Electricity From Wave Power

Posted on June 10, 2008. Filed under: Just FYI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Electricity from wave power

Ocean Power Technologies





Starting in 2007, massive, predictable waves off the coast of Oregon will help light homes and businesses along the West Coast, thanks to an entrepreneur named George Taylor….His most recent invention is a buoy that can convert a wave’s up-and-down motion into electricity, which can be carried ashore by undersea cables and fed into the national power grid….researchers at Oregon State University say that only 0.2 percent of the ocean’s untapped wave energy could power the entire world.



By the year 2010 Taylor plans to have a 100-ton, 37-foot-wide buoy that could generate 500 kilowatts. An array of 40 buoys that size, linked together, could generate electricity at prices significantly less than that of a typical coal-burning power station, and far less than the price at plants that burn more expensive fuels such as natural gas. Clean electricity that cheap could be used to desalinate seawater, split water molecules to make hydrogen for fuel-cell cars or provide inexpensive power for other ambitious, energy-hungry projects. –Dan Drollette

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One Response to “Electricity From Wave Power”


Green Wave Energy Solutions LLC has recently applied for two FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) Preliminary Permits to develop Wave Energy (Hydrokinetic Energy) projects off the coast of San Luis Obispo and Mendocino Counties, California. They want to study the feasibility of converting wave action into electricity. The San Luis Obispo area was chosen because of its abundant wave action, and proximity to Morro Bay which has a port and power plant where electricity generated by a wave power plant could land and hook into the power grid.
There are two types of wave power generators that are being considered, both of which use the up-and-down motion of waves to generate electricity. One uses a buoy that uses the pitching and heaving motions caused by waves to generate power. The other one has a snake-like line of tubes floating on the surface of the water that undulates as waves pass by.
Green Wave Energy Solutions LLC recently said a test project could be in the water within a year to a year and a half. However, Coastal Commission officials say the establishment of a wave power facility anywhere in California is years away. Environmental groups are supportive of the idea of renewable energy such as wave power but are withholding their evaluation until more details are available. The Surfrider Foundation has stated that, “Even though this is clean, green technology, there can be potential impacts to fishing and environmental impacts.” Possible environmental impacts could include noise, increased vessel traffic and blockage of whale migration routes.
Do you think it’s feasible to obtain electrical energy from wave power? Should we look at wave power generated electricity for coastal areas, and wind farms for inland areas?

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