Summer Energy

A summer full of clean energy, does it get any better?

My time with LPS working as an intern this summer has been intriguing. I have been consistently engaged, yet challenged with each new project we take on as interns. We’ve played a part in the design concept of each aspect of LPS’s marine hydrokinetic energy harvesting system, and have continued to work to create an inexpensive solution to harnessing tidal power.

We began, like any student would, by checking out what has already been done. What did we find? Tidal power is incredibly undervalued and underutilized. They say "when life gives you lemons make lemonade." But the tides are giving us cookie dough, fully prepared and already delicious but nonetheless, waiting to be baked. That is was we set out to do this summer; to develop an oven to bake our cookie dough. Others have tried and been partially successfully, but no one seems to have been able to do it “swimmingly.”

LPS gave us the opportunity to truly start from square one; to be a part of the design process from the beginning developing multiple concepts all the while learning from prior work. We designed things in SolidWorks that failed miserably in finite element stress analysis, and some that seemed to work perfectly. In the end, we learned that design incorporates much more than a single force or adhering to load criteria. Nothing is ever both perfect and inexpensive but somehow we managed to find what seems to be a happy medium without compromising the integrity of our designs, which was no small feat.

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