Sea Snakes Convert Wave Energy into Power

By: | October 7th, 2014

Fotoworkshop4You / Pixabay

Six months ago, IndustryTap wrote “Generating Power From Ocean Waves – And Interview with Dison Award Winter Sam Etherington.” As ocean waves are such an obvious source of energy, new designs are being developed all the time.

Wave power is converted to mechanical energy, which is then converted to electricity using a series of “floating machines” that undulate as waves pass by them. Hinge joints connecting the cylindrical tubes move hydraulic rams that run electrical generators. The snake-like devices are tethered to the ocean floor so they remain perpendicular to the beach.

Scottish company Pelamis Wave Power, founded by Richard Yemm, is the current leader in the industry. It designs and manufactures the “Elements Wave Energy Converter” that use the motion of the ocean to produce electricity. The company created the first full-scale wave energy converter, with a prototype tested at the European Marine Energy Center in Orkney, Scotland, between 2004 and 2007.

Pelamis has been manufacturing ocean energy harvesting commercial equipment since February 2009 when it secured an order from a German utility company. The company is continuing to improve its technology and is installing commercial wave farms off the coasts of Scotland and Portugal.

The Pelamis technology has reached its second-generation and, in a 2011 joint venture with Aegir Wave Power, began the creation of a 10 MW farm using 13 Pelamis machines. Prior to this, Pelamis filled orders for three 750 kW machines that were installed at the Agucadoura Wave Farm.

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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