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Wave Generators- Power from the Sea

Anyone who has played in the ocean surf or experienced the current of a river, felt the tug of outgoing or incoming surf, recognizes that there is energy contained in moving bodies of water. Harnessing that energy to create electricity has been in third position, behind solar and wind, as a source of alternative energy.
But now, advances in technology are changing that situation. Commercially viable prototypes and active production models operating in wave farms are currently producing electricity successfully. The World Energy Council has described wave energy as a concentrated form of solar energy. With three quarters of the earth covered in water, wave power is an inexhaustible source of clean energy.

Power of the Wave

Power of the Ocean Wave

Wave power- a brief history
Wave Power has been used as early in human history as 1100 AD in Egypt and, what is now, France and Russia. Wave power during this period was used to mill grain.

One of the earliest known patents was registered to a Frenchman named Girard in Paris and was dated 1799. Interest waned, as it did for wind, during the Industrial Age when fossil fuel became cheap, easy to find and more efficient to use.
In 1909, the then California Wave Power Company created electricity that was used to provide electricity to the wharves in California.
Yoshio Masuda, in 1940, used wave power to light navigation lights.
Interest in wave power strengthened in 1973, when the Arab nations invoked an embargo on the export of oil.1973 Oil Embargo Universities around the world embarked on research to harness the power of the wave at such institutes as MIT and the US Naval Academy in this country. As a side note, the US Navy is currently heavily involved in the use of green sources of energy and is pushing away from a dependence on foreign oil supplies. In other countries, those involved in wave power technology were the University of Edinburgh and Norwegian University of Science and Technology. After the oil began to flow again, research slowed. Leading the way in research today is the University of Oregon, which has partnered on several installations along the Oregon coast.
Now with increases in fossil fuel costs and concern about the effects on the environment of global climate change, advances in wave power technology to create energy are full steam ahead.

Waves- how are they formed
As the sun heats the surface of the earth it creates uneven heating, which, in conjunction with the earth’s rotation, creates wind. Waves are formed by wind passing over the surface of water. As energy is transferred to the water it forms ripples, then, as the force of the wind continues to release energy on the surface, the water forms waves. If this process continues over an extended length of the water’s surface, ocean swells are formed. These ocean swells can travel great distances without a substantial loss of energy.
The World Energy Council estimates that the energy produced by the power of the earth’s ocean waves would produce two times the amount of electricity that is currently created by all other sources of electrical production, including coal and natural gas. This would be done without the hazardous emissions generated by coal and natural gas fired plants. For a more complete list of pollutants and the effects of mining for coal see Energy Loft Solar Panels“> .

Wave Power- The technology
A number of companies have entered the wave power generation field. Some are funded by private infusion and businesses themselves. Others are supplemented by grants or incentives from governmental entities. The countries of Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Australia are investing heavily in this technology.

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One Response to “Wave Generators- Power from the Sea”

  • Corine Raja says:

    Yet another Apple patent has been uncovered showing that Apple has been looking into the use of solar energy to supplement battery life for their mobile devices, including both their portable computers, iPhone and iPod touch. The patent shows various ways of integrating solar cells that collect energy from light to help power the device.

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