Power from the ocean tides–Wrong, solidworks, it HAS been done before

Ocean-based electricity generators (A video presentation):
http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2013/10/ocean-renewable-power-company-is-harnessing-the-power-of-the-oceans-to-generate-electricity.html

Looks like the Ocean Renewable Power Company made the video themselves, but that’s okay, it’s interesting. But the first paragraph needs a small correction:

When Chris Sauer’s team at Ocean Renewable Power Company set out to build one of the world’s first underwater turbines, they were doing something that had never been done before. SolidWorks helped turn their vision into reality. Watch the newest video in our Born to Design series to see how the team is revolutionizing the way we think about generating power for the future. –

That little phrase “never been done before” begs the question: Has it ever done before? That’s how you should read these things.

I was a missionary living in the Dominican Republic in the 1970s and I remember one local story there that had me a bit excited. For context, I had always wondered why nobody was trying to generate electricity from the power of the ocean tides. Then one day, there was a front-page story in the Listin Diario (one of the major news dailies there at the time).

The story was about a local engineer (I forget his name) who had set up a turbine in the ocean and invented a device that converted the mechanical energy into electrical energy, and he did a demonstration right on shore for the press, and the leader of the opposition party was there as well, Pena Gomez. (The “n” in Pena is the enya with the tilde, actually).

Mr. Gomez happily said that the Dominican Republic did not have enough resources to develop this idea, and he was going to present this advance in power generation to his “friends in the United States Congress”.

That got me angry in my seat, because I thought the smaller countries should be looking stop being dependent on the bigger nations for anything. It was all the more galling because this was the “Partido Revolucionario Dominicano”, supposedly a socialist party (it was a member, after all, of the International Socialists), and supposedly a “people’s” party.

And here was a party borne out of opposition to Yankee dominance, and its leader was going to offer this gift to the benefactors up north.

And that was the last I ever heard of the idea. As I remember my reactions now, my first thought was a bit of frustration that the engineer himself had not developed this idea, sold it right there in his own country to small coastal settlements. The ocean currents offshore from Punta Cana, on the eastern tip of the island, are especially strong, which is one of the reasons so many Dominicans die in those straits in their attempt to get into Puerto Rico. Those fatal currents could have been tapped for good benefit. Still can be.

Well, in my opinion, there’s another good idea that was lost, for looking to Nanny State benevolence and party power politics (with its money tree image), instead of the free market, for the support of an idea.

When Chris Sauer’s team at Ocean Renewable Power Company set out to build one of the world’s first underwater turbines, they were doing something that had never been done before. SolidWorks helped turn their vision into reality. Watch the newest video in our Born to Design series to see how the team is revolutionizing the way we think about generating power for the future. – See more at: http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2013/10/ocean-renewable-power-company-is-harnessing-the-power-of-the-oceans-to-generate-electricity.html#sthash.IRexhf6H.dpuf
When Chris Sauer’s team at Ocean Renewable Power Company set out to build one of the world’s first underwater turbines, they were doing something that had never been done before. SolidWorks helped turn their vision into reality. Watch the newest video in our Born to Design series to see how the team is revolutionizing the way we think about generating power for the future. – See more at: http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2013/10/ocean-renewable-power-company-is-harnessing-the-power-of-the-oceans-to-generate-electricity.html#sthash.IRexhf6H.dpuf

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