Alpen Steel | Renewable Energy

~ Wave Energy As Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy Wave Energy

Teamwork Techniek a Netherlands based organisation have an exciting new product for harnessing the power of the waves, they claim that their product, the Archimedes Wave Swing (AWS), is competitive with other energy generation technologies. The concept is a simple system of connected air chambers utilising a flywheel effect, using the heave of the sea to produce electrical energy. Sea heave is caused by the action of the wind on the water surface, in turn wind energy is caused by solar energy but with waves during the process of conversion the energy is concentrared more and more, from 100w/m2 upto a level of 100kw per wave front. Also wave energy is reliably present even during calm periods, unlike wind energy proper, so wave energy can also be considered as stored wind energy. Where a wind turbine produces on average 20% of it's rated capacity, the AWS produces 50%.

The objective of this project is the utilization of sea wave energy. The project is framed within the scope of the JOULE program, and includes the basic design of a pilot plant of industrial size, and the detailed design and construction of the concrete structure of the power plant. The device is of the oscillating water column type (OWC) and is equipped with a Wells air turbine, a variable speed electrical generator and a controlled by-pass relief valve. This is the first wave energy plant to be built in Portugal (and one of the first worlwide), and will supply a small isolated electrical grid.The development of the European Wave Energy Atlas was partially funded by JOULE Programme – the European R&D Programme on Non-Nuclear Energies.

The wave energy converter named "Mighty Whale" is a floating oscillating water column device to extract the energy and convert it a necessary from of energy, electricity, heat or compressed air energy. If wave energy could be completely absorbed the converter device, wave energy and utilization of coastal sea, the economic value of wave power would be greatly increased. Consequently, the floating wave energy converter such as the Mighty Whale has possibility to be utilized as a floating break water, and it creates the calm sea area behind the converter device where "aquaculture" or many marine sports available.

Generating technologies for deriving electrical power from the ocean include tidal power, wave power, ocean thermal energy conversion, ocean currents, ocean winds and salinity gradients. Of these, the three most well-developed technologies are tidal power, wave power and ocean thermal energy conversion. Tidal power requires large tidal differences which, in the U.S., occur only in Maine and Alaska. Ocean thermal energy conversion is limited to tropical regions, such as Hawaii, and to a portion of the Atlantic coast. Wave energy has a more general application, with potential along the California coast. The western coastline has the highest wave potential in the U.S.; in California, the greatest potential is along the northern coast.

Ocean energy systems produce power from either the movement of waves and tides or the temperature differences that exist in the ocean. Ocean energy topics include thermal energy conversion systems (closed-cycle, open-cycle, and hybrid), tidal power systems, and wave power systems.

For thousands of years, the ocean has provided people with food and transportation. Today, it's starting to provide us with another valuable resource--energy. Covering 70 percent of the Earth, the ocean is a gigantic solar collector that absorbs and stores heat. This heat can be extracted and used to generate electricity. The ocean also contains vast amounts of energy in the form of waves, tides and currents. To produce power, the motion of these waves, tides and currents is used to drive a turbine-generator similar to those found in hydropower plants.

Wave energy conversion takes advantage of the ocean waves caused primarily by interaction of winds with the ocean surface. Wave energy is an irregular and oscillating low-frequency energy source that must be converted to a 60-Hertz frequency before it can be added to the electric utility grid.

Alumni and MS Papers/Theses and PhD Dissertations. Many relating to ocean energy (waves energy and OTEC).


EcoNet's links to renewable ocean resources.

A device which extracts energy from the swell in oceans has proven itself in a small 1:20-scale prototype. Rather than floating on the water's surface like other wave energy generators, the Archimedes Wave Swing generator consists of two or more mushroom-shaped floaters 15 metres below the surface. Each is partly filled with air. The air chambers are connected by pipes and the base of each mushroom is open so water can flow in and out freely.

Wave Energy Systems: The original focus on wave energy systems has widened to include: airturbine design, explosives suppression, mine clearance, high efficiency computer controlled hydraulics for manufacturing and mobile equipment;anti-vibration mountings for isolation of precision processes and Stirling engines. The underlying theme is computer controlled electro-mechanical solutions to engineering design.

Ocean waves are a concentrated form of wind energy. As wind blows across water, friction develops between air and water. As energy from wind flow is transferred to water, waves are produced. Generating energy from waves is a matter of taking the motion of the waves and translating it into mechanical or electrical energy.   

Wave power potential depends upon harnessing the long wave-length, long period, deep water ocean waves, arriving in the northern UK waters from the Atlantic. A wide and diverse range of systems to convert the wave energy into electricity exist.

Wave height offshore as shown by the wave buoys and in the Oceanweather images does not equate directly into surf height at the break. What is important is the combination of the wave period and wave height. Period is directly related to the speed the wave is travelling. The longer the period the faster the wave and the more energy in contains.

A fact sheet about wave energy conversion and its use in Hawaii.

Ocean waves are created by winds on the surface of the sea and contain both kinetic and potential energy. This energy is dictated by the speed of the wind and the distance and duration within which it interacts with the sea.


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