Hanging 10 for Power Generation
There are many different ways to generate electricity. Wind, rivers, fire, and ocean are just a few technologies that are in current use. In this paper it will narrow the focus to the different types of ocean wave power generation.
Wave generated electricity is a fairly new concept. Heavy research started in the early sixties. People have been trying to build effective wave machines for about two hundred years. Designing wave machines can be difficult do to the nature of the ocean.
One of the primary set backs in designing wave technologies is the inconsistencies of the ocean. The tides, wave height, wave set counts, and consistencies are major hindrances to this new type of electricity generation. The harshness of the ocean can also be hard on the equipment. Storms have been known to make equipment disappear, never to be seen again. The salt water can cause maintenance on the machines to be pointless. The salt eats away at the metal day in and day out. The life of the equipment can be relatively short, making an ocean generation system extremely expensive. Each type of wave electricity generator has is own set of problems and forces of nature to be dealt with.
The ocean has different types of energy sources. One of theses sources is wave energy. It can be harnessed for electricity in many different ways. Wave collectors are one of the methods to harness the energy. In this technology, a steel container is secured to the ocean floor. Many of these collectors are in shallow waters. The wave is collected from the top of the device. The water is forced through a chamber which turns a turbine inside. The turbine turns a generator and produces electricity. In other types of collectors, the wave is gathered through the bottom of the unit. As the water level inside the chamber raises and lowers, the difference air pressure turns a low resistance turbine, generating power. The turbine spins in one direction no matter if the air is pulling or pushing. The collectors have been design in this manner to obtain the maximum output of power out of the machines. Most of these wave collectors, also known as oscillating water columns are still experimental. This device is regarded as the world most advanced wave-to-electricity generators. An oscillating water column in Norway is being tested and can produce 500 kilowatts of electricity.
A “Salter Duck”, is another invention that has been developed to produce power from waves. This machine is basically two large pontoons hinged together at their ends. The bobbing action of the pontoons gives the mechanical advantage to drive the internal generator. This was the first invention to receive wide spread use to make ocean generated power. The United States Coast Guard has been using many of these to power generating tools for their navigation lights and audio transmitters.