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Wave/tidal Power generation

Home Forums Archive Infrastructure Wave/tidal Power generation

This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of goedjn goedjn 5 years, 1 month ago.

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    Profile photo of

    If you were willing to fasten the habitat to one spot, you could generate power by connecting a shaft to the sea floor, and letting the platform slide up and down on the shaft as the sea rises and falls.

    Profile photo of

    If you dig around in the book section of our web site you will find that there are other wave energy extraction technologies that do not need to be moored. Patri and I have always like the Isaac’s Wave pump.

    Profile photo of Anubisrising

    i’ve seen the other wave energy extraction devices and they don’t much impress me, i’ve seen a couple examples on GizMag. considering the vast amount of energy that the oceans possess the existant ones only scratch the surface of useable energy, if i could even call it scratching. This idea would not only capture wave energy, but also tidal energy. One problem i see right off the bat is it would restrict the surface module to one place, and in a storm, you would have to disconnect from the device so as not to break it. There are probably other issues too but this should be discussed more. it’s out there it seems but so is this whole friggin idea of seasteading, and that’s what’s so cool about it.

    Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Profile photo of

    A good internet resource for wave/tidal power generation along with the other three types of ocean renewable energy (offshore wind, current energy, and thermal) can be found at http://www.oceanenergycouncil.com/ .

    The Ocean Energy Coucil’s Mission Statement is:

    1. To improve public knowledge and acceptance of Ocean Energy as a viable resource with its own special advantages, ranking with oil, natural gas nuclear power, coal and direct solar applications in contributing to the national and international energy supply.

    2. To provide a forum for presenting to the U.S. Department of Energy and other government bodies as well as international energy organizations the considered professional recommendations of the ocean energy community.

    3. To foster educational advancement and growth of members in the field of ocean energy and specific contributions which may be made to the U.S. and foreign nations by development and application of ocean energy.

    4. To educate the public on the potential and current status of development of ocean energy.

    5. To interface with groups, organizations and other bodies whose purposes include the implementation of environmentally friendly alternate energy sources.

    Profile photo of 12mile

    Here’s a link to Pelamis Wave Power’s website:


    All kinds of interesting info….


    Profile photo of 12mile

    Found this article in The Register:

    US sea-bottom sensor net powered by ‘stroking buoys’

    Which led me to this website:

    Ocean Power Technologies

    OPT site states that “A 10-Megawatt OPT power station would occupy only approximately 30 acres (0.125 square kilometers) of ocean space. Perhaps something along these lines could be engineered that doesn’t have to be moored.

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    My recollection is that Salter’s duck does not need to be moored. I do not know if anybody has built one though.

    Profile photo of Aeolius

    I saw this bit about wave snakes at DVICE, today: http://dvice.com/archives/2009/05/anaconda-rubber.php

    Profile photo of Roger.Arnold

    There’s a good short paper at http://me-wserver.mecheng.strath.ac.uk/group2006/groupg/D4.pdf that includes a bit on how the Salter duck devices were proposed to be deployed. They were to float on the sea surface, moored to the sea floor with a weighted harness arrangement that allowed some vertical movement, but would provide reaction to the high torque loads from the nodding ducks. (See Figure 2 in the linked paper.) With the addition of neutral-buoyancy reaction plates ~20 meters below the surface, the design could easily be adapted to deep waters.

    Salter’s design has never been built (beyond tank models), but it remains notable for its efficiency. Tank tests and simulations showed that the ducks could absorb 90% of incident wave energy. A line of ducks joined end-to-end could serve as a highly effective breakwater. But the devices would be large; most references describe each duck as the size of a London bus (double decker) floating on its side. The torque loads generated by each duck in response to waves of maximum design height are enormous. One of the major bits of work that Salter’s research group at Edinburgh came up with was a design for bearings that could withstand the loads.

    Funding for Salter’s work was killed around the time that the Arab oil crisis of the ’70’s was winding down. There are some interesting stories surrounding that. An analysis by outside consultants was used by opponents of the project to “prove” that wave power could never be economically competitive. The document, however, was fairly blatently doctored to reach its conclusion. The “errors” in the document have since been recognized, and I’ve seen at least one report of renewed interest in Salter’s design. No announcement, however, of any commercial attempts to develop it. The Pelamis “sea snake” design seems to be getting the most attention — and funding.

    Profile photo of Trincypris12

    Tidal energy is produced through the use of tidal energy generators. These large underwater turbines are placed in areas with high tidal movements, and are designed to capture the kinetic motion of the ebbing and surging of ocean tides in order to produce electricity. Tidal power has great potential for future power and electricity generation because of the massive size of the oceans.



    current turbines –

    The body of the turbine contains the generator and the gear – if you make it like a submarine you can have easy access to the generator for repair and maintenance by surfacing the whole unit – in fact you can imagine the whole unit as a moored submarine with a big propeller. It works like a wind turbine just in water.

    Energy generation could be one of the bases that drives people out to sea and provides jobs and incomes – in fact it is already happening for oil/gas industry – but this may just be the beginning…



    European Submarine Structures AB

    Profile photo of goedjn

    The trouble with using simple rise/fall of tides as an energy source is that, while there’s a lot of energy in the tides, it’s fairly diffuse. If I understand correctly, the available energy is the height of the local tide, multiplied by your excess bouyancy, times 2 (for two tides a day). So if you’re floating a 40x40x5′ box, that’s in the vicinity of 480,000 pounds, times… what’s a good average tide, 12 feet? so… 11,520,000 foot-pounds of work, or around 4.3 Kilowatt-hours, or a daily average output of about 180 watts….

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