Welcome to Renewable Energy Info

Renewable energy sources have diverse origins, a feature that demands equally diverse technologies to capture them. My interest in these (new) technologies resulted in this blog. If will focus on well developed technologies that are already put into practice, and on promising technologies that are still under development.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

The Pelamis wave energy converter

Source: Ocean Power Delivery

Ocean waves represent a considerable renewable energy resource. Waves are generated by the wind as it blows across the ocean surface. They travel great distances without significant losses and so act as an efficient energy transport mechanism across thousands of kilometers. Waves generated by a storm in mid-Atlantic will travel all the way to the coast of Europe without significant loss of energy.

All of the energy is concentrated near the water surface with little wave action below 50 meters depth. This makes wave power a highly concentrated energy source with much smaller hourly and day-to-day variations than other renewable resources such as wind or solar. Conveniently, the seasonal variation of wave power closely follows the trend for electricity consumption in Western Europe.

One technology that makes use of the this wave energy is the Pelamis wave energy converter. The Pelamis is a semi-submerged, articulated structure composed of cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints. The wave-induced motion of these joints is resisted by hydraulic rams, which pump high-pressure oil through hydraulic motors via smoothing accumulators. The hydraulic motors drive electrical generators to produce electricity. Power from all the joints is fed down a single umbilical cable to a junction on the sea bed. Several devices can be connected together and linked to shore through a single seabed cable.

Have a look at the YouTube video below and to this animation to see how it works !

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