Ocean Wave Energy: Converting The Ocean's Energy To Electrical Power

1167 words - 5 pages

This report breaks down and compares key aspects of three separate ocean wave power generators: permanent-magnet tubular linear generators, hybrid air-wave turbine generators and wave tunnel generators. Each individual generator type is to be described and analyzed on topics such as a general background on design and functionality, applicable locations, costs and efficiency using research and diagrams to support explanations where necessary. Though these forms of power generation are not effective enough to serve as a substitute for fossil fuels entirely, they are capable of reducing human reliance on strictly fossil fuels and are thus a worthy subject to invest research into.
The concept of renewable resources as alternatives to their nonrenewable counterparts is a topic that is becoming more and more popular and controversial as the startling realization that those fossil fuels are indeed limited and it is only a matter of time before they are exhausted. At the rate these nonrenewable resources are currently being consumed and the scale at which we as humans rely on them, it is important that we invest research into other forms of power generation that will relieve some of the stress on fossil fuel consumption. This report discusses ocean wave power as a renewable energy sources and specifically details three types of generators that makes that conversion possible. These three generator types are: permanent-magnet tubular linear generators, hybrid air-wave turbine generators and wave tunnel generators.
One of these types of tidal generators is a permanent-magnet tubular linear generator , also known as a linear buoy generator. A linear buoy generator converts the “linear motion of waves into electrical energy” (A 2392). There have been several different designs made in efforts to produce the best linear buoy. The first type that is to be discussed in this report can be seen in Figure 1-1. The spar is the center cylinder which is attached to “a large reaction plate that hangs below the spar” (A 2393) which keeps the spar from moving with the waves. The float is the outside shell that moves in accordance to the waves and allows for the mechanical energy needed to be converted to electrical power. The outer shell is also water tight to ensure that the equipment is protected from water and any other surroundings. The armature coils and field producing magnets are contained in the permanent-magnet tubular linear generator. In the particular case of the buoy seen in the figure, “the armature is located on the spar and the magnets on the float” (A 2393). The three-phase armature windings are put in such a position to reduce the stress by being on a fixed part of the buoy. In order to reduce losses, the armature section is designed to be smaller in order to use less amounts of copper. From there, the buoy is connected to the ocean floor using a long rope where it is anchored to prevent it from drifting away. “As the waves come in, the part of the...

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