No underwater turbines, huge potential.


Under development.  First published 10.10.2021  Last revision 18.1.2022.

CONCEPT & WEB DESIGN © 1995-2022 Robert C Jones

Dear Reader,


These are seemingly un-explored concepts for generating electricity from a tidal stream.


Example 1.  Tidal stream acting on a large vessel at anchor.  See sketch below.


The vessel I have in mind is approx. 200 metres long, 50,000-ton displacement with a 6-metre draught (about the size of a cross channel ferry).


The vessel would be allowed to drift with the anchor line(s) driving an on-board generator(s) through a gearbox.  The resistance of the generator and gearbox would self-regulate the drift speed of the vessel.  I see the vessel drifting back and forth with the tidal stream between two anchor points approx. a mile apart.  A simple example of this concept would be an early wood turning lathe or a bow drill.


The power generated is estimated to be 48MW (before losses) this is without the use of the kinetic energy which is estimated to be 225,000,000 Joules.  An average drift speed of 3 m/s has been used for calculation purposes.  Scaling up or down I don't see as a problem. 


I am a retired engineer with some sailing experience living in Surrey UK.  These ‘concepts’ have been discussed with, and evaluated by,  a Professor of Applied Physics and Instrumentation at Kingston University.

Robert C Jones.


Generator and drive train similar to wind turbine. 


Line slack.

moonpower 7.jpg

Generator and

drive train similar

to wind turbine.

Example 2.


This is another, simple, unsophisticated, seemingly unexplored concept which is similar in principle to a water wheel.  (See drawing below.)


The design is based on two or more Thames barges tied together with steel lattice frame ties.

The barges are anchored bow and stern.

The rotor (paddle wheel) is 20 metres long and 7 metres diameter (2 metres submerged), but could easily be scaled up.


The estimated power output per rotor is 160kw before losses.

Advantages of this layout is that it requires a minimum draught, could be sited anywhere with a reasonable tidal stream (including rivers) and could be beached for maintenance.

The drawing shows 3 rotors but the rear two may be shielded somewhat by the first one.  

moon barge
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