Inventions Thomas Edison Would Love: Green Electricity from Rivers and Space

We apologize to visitors who tried to obtain really cool paper clips in return for liking our site [through Facebook]. The website malfunctioned … please try again!


Enjoy this look at two ways to generate green electric energy, one from the earth and the other from space.

East River Installation Hastings, MN TurbineRiver/Tidal Turbines: Wind machines can be designed to work in much denser environments than the wind, like for instance water. Sometimes referred to as river turbines, or even tidal turbines, these machines operate on the flow of water past their rotor blades. Totally submerged, these machines would operate best in rivers that have a steady flow year-round. A large river turbine installation is currently being tested in New York City’s East River. Six 35 kW machines with rotor blades of 16 feet diameter are generating enough power to supply a supermarket and a parking lot, with plans to expand this facility into the megawatt size category. In the Mississippi River, near Hastings, Minnesota, downstream of an existing hydroelectric dam, several 35 kW river turbines are also in operation.

In the future and in large clusters, such machines could be a new alternative to hydroelectric dams, which are hard to license, or even find suitable sites for anymore. Experts believe underwater turbines might be able to generate about 5% of U.S. electric energy production at significantly less cost than traditional hydroelectric dams, and without the long-term environmental concerns and costs. In England, energy aficionados believe as much as 15-20% of that country’s electric energy needs could be met using water turbines. The nice thing about this technology is the power generated is likely to be base load, and not subject to the daily variations of other alternate energy forms like solar and wind.

Inventions Thomas Edison Would Love: Green Electricity from Rivers and Space  Space Solar Power: First conceived in the late 1960s and subsequently patented by Peter Glaser of Arthur D. Little, space-based solar power generation involves building truly large structures in earth orbit dedicated to collecting the sun’s energy [via solar-electric photovoltaic panels] and beaming it down to receiving stations on the earth’s surface. Using this concept, great amounts of base load electricity would be available all day long, each station in space able to generate and transmit the power equivalent of 10-20 traditional nuclear power plants.

Microwave energy would be wirelessly transmitted from the orbiting platforms to large ground-based receiving antennas, converted back to traditional electric energy here on “terra firma”, and distributed along existing conventional tower and pole lines. NASA and others have studied this concept, usually agreeing the best way to build such large space platforms would involve using materials from the moon as the basic building blocks.

Certainly some years off in the future, space based solar power systems offer an amazing and exciting option for us. Putting this in perspective, in the 1940s the writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke proposed using satellites in geosynchronous orbit for telecommunications…and look where that went! Space based solar might just surprise all of us. Maybe a future U.S. president will challenge us to reach out to space once more to build orbiting solar power stations—like John Kennedy did to inspire us to land on the moon.

Deep Dive

Thomas Edison on Time Magazine“If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves….”

Time ® is a registered trademark of Time Inc.


7 thoughts on “Inventions Thomas Edison Would Love: Green Electricity from Rivers and Space


    Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to
    and you’re just too fantastic. I actually like what you’ve acquired here,
    really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it.
    You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it wise.
    I can’t wait to read much more from you.
    This is really a tremendous website.


    What i don’t understood is in truth how you’re not actually much
    more smartly-favored than you might be now. You’re so intelligent.
    You know thus significantly with regards to this matter, produced me personally believe it from a
    lot of various angles. Its like men and women are not involved until it is something to do with Woman gaga!
    Your own stuffs great. At all times care for it up!

    Have a look at my blog … Drukarki fiskalne czy kasy
    – co wybrać? –


    Construction at the end of this GLG network site. Nowadays, you will
    need, trust, and you can’t afford to be able too produce.

    They are the negative side-effects which form part of
    the mkst affordable, reliable source of energy?
    Sollar energy thus solar power we should mzke your home to cooll down quickly.

    Sections range from $95, 000 MW of generation caoacity oof your questions.

Leave a Reply