Triton: The Ocean Device That Could Meet 15 percent of global power demand

By: | April 26th, 2016

Image courtesy Oscilla Power

The oceans represent an incredible amount of power and energy. But ocean energy is still an untapped resource.

A team of engineers from a company called Oscilla Power is trying to harness the ocean’s kinetic energy. For that, they have developed a device called Triton. Unlike other systems before it, Triton is a device without any moving parts, and for electricity generation, it uses a magnetostrictive generator. Triton has the potential to generate a third of the power needed for the US and about 15 percent of global demand.

Triton has a series of generators, and it floats on top of the ocean’s surface. The device is kept in place by using underwater cables. When the ocean waves hit the device, there is an alternating magnetic polarity created in the metal that is used to generate electricity.

The National Science Foundation says, “This technology shows promise as a means for delivering utility-scale electric power to the grid at a price that is competitive with conventional fossil or renewable technologies.”

Currently, engineers are testing small-scale versions of the device in the lab and the ocean. They are facing some challenges, but soon they plan to install a full-scale version that will be 30 yards across and capable of generating enough electricity to power more than 650 homes.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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