Catching waves: A U.K.-based company has come up with a simple design for a device that harnesses wave power: a water-filled rubber tube floating just under the ocean’s surface. Waves create bulges inside the tube that travel along it and drive a turbine attached at the other end.
Energy from Waves
A new technology could provide a cheap way to harness wave energy.
The ocean's waves have enough energy to provide two trillion watts of electricity, according to the Department of Energy's office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Extracting that enormous resource of power, however, has proved to be a herculean challenge.
A new device being developed by U.K.-based Checkmate SeaEnergy could help tap a portion of this wave power. The device, aptly named the Anaconda, is a long, water-filled rubber tube closed at both ends. It currently exists as a small laboratory-scale model, but it could eventually be 200 meters long and seven meters in diameter. At such a size, it will be capable of generating one megawatt of power at about 12 cents a kilowatt-hour, which is competitive with electricity costs from other wave-power technologies.
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