Alaskan Inventor is 3D Printing Tidal Power Generators for Houseboats: Just Drop Anchor and Power On

Lance McMullan, an inventive mind from Juneau, Alaska, has developed a groundbreaking solution to harness tidal power for small vessels and houseboats, offering a green alternative to traditional power sources. His creation, a 3D-printed tidal power generator, is designed to deliver 1.6 kilowatts of power simply by being dropped into the water like an anchor. McMullan’s startup, Sitkana, which secured $90,000 in seed funding last year, has successfully tested its first full-scale prototype, the Chinook 3.0. This device aims to decarbonize liveaboard vessels, houseboats, and small fishing boats, providing a reliable power source for all onboard needs apart from propulsion. The geography of Alaska, with its steep fjords and inlets, creates natural chokepoints that amplify tidal movements, making it an ideal location for such renewable energy projects.

The Chinook 3.0 operates similarly to a wind turbine but benefits from water’s greater density, making tidal energy capture more efficient. This consistency in tidal movements ensures a steady power supply, tapping into both tides’ advancing and retreating forces. McMullan’s innovation leverages modern 3D printing technology, enabling the production of affordable and efficient tidal power generators. At about 100 pounds, the Chinook is significantly easier to handle compared to traditional diesel generators. Sitkana is also expanding its product line with the larger Orca model, designed to generate 3.6 kilowatts for coastal households and a smaller 20-watt version for sailboats. These innovations highlight a significant step towards sustainable maritime energy solutions, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and making renewable energy more accessible for small-scale applications.

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