wave power

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by athead
Last updated 7 years ago

Earth Sciences

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wave power

Wave Power

What Is It?Wave power devices extract energy directly from surface waves or from pressure fluctuations below the surface. Renewable energy analysts believe there is enough energy in the ocean waves to provide up to 2 terawatts of electricity. (A terawatt is equal to a trillion watts.)

How Is It Produced?Kinetic energy (movement) exists in the moving waves of the ocean. That energy can be used to power a turbine. In this simple example, to the right, the wave rises into a chamber. The rising water forces the air out of the chamber. The moving air spins a turbine which can turn a generator.When the wave goes down, air flows through the turbine and back into the chamber through doors that are normally closed.This is only one type of wave-energy system. Others actually use the up and down motion of the wave to power a piston that moves up and down inside a cylinder. That piston can also turn a generator.

AdvantagesOcean energy is mostly in an experimental stage but some of its component technologies have the potential to become mainstream energy sources and are now being trialed. Elementary primer on three basic ways to tap the ocean for its energy. We can use the ocean's waves, we can use the ocean's high and low tides, or we can use temperature differences in the water.

DisadvantagesEconomically, wave power systems have a hard time competing with traditional power sources. However, the costs to produce wave energy are coming down. Some European experts predict that wave power devices will find lucrative niche markets. Once built, they have low operation and maintenance costs because the fuel they use—seawater—is free.In general, careful site selection is the key to keeping the environmental impacts of wave power systems to a minimum. Wave energy system planners can choose sites that preserve scenic shorefronts. They also can avoid areas where wave energy systems can significantly alter flow patterns of sediment on the ocean floor.

HistoryThe development of the first subsea commercial wave farm by a Scottish company took another important step forward today (Tuesday February 20th 2007) with news that Scottish wave energy company, AWS Ocean Energy Ltd. based in Alness, Ross-shire, has secured £2.128 million funding from the Scottish Executive. The funds will be used to develop and commercialise AWS’ Archimedes Wave Swing, one of the few proven technologies worldwide for generating clean, renewable electricity from the ocean’s waves. The support for AWS is part of a £13 million support package for Scottish marine energy developers funded by the Scottish Executive, which aims to establish Scotland as a world leader in marine energy.



  • kika223 5 years ago

    kika223's avatar

    this is really interesting emmm.......