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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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ocean Wave Power, the next hot technology?

Source: Earth2Tech, AWS Ocean Energy

As the world is running out of oil, more and more alternatives emerge. Today, solar power generation has matured and is now big business, and wind energy is following in its footsteps. However, in the past years, scientists and engineers have explored the possibilities to harvest energy from the ocean. See, for instance, some of the previous posts on this blog dealing with the Pelamis. Ocean power is set to provide an exciting new source of clean renewable energy and one which can contribute to global energy needs on a sustainable basis.

Recently, Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. has announce d that it has deployed its first PowerBuoy® under contract with Iberdrola S.A., one of the worlds largest renewable energy companies. As noted by Iberdrola, the deployment of OPTs PB40 PowerBuoy is the latest milestone toward the building of the worlds first commercial utility-scale wave power generation venture to supply approximately 1.39 MW of electricity into Spains electricity grid. The PB40, incorporating OPTs patented wave power technology, is the first of what is expected to be a 10-PowerBuoy wave power station to be built out in a later phase of the project, and generating enough electricity to supply up to 2,500 homes annually.

Another clean-tech company that is developing technology to generate electricity from the energy from the ocean's waves, is AWS Ocean Energy. AWS stands for Archimedes Wave Swing, and their lead product is the award-winning Archimedes Waveswing™ wave energy converter. This is a cylinder shaped buoy, moored to the seabed. Passing waves move an air-filled upper casing against a lower fixed cylinder, with up and down movement converted into electricity.

As a wave crest approaches, the water pressure on the top of the cylinder increases and the upper part or 'floater' compresses the gas within the cylinder to balance the pressures. The reverse happens as the wave trough passes and the cylinder expands. The relative movement between the floater and the lower part or silo is converted to electricity by means of a hydraulic system and motor-generator set.


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