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June 15, 2010

CCNY, Natural Currents Energy Services to Identify Top New Jersey Tidal Power Generation Sites

 Tidal Power Photo

Dr. Hansong Tang (left), Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at CCNY's Grove School of Engineering, and Brian Vant-Hull, a post-doctoral student, on the banks of the Hudson. Their study, from the mouth of the river to Cape May, New Jersey, will pinpoint the top 20 sites for hydrokinetic energy.

18-Month Study Funded by Grants from the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the University Transportation Research Center

With a coastline stretching from New York Harbor to Cape May, New Jersey stands to benefit from a new study designed to pinpoint the top 20 sites for hydrokinetic energy, a renewable resource produced by the movement of tides, waves and currents in oceans and other bodies of water. A City College of New York (CCNY) engineering professor is partnering with Natural Currents Energy Services, LLC (NCES), a leader in tidal power technology, to locate these sites.

Dr. Hansong Tang, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering, will perform computer modeling for the project and Roger Bason, president and founder of NCES, will conduct field measurements. The 18-month effort is supported by $260,415 from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and the University Transportation Research Center, which is based at CCNY.

Recent advances in tidal energy technology, tidal site permitting and hydro-power demonstration projects have encouraged the New Jersey government officials to further support the investigation of the statewide potential for tidal power generation so that the state can achieve its goal of 20% renewable energy by 2020. It is believed that this analysis and the execution of tidal energy projects will generate jobs, stimulate the New Jersey economy and reduce atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses and CO2, which are known to impact the earth’s climate.

Site selection is critical to hydrokinetic energy projects because the kinetic energy in a current is related to its speed cubed. This means a tide stream moving twice as fast as another tide stream of equal volume would generate eight times as much energy as the slower flow. Because measurements cannot be obtained from every cubic meter of the study area, Professor Tang will apply his computer modeling skills to produce refined estimates.

“There are existing coastal ocean models that estimate flow velocities over areas of one square kilometer or larger, but we need to make flow estimates on scales as small as10 square meters or finer,” said Professor Tang. “One of our goals is to successfully and accurately integrate macro-scale and small-scale models to reliably predict multi-scale and multi-physics coastal ocean flows, which is a unique approach that has not been done before.”
 
“Our goal is to better understand the potential for tidal energy generation along the coastline and the technologies that are best suited to harness the power of existing tidal currents,” added Roger Bason, president and founder of NCES, which is installing a tidal energy site in New Jersey and plans to build one in New York. “These questions and much more will be answered through our analysis.”

Because water is 832 times denser than air, movement of tides, waves, ocean currents and rivers represents an untapped, powerful source of clean energy. According the Union of Concerned Scientists website, in the United States, it could feasibly produce enough power for more than 67 million homes.“Producing useful estimates will involve obtaining computer prediction and field measurements for several variables,” Professor Tang said. “Besides measuring flow speeds as the tides rise and ebb, criteria to be computed and measured include changes in depth and velocity.”

In May, NCES began installation of two 20kW cross-flow tidal turbines to generate electric power for the Will’s Hole Marina and Kingsbridge Financial Services property in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, on the south shore of the Manasquan River. The project, the first of its kind in New Jersey, was approved by the state department of environmental protection in January 2010.

Natural Currents will also install a renewable energy park on the south shore of Wards Island in the Hell Gate channel between Queens and Bronx Counties in New York City. The project is supported by $990,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847 The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.

About The Grove School of Engineering at CCNY
The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York, formerly the CCNY School of Engineering, is the only public engineering school within New York City. It offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees in seven fields: biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering and computer science. The School is recognized nationally for the excellence of its instructional and research programs and ranks among the most diverse engineering schools in the country. On November 28, 2005, the CUNY Board of Trustees named the School in honor of Dr. Andrew S. Grove, a member of the CCNY Class of 1960, and a co-founder and former chairman of Intel Corp., the world’s leading producer of microprocessors. For additional information, visit www1.ccny.cuny.edu/prospective/engineering.

About Natural Currents Energy Services, LLC
Natural Currents Energy Services, LLC is a leading U.S.-based green technology company producing revolutionary systems for emerging renewable energy markets with a primary focus on ocean tidal power generation. The company designs, manufactures and installs innovative hydro-turbine and wind-powered equipment that produces electricity from the movements of tides and water currents found in rivers, canals and industrial flows, as well as from the wind. With its proprietary technology, unmatched tidal project expertise, existing commercial hydro products and exclusive rights to an extensive portfolio of ocean tidal projects, Natural Currents Energy Services is positioned as one of the leading tidal energy companies addressing coastline tidal power generation opportunities. To learn more about Natural Currents Energy Services, visit http://www.naturalcurrents.com.

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CCNY Media Contact:
Ellis Simon, 212-650-6460, esimon@ccny.cuny.edu

Natural Current Energy Services Media Contact:
Patrick Wallace, 619-795-0598, patrick@larkinvolpatt.com
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