technical challenges associated with harnessing this resource, and will include work related to resource assessment, system design and reliability and environmental impacts.

The paid, ten-week program, will be centered around training, mentoring, and research to prepare students for graduate studies or carriers in engineering and science.

The deadline to apply for the program has been set for February 22, 2018.

SNMREC is a US Department of Energy and a state of Florida designated research and development center focused on enabling the safe and responsible commercialization of marine renewables in the US, Florida, and the world.

The center’s initial focus has been on open-ocean currents like the Gulf Stream and how they might be harnessed for utility-scale power generation.

To remind, SNMREC received a $360,000 grant for the undergraduate research into power generation from ocean currents from the National Science Foundation back in 2017.

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