Electricity From Sea Waves
Engineers Know How To Produce Electricity From Sea Waves
The oceans of the world never sleep; waves are in constant motion. Following
the logic of the laws of physics, motion requires energy; therefore waves
contain energy. If only mankind knew how to produce electricity from sea
waves the global population could benefit by becoming less addicted to
fossil fuels. Harnessing the power of the sea would provide clean electricity
to help satisfy the world's ever growing demand for safe, green sources of
Engineers throughout the world have been working on designing technology to use
sea waves as a power source. Numerous machines, dubbed energy converters, have
been constructed and tested on a somewhat small scale. Roger Bedard of the
Electric Power Research Institute located in Palo Alto, California, believes
that sea wave produced energy could provide approximately 6.5% of the energy
for the US.
At first glance 6.5% may not seem like a large number but when put into
perspective it is a considerable amount; 6.5% is the equal of 150 million
barrels of oil, equal to the total amount of energy generated by all US
hydroelectric dams and it would be enough electricity to provide electricity
to 23 million average American homes.
Despite what you might have always assumed, waves are not the same as tidal
flux or ocean currents. Waves are born of the wind. As wind blows over the
surface of the water friction is created and waves are born.
Wave power is not equal on all coast lines. The waves with the most power
surface potential arise on western coast lines due to powerful westerly to
easterly global winds. The West Coast of the US, Portugal, South East Asia and
Great Britain are just a few of the areas where sea wave technology is currently
You need to know the advantages of producing energy from sea waves. Perhaps the
most attractive feature is that waves are innumerable. We will never use up all
the waves generated by our planet's seas.
Even calm seas are continuously in motion with swells acting to move the waters
up and down. Nearly invisible swells are sufficient to create energy. The technology
of harvesting wave energy as a power source is green; the process does not create
toxic fumes nor hazardous by products. The equipment used to convert wave energy to
kilowatts is physically quite small in comparison to equipment required for solar or
wind generated power.
There are a few disadvantages to producing power from oceanic waves. There are a few
hurdles that engineers and scientists must contend with if they are to successfully
convert sea waves to electricity. Due to where the devices must be placed (off shore),
they must not only be efficient but they must demand minimal maintenance.
Equipment for converting waves to energy must be able to withstand huge waves and extreme
gales. The corrosive nature of seawater, floating debris, plant matter (seaweed for instance)
and the curiosity of marine animals are but a few more of the hurdles engineers must
consider to successfully learn how to produce electricity from sea waves.