Efficient Green Power - Wave Power energy generation

Wave Power Energy Generation

Wave power generators are devices which are used to capture the energy of the waves. Several methods of generating energy from waves are used including a point absorber or buoy, lining perpendicular to wave propagation, surfacing following or attenuator, terminator, oscillating water column, and overtopping. The harnessing of the waves can occur at the shoreline, nearshore and offshore. The electricity is generated from waves using a hydraulic ram, pump-to-shore, elastomeric hose pump, linear electrical generator, hydroelectric turbine, or an air turbine. The use of a parabolic reflector can increase the wave energy at the point of capture, and some designs may incorporate this to increase output.

The use of waves to generate energy and electricity is still very much in its infancy. Several prototypes exist including the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter (images at right) which lie on the surface; PowerBuoy technology which harness the mechanical energy of ocean-going surface buoys which is converted into electricity and transmitted along submerged transmission lines to shore; AquaBuOY wave energy device which utilizes the vertical kinetic energy of the wave into pressurized water which is forced through a turbine electrical generator; and a CETO which consists of a singe piston pump using a float and an anchor on the sea floor similar to an automotive engine, which transmits pressurized water to shore through hydraulic generators.

Wave farms are currently being tested and are active in Portugal, while development of several others has been proposed. These wave farms can produce significant amounts of energy, the three Pelamis machines currently active produce a capacity of 2.25MW, enough to power thousands of households and reduce tens of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide from entering our environment. Deep water wave power production could yield the largest gain as an enormous energy potential exists. Research is being conducted into how to drive and transport this source to shore.

One of the biggest hurdles to wave power devices is controlling the often unpredictable sea. Harnessing a multi-directional wave and converting it into energy can prove to be quite difficult. The sea itself is a very corrosive and destructive force, with storms creating large damaging waves. During these storms, tethers and mooring lines can snap, transmission lines can break, welds and bearings can seize or fail. Maintenance costs can be high, although generally, they have very little impact or disturbance on the environment.

Wave Power Generation

Pelamis Wave Energy Converters

Pelamis Wave Energy Converter

Pelamis breaking through a wave
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