System Could Harness Power to Explore Sea from Sea
Exploring the deep oceans presents huge technical challenges, many of which could be overcome if there were some cheap and efficient way to deliver power to machines while at depth. To tackle this problem, a collaborative research team including Ryuhei Nakamura from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science has now demonstrated a remarkable system that uses natural hydrothermal vents on the sea floor to generate electricity.
Nakamura and colleagues at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and the Univ. of Tokyo developed a robust robotic system that essentially works like a household battery. Hydrothermal fluid from deep-sea vents is enriched with reduced or electron-rich ions, while seawater contains oxidized or electron-depleted ions. By placing one electrode in the hydrothermal fluid and another in the seawater nearby, the system creates a chemical gradient that produces an electric current.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/10/system-could-harness-power-explore-sea-sea