Using a small tank of water in a Colorado laboratory, Air Force researchers have captured 99 percent of the energy of a model ocean wave, proving it’s possible to use aeronautical principles to harness the power of the oceans.
The researchers used a cycloidal turbine, a lift-based energy converter, to grab the energy of a simulated deep-ocean wave. It can change direction almost instantly, and its structure is similar to that of a Voith Schneider propeller, which is used to power tugboats.
The world´s first commercial wave farm, located off the coast of Portugal, will use machines called Pelamis Wave Energy Converters to turn the motion of the ocean into electricity. Click here to see how one of these machines works.
Now being readied 3.1 miles off the coast of Portugal, the first commercial wave farm will use the movement of the sea to generate 2.25 megawatts of electricity-enough to meet the
energy needs of more than 1,500 homes-from three 459-foot-long Pelamis Wave Energy Converters. Moored to the seafloor, each machine has four cylindrical pontoon-like segments. Passing waves will cause each machine to undulate like a giant sea snake.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.