Renewable energy can have many sources, the most common being solar, wind and hydroelectric power. But there is also a huge amount of untapped energy in ocean waves. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, the theoretical annual energy potential of waves off the United States is 64 trillion kilowatt hours, which is equivalent to over 60% of the total amount of electricity produced in the United States in 2018. .
Ocean Energy has spent the past 10 years designing systems to capture energy from ocean waves and convert it into electricity.
Its latest creation, called OE35, is the culmination of everything the company has learned at that time. With a weight of 826 tons, is essentially a sealed chamber that floats on the surface of the ocean. As the waves pass below, they force air into the chamber. This column of moving air turns a turbine that produces electricity. The beauty of Ocean Energy technology is that it also harnesses the energy in the air column as it returns to the chamber when a wave passes.
The first prototype is towed across the Pacific to the US Navy test site in Kanehoe Bay, Hawaii, where it will be evaluated for 12 months. If it passes its tests, the company plans to build five more units and deploy them to Oregon for further testing.
How it works.
The OE buoy is L-shaped, with a long open chamber below the waterline and a turbine above the water.
As the water enters the open chamber, it forces the air upward, causing the turbine to spin, generating electricity.
As the water recedes, it creates a vacuum and air rushes to fill it, which keeps the turbine spinning and the cycle repeats.
Having only one moving part greatly increases its reliability in an often harsh oceanic environment.
Each OE 35 unit will be able to generate enough electricity to power a small town.
Unlike offshore wind turbines, it is extremely simple and robust, which will allow you to survive for years at sea with little or no maintenance.
Unlike wind and sunlight, the waves hardly ever stop. Wave generators will never be as popular as offshore wind, but they could be important additional source of renewable energy in parts of the world where wind turbines and solar power are not viable.
In the future, the world will need all the renewable energy it can produce.
More information: oceanenergy.online