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.