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Re: E-M:/ Interesting: vortex-induced vibrations for aquatic clean energy

While it's true that using such new technology may be better than using fossil fuels, too often we forget that our primary goal should be using less energy, not finding new sources for it.  Cheaper, more available electricity has one significant downside; people use more energy if it's cheaper.  Let's say we can find a very inexpensive way to charge the batteries of electric vehicles.  How will that affect the number of miles driven?  If we can drive more cheaply, won't that mean more accidents, bigger cars, more highway construction, a possible death blow to mass transit, etc?  Isn't what we really want to do is to instill an energy conservation ethic in people?   Cheap oil set into place an accelerating process of use more oil, drill for more oil, oil gets cheaper, use more oil, drill for more oil, oil gets cheaper, etc., with all the negative aspects of both using and drilling.  How can we prevent the same thing from happening with alternative sources of energy?


On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 1:31 PM, Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com> wrote:
Enviro-Mich message from "Lowell Prag" <lprag@mail.msen.com>

On Mon, December 1, 2008 12:59 pm, Chris Reader wrote:

... see below ...

Hello Chris,

The inventor, Michael M. Bernitsas, has an actual company:

Vortex Hydro Energy LLC
2512 Carpenter Road, Suite #101-C
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Telephone: (734) 223-4223
Fax: (734) 944-4072

Home page:


Technical papers on the details:



Lowell Prag


On Mon, December 1, 2008 12:59 pm, Chris Reader wrote:
A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and
ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists


Systems could be sited on river beds or suspended in the ocean. The
scientists behind the technology, which has been developed in research
funded by the US government, say that generating power in this way would
potentially cost only around 3.5p per kilowatt hour, compared to about
for wind energy and between 10p and 31p for solar power. They say the
technology would require up to 50 times less ocean acreage than wave power

The system, conceived by scientists at the University of Michigan, is
Vivace, or "vortex-induced vibrations for aquatic clean energy".

Michael Bernitsas, a professor of naval architecture at the university,
it was based on the changes in water speed that are caused when a current
flows past an obstruction. Eddies or vortices, formed in the water flow,
move objects up and down or left and right.


The engineers are now deploying a prototype device in the Detroit River,
which has a flow of less than two knots. Their work, funded by the US
Department of Energy and the US Office of Naval Research, is published in
the current issue of the quarterly Journal of Offshore Mechanics and


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