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Power Science

New Wave Power Research Rising Off Oregon Coast 158

Posted by Zonk
from the less-smoky-than-coal-less-radiationy-than-nuclear dept.
necro81 writes "A prototype buoy has been launched off the Oregon coast to try generating electrical power from the ever-present waves. The OSU device works like a giant shake-up flashlight. It is one of several competing designs to take advantage of a potential clean energy goldmine. It will be years before substantial power is contributed to the grid, but several companies have received permits to develop test platforms. The New York Times has an article that surveys the current outlook for wave energy, which it compares to wind energy's prospects back in the 1980s. Concerns about impacts to wildlife and fishing remain to be answered."
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New Wave Power Research Rising Off Oregon Coast

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  • by dvonhand (1136711) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @11:21PM (#21628651)
    Experts predict that current will flow from the anode to the cathode terminal in the near future.
  • Sounds good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @11:22PM (#21628655)
    Sounds like most of the resistance is from the fishing industry, but since it's not a very well proven technology, I'd say they have a fair point. So the current plan - to do some small proof-of-concept wave farms first - seems just the right thing to do. From the end of the article:

    Philip D. Moeller, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and a supporter of wave and tidal energy projects, said the government was "not allowing these to go into sensitive areas." Mr. Moeller added, "We haven't defined sensitive area, but the point is we'll be cognizant of that."

    He said the commission was encouraging wave energy companies to seek a new five-year "pilot license" the commission has created specifically for wave and tidal energy projects. The license, which could be gained in six months, would let companies set up a short-term wave farm to test technology and demonstrate success to wary investors. If environmental damage became evident, he said, the equipment could be removed from the ocean fairly quickly, something that is far more complicated with dams.

    • by psued0ch (1200431)
      I would expect the fishing industry to care more about their shrinking profits that are already compromised due to pollution and overfishing. Even if this technology was proven to be safe and effective, it doesn't seem as if they would care.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Reverend528 (585549) *
      Honestly, if there's any industry that's crippled by this, it's the surfing industry. Unfortunately, they can't afford very good lobbyists.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jcr (53032)
        Who do you know that surfs miles offshore?

        -jcr
        • by calebt3 (1098475)
          Aren't waves higher closer to shore?
          • Use an old derelict ship displacing a few hundred tons of water, secure two piers in the ocean floor. Each night the tide will raise the ship along the columns. The following day, recapture the energy of the "suspended" ship as it descends. Or use the rising tide to compress air which can then be captured by a small turbine for electric generation. Either soln. provides simple, cheap power which is renewed each evening and is available at the coast, where more of the people in this world live.

            Of course, you
            • by jadavis (473492)
              Either soln. provides simple, cheap power which is renewed

              Really? It's cheap? What's the cost per kilowatt-hour?
        • by pavon (30274)
          Perhaps he was thinking that since the generators will be removing energy from the ocean before it gets to the beach, the waves that form near the shore won't be as big? Although I wouldn't think they would be removing enough energy to matter.
        • by XdevXnull (905214)
          Who do you know that surfs in Oregon?..
        • by Belial6 (794905)
          That would be Duke Williams. [tv.com]
        • Hawaii has a lot of surfers and they are more than a few miles off my shore.
        • How about these guys [youtube.com]?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I thought that most of the resistance came from the expense of superconductors. My bad.

  • by Colonel Sponsz (768423) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @11:24PM (#21628663)
    So... I'm assuming harnessing New Wave Power off the coast of Oregon will be about dumping Adam & the Ants in the Pacific and attaching a generator and power cables to them? Hey, I'm for it! In fact... screw the turbine. And the cables...
  • No energy is free (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eddi3 (1046882) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @11:24PM (#21628667) Homepage Journal
    There's no such thing as free energy. What I wonder, is what this is affecting in the long run, and by how much.
    • by LBArrettAnderson (655246) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @11:29PM (#21628687)
      The actual harnessing of the waves probably won't affect much. It would be much worse to create a man-made harbor instead -- all you're doing is breaking down the waves before they break on the beach. The only negative affects would come with giant metal buckets floating in the water with long rods going down to the bottom... some fish might bump their heads...
      • Laws of Physics (Score:4, Interesting)

        by charlievarrick (573720) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @11:38PM (#21628711)

        When wave energy hits a breakwater the energy is dispersed and reflected back into the medium (the ocean). If it hits a a generator it is absorbed and converted into electrical energy. Something like this is taking energy out of a closed system which will have effects. How much? depends on how much energy you take out.

        • Re:Laws of Physics (Score:5, Informative)

          by LBArrettAnderson (655246) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @11:42PM (#21628735)
          You're right about the energy being dispersed and reflected, but only a very small portion of wave energy goes back into the ocean. Most of it is absorbed by the beach. If this weren't the case the waves would be just as large going back out as they are coming in. Sure, sometimes the waves going back out are visible, but they are much smaller and it doesn't happen very often -- especially on shallow sandy beaches (think how much energy is lost in (very inelastic) collisions and sound (beaches are loud)).
          • I acknowledge your point. But, in the present "natural" system wave energy hits the beach. Removing some of that energy from the "natural" system could lead to unintended results (Maybe wave energy hitting the beach is important for some proccess that we don't currently understand). While I realize that the volume/energy of the oceans is enormous, the same is true of the atmosphere and we may have signifigantly altered its state in the last 100 years.
            • Re:Laws of Physics (Score:4, Insightful)

              by CastrTroy (595695) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:01AM (#21628809) Homepage
              Couldn't the same be said about all the wind turbines we're setting up stopping/slowing the wind?
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                Sure. Covering a substantial quantity of the earth's surface with solar panels would probably have a substantial effect on surface tempurature/weather patterns. So would releasing all the stored carbon energy by lighting everthing on fire.
              • by DMoylan (65079)
                nah, have you never heard of a lazy wind? it doesn't go around you it goes right through you. :-)

                more on topic. if this would reduce wave action there are loads of locations that need very expensive sea defences and we also need to generate power. could we not combine the two by floating these generators off known locations that are been eroded? protect the location and generate power. makes it cheaper to build if you can tap into the others funds.
              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by zenkonami (971656)

                Couldn't the same be said about all the wind turbines we're setting up stopping/slowing the wind?

                Unfortunately it often is. I wonder if the same people who worry so much about the potential damage of these suggested solutions have considered that we do not exist in a static environment, and that we are a part of that environment. We affect the system and the system affects us because we are a component of the system.

                I wonder how we are negatively affecting the system by eating animals / plants?
                Irrigation seems to remove water from somewhere else...is agriculture worth it?
                Yes, but capturing solar

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by WindBourne (631190)
                  In fact, few countries have thrown their eggs in one basket, though some have bigger baskets than other. The French currently use 80% nukes. America uses 60% coal. China is currently using something like 90% coal. What I find funny is when ppl say that solar or wind will handle 100% of our needs. The fact that somebody would consider that is incredible. I would like to see America (and any nation) get to the point where the most that they have from one arena is 50%. Why? Because it will force that nation t
              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by jadavis (473492)
                How about nuclear? Fairly cheap, doesn't take the energy away from other systems, and the pollution is concentrated and contained in convenient waste barrels.
            • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward
              You make a very interesting point that I hadn't thought of that I suppose does require some attention. My first thought, however, would be that reducing beach-erosion would be a positive thing... although it is very possible that there are some species of fish and/or crabs that rely on it. That being said, there is a lot of beach on the planet and a good portion of it doesn't get any waves at all. I doubt that these wave power farms will ever cover more than 2% of the world's coastline.
            • by ceoyoyo (59147)
              Yeah, the waves will be quieter. Much of the energy from the waves hitting the beach is turned into sound. Apparently some is also turned into firing chloride ions up into the atmosphere as well, which depletes the ozone. Oh, and erosion. There will be less of that.

              Really, they should build these things off coasts that have erosion problems.
          • In fact, the reason why there is so much sand is that those waves have been converted from energy to work; breaking down the rock. About the only worry I would have (at this time), is that a lot of beach life depends on the actions of those waves to carry in food and take out wastes. So, it would behoove us to look at the placement and what beaches will receive less energy.
          • The Pelamis [pelamiswave.com] wave energy machine folks address the question of effect. Wave energy is reduced. An island, a breakwater, and various irregularities of the ocean bottom have similar effects.

            Pelamis is a cool design. It uses commercial off the shelf hydraulic parts, and its design inherently sheds excess energy from storms. Huge storm-driven waves simply wash over the Pelamis machines and fail to transfer energy to them and their moorings. They are probably the most robust wave generation design out there.
        • by c_forq (924234)
          Since when is the Ocean a closed system? As I understood it the Ocean is a chaotic system, affected by the moon, melting of arctic ice, solar radiation, weather patterns, asteroids, river outpours, and a myriad of other inputs.
        • This isn't usually the best way of looking at things, but power WILL be needed. If we don't get it from this, what else would we do? Wind? Solar? Nuclear? Geo? Regardless of what we do, it will have effects on our environment... This is just another way to affect it.

          With wind, we obstruct natural air patterns. With solar, less sunlight will reach earth's surface. With geothermal, we absorb the Earth's very own heat. Any of these could be as intrusive as the other... Which alternative is safer? THAT is the
        • Something like this is taking energy out of a closed system which will have effects.

          The ocean is a closed system?

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Won't somebody think of the dolphins? They won't be able to jump out of the water anymore!
    • by StefanJ (88986) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @11:41PM (#21628727) Homepage Journal
      Olaf Stapledon's "Last and First Men" is a mind-boggling future history. Very dated and politically/ideologically goofy in its early parts, then increasingly way-out as humanity nearly dies out, evolves, nearly dies out again, moves to a terraformed Venus . . . and so on, until the 17th and final human species dies out on Neptune 2 billions years from now.

      While racing through the history of the cat-like "Third Men," Stapledon notes that one civilization uses tidal power to such an extent that the orbit of the moon is slightly altered!
      • by somepunk (720296)
        We have altered the mass distribution of the planet to a measurable degree by building big dams that create very large lakes behind them. Presumably, this has an effect on the orbit of the moon, although I don't know if it would be detectable.

        What counts as a "measurable" effect depends entirely on the sophistication of your instruments, of course. There is a lot that is measurable that is still negligible.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dunbal (464142)
      What I wonder, is what this is affecting in the long run, and by how much.

            It will affect mean wave height, and reduce coastal erosion...
      • If it affects mean wave height, it will affect the self-cleaning mechanisms of tide pools and the edges of estuaries. That in turn will affect the levels of micronutrients these critical marginal ecosystems feed to the larger ocean ecosystems just off their shores.

        Us lay people really don't know what goes on with this. The last book that gave the body politic any insight into these processes was The Sea Around Us [amazon.com], published in 1951 by Rachel Carson, [about.com] a marine biologist. Fifty-six years later, it is still i

    • by hedwards (940851)
      I can't imagine that this would be that much different than wind power. Potentially if they were put into place in strategic places it could subtly reduce the energy that was required to have have hurricanes and cyclones.
    • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:57AM (#21628991)
      This is a tidal system being changed, so we have to look at the other things effected by the tidal system, like, the Moon. This will certainly slow down the Moon's orbit around the Earth. Now, what will THAT change? First to my mind is: women's menstruation cycles. It will make it take longer between periods, which is a good thing for sure, but on the other hand, it may also lengthen how long she's experiencing it, which is really, really bad. Not sure whether this falls in the pro or con category.

      Other things: werewolves. Obviously, same deal as menstruation - less frequent, possibly for longer periods (so to speak). I'd invest in the silver industry, you could probably make a tidy profit on this! I won't make the joke about women being related to werewolves (cuz, you know, they get 'bitchy' at that time), because that would just be obvious and tacky, and this IS Slashdot.

      I'm pretty sure vampires are not effected by the Moon, so that's good, though this will not help prevent Dick Cheney attacks, so that's actually disappointing.

      As with other clean power production technologies, the animal rights activists will find a way to claim it hurts migratory birds, and I'm sure to some extent that will be true, though they'll likely be harmed a lot less by this than by the pollution produced by conventional power production.

      With fewer waves hitting the shoes, less sediment will be drawn into the ocean, so they'll be a bit more sparkly-clean looking, which is good, but there's probably some stuff in there that some ocean creature feeds on, so they'll starve, so that'll be bad.

      Most likely a net positive because of the reduced pollution thing, I'm guessing.
      • Other things: werewolves. Obviously, same deal as menstruation - less frequent, possibly for longer periods (so to speak). I'd invest in the silver industry, you could probably make a tidy profit on this! I won't make the joke about women being related to werewolves (cuz, you know, they get 'bitchy' at that time), because that would just be obvious and tacky, and this IS Slashdot.

        I'm pretty sure vampires are not effected by the Moon, so that's good, though this will not help prevent Dick Cheney attacks, so

    • I wonder if this could be used in areas where coastal erosion is a problem. Seems like a good idea to harvest the wave energy instead of using a breakwater to accomplish the same purpose.
    • The heat in the earth's core is powered by the sun. And so is the earth's movement. And the current hurricanes are caused by, guess what? Global warming, which is nothing that the accumulation of... solar power. And the lightning, is powered by the perpetual (yes, perpetual) motion of water vapor (powered by, guess what - the sun!) condensed into raindrops. See all the oil below the Earth's surface? Well, it's nothing but hydrocarbons, which in turn were organic materials created by the food chain which goe
      • by calebt3 (1098475)

        the perpetual (yes, perpetual) motion of water vapor
        Not perpetual. As you pointed out, the Earth is entirely Sun-powered. Perpetual motion, by definition, would continue to move without any further input of energy. Take away the sun, and I can guarantee you that everything other than the Earth's core would stop functioning pretty quickly.
      • by Rakishi (759894)
        Actually I believe some of this energy is from the potential energy locked in the Earth-Moon system. Specifically if you took all the energy out of tides for long enough you would slow down the earth's rotation till it was tidally locked to the moon.
      • The heat in the earths core is mostly from the decay of radioactive isotopes.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by OriginalArlen (726444)
      Jesus wept. +4 insightful? What is this, straw-chewers weekly? I thought a basic general knowledge grasp of physics was expected around here, but when I see posts like that I gots to wonders
    • by ozbird (127571)
      Given the huge amount of extra energy being pumped into the oceans via global warming, taking a bit out again to generate electricity is probably a good thing.
  • by ThreeGigs (239452)
    Biggest problem with using a 'float height' generation system is the bottom anchor. The seafloor isn't all that sturdy to support constant tugging. Plus, the conservationists will have a point in that the bottom anchors will be disruptive to the seafloor ecology.

    • Lots of structures are anchored to the sea floor. Think of harbours, jetties, oil rigs, bridges and the like. This has been done for thousands of years, so the know how is there.
  • Just looking at the basic idea, using tidal motion and waves for power generation, makes sense. However, the questions that should be asked before making this large scale, and common, would be: -What waters as best suited for this equipment? -Does the buoy generator system constitute a hazard to navigation? Not only for fishing, but the vast majority of cargo moves by sea. -Will the money from power production cover the cost of placing and maintaining the buoys? It's an interesting idea, but will it turn
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @11:57PM (#21628795) Journal
    Someone needs to create something along the lines of the spam solutions template, [craphound.com] but for new technologies (like wave power or wind farms).

    I'll start:
    (things in bold can be easily replaced)

    Your solution advocates a

    (*) technical ( ) legislative (*) market-based ( ) vigilante

    approach to solving a looming energy problem. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state or country to country before a bad federal or international law was passed.)

    (*) It will be fought by entrenched fishing interests
    (*) It will be fought by entrenched energy corporations
    (*) It will be fought by ______________
    (*) It will succumb to NIMBY Syndrome
    (*) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
    ( ) Technology doesn't work that way
    (*) NIMBY Syndrome will prevent mass deployment

    Specifically, your plan fails to account for:

    (*) Idiots with boats
    ( ) International reluctance to engage in sweeping change
    (*) Technically illiterate politicians
    (*) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who vote
    ( ) A lack of support from famous Musicians and Actors
    (*) Conflicting environmental interests

    and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

    ( ) The money could be better spent curing cancer
    ( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
    been shown practical
    (*) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
    (*) Your solution is expensive
    (*) Your solution may be politically infeasible
    ( ) The money could be better spent implementing [other] solution
    ( ) It makes life harder, not easier

    Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

    (*) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
    ( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
    ( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

    You get the idea. Please improve it.
    Not that I'm shitting on wave power, but NIMBY, questions about environmental impact and the fishing & energy industries could seriously crimp any offshore plans.
    • by Myrcutio (1006333)
      while i don't really have a response to that, it does give me some ideas. You know how jobs are moving away from manual labor in lieu of robotics, and mostly towards technology and research? It would be interesting if the power grid became a free market, where anyone who generates power could sell it stock market style. Instead of spending 8 hours a day in a cubicle farm, spend it setting up and maintaining a wave farm if your on the coast, a thermal farm in warmer climates, the list goes on.

      The best
  • by dotancohen (1015143) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:01AM (#21628807) Homepage
    New Wave [wikipedia.org] Power [wikipedia.org] is gonna fucking kick ass. Why hasn't anyone thought of this sooner?
    • by ink (4325) *
      Oh, it's been done [youtube.com]. I'm not so sure about the 'awesome' part though.
      • It's not as bad as say, HIM [youtube.com], but I won't be listening to them again. I actually thought is was alright until I discovered that he's saying "kiss my eyes" and not "kiss my ass".
  • Wave and Tidal... (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhotoGuy (189467) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:06AM (#21628825) Homepage
    It always surprised me that wave and tidal energy weren't harnessed more. Wave energy is really just wind energy thrown into a thick medium which should allow us to extract it in all its concentrated goodness. (And wind, in turn, is caused by solar heating.)

    But what always seemed more dramatic to me, however, are the tides. Especially living in an area with the highest tides in the world, seeing phenomenal amounts of water come in and out with a 6 foot difference, twice a day, always struck me as having a lot more potential (ha ha) than other sources of renewable energy. Effectively harnessing the gravitation pull of our moon through the tides, always seemed to me to be a solution that was too good to be true. There are days when the sea is calm and the wing generators are slower due to lack of wind; coal and oil prices vary wildly. But nothing stops the tides, day or night; the energy available and its cost is 100% predictable, which is a rarity among energy sources.

    In Nova Scotia, we have tidal power plant [nspower.ca] which generates power from the tides. However, it seems to be in a constant state of research, politics, grants, and such, and is fairly small. (Even twenty years ago, it was in this state; instead of referring to it by its name, the "Fundy Tidal Project," people used to refer to it as the "Tidy Fundal Project.") The amount of energy that could be captured from even a small part of the Bay of Fundy [wikipedia.org] is staggering. Yes, it would be quite an engineering feat, but not really anything beyond other megaprojects. It's sad we haven't progressed further in harnessing this.
    • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:31AM (#21628891)
      Let me be the first to object to using tidal energy as a "renewable" resource. Don't people know that it will cause the moon to fly away from the Earth at ever increasing speeds? It's not like the energy is free, you know. Call me a lunatic if you'd like, but I refuse to destroy our moon just to let people run their massive new television sets.
      • by Solandri (704621)
        It doesn't just slow the moon (causing it to fly further away). It also slows down the earth's rotation until it matches the moon's orbital period! Do we really want to tap a power source which will ultimately result in a day being 709 hours long, if not longer as the moon flies further away? Hmm, I suppose if we don't update our labor laws mandating 8-hour workdays it might not be so bad...
        • ...result in a day being 709 hours long

          Hour 642 is Hawaiian shirt hour.
          So, you know, if you want to, go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        No Problem... just mine the moon and remove mass to keep it in orbit.
      • by maz2331 (1104901)
        Uh, do you realize just how MUCH energy would need to be extracted from such a system to have any actual effects on the moon? You could probably run our entire world electrical use for a billion years before anything happened there.
      • I'd be happy to proclaim my lunacy in support of such objects as the moon.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by flyingfsck (986395)
      The problem is synchronizing the generated energy with the grid. Power electronics have now advanced to the point where it is possible to generate power any which way and then convert it electronically to suit the grid. This was not possible before. Consequently the new designs for wave power generation can be much simpler than they would have needed to be in order to maintain synchronization mechanically. For example, these tethered buoys will generate AC at the same frequency as the waves, which is a
      • by NoMaster (142776)

        The problem is synchronizing the generated energy with the grid ... This was not possible before.

        Maybe not electronically, but asynchronous conversion is nothing new - it's been done using mechanical systems for the last century, with remarkably high efficiencies (e.g. >85%).

        Really, it's no more difficult than converting the non-alternating output of e.g. steam boilers or pressurised water into synchronised AC power - something which has been done since the advent of AC power generation.

        • Really, it's no more difficult than converting the non-alternating output of e.g. steam boilers or pressurised water into synchronised AC power - something which has been done since the advent of AC power generation.
          an AC generator generally produces AC at a frequency that is a fixed multiple (or one of a small selection of multiples) of the speed of a shaft. Synchronisation is achived by varying the speed of the generator until it matches the grid before tying it in. After that it will tend to stay synchro
    • Re:Wave and Tidal... (Score:4, Informative)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:43AM (#21628927) Homepage Journal
      Well for tidal power there are a few problems.
      1. They Bay of Fundy is kind of unusual. There is a lack of sites that are really that good.
      2. Enviromental impact. Tidal areas tend to be very sensitive.
      3. Cost. Except at few places tidal energy isn't very dense. It would require constructing huge systems.
      • 1. They Bay of Fundy is kind of unusual. There is a lack of sites that are really that good.
        2. Enviromental impact. Tidal areas tend to be very sensitive.
        3. Cost. Except at few places tidal energy isn't very dense. It would require constructing huge systems.

        That's right. The Bay of Fundy is about the best tidal spot on the planet. [thehopewellrocks.ca] I've seen a study on possible locations for tidal power plants, and there are only about ten good sites in the world. Such a site needs a bay with a narrow mouth suita

        • by c6gunner (950153)
          One possible solution: build more bays. Sure, it's disruptive for the surrounding ecology, but no more so than what we've done for hydroelectric dams on rivers.
    • Apparently the UK is about to announce a crash programme to generate 50% of it's power from offshore windfarms by 2030 - ie., in 20 years' time. [google.co.uk]

      Luckily for you guys the technology's going to be much cheaper, more reliable and efficient by the time we're done filling the north sea with wind turbines.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ex-MislTech (557759)
      It has been estimated by scientists that more water flows in and out of the bay of fundy
      every 12.4 hrs than all the rivers in the world.

      If true, it would be more than enough to power all of North America by itself with
      passive underwater Aquanators.( underwater Venturi focused turbines )

      230 billion tonnes of water per day.

      That is some serious generating capacity.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Scotland has all sorts of cool wave projects on the go.

    There's a cool sub-sea wave farm which use the pressure changes to drive a generator.
    http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/wave-power-scotland/ [alternativ...-news.info]

    A huge 'snank' made of several sections, there are hydraulic rams between each section, which drive a generator.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4805076.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    The Isle wave project which uses wave power at the shoreline. When the wave hits it fills a tank, pushing out air to drive a turbine. The first one worke
  • Wasn't that back in the late-70s/early-80s?

    Pure coincidence that I happened to be listening to "The Pleasure Principle" when I checked to see what was happening on Slashdot.

    Rock on Polymoogs!

  • by elyk (970302) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @05:16AM (#21629795) Homepage
    saves them work - those things tend to be waterproof already.
  • New power generation [3121.com] facility receives Plasmatic [plasmatics.com] injection at its main energy dome [amazon.com]. Technicians wearing specially fitted xray spex [x-rayspex.com] oversaw the fueling of the power station [geocities.com].
  • There's a really interesting Google tech talk about this [google.com] from a company who has been developing a system to harvest wave energy by placing giant floating "snakes" at the surface. It turns out that they are aiming to harvest in sea depths where the wave energy does not come from the tides, but instead from the wind blowing on the water, so indirectly it's "wind" energy.

    They address optimum places to locate wave farms (sea depth, wind constancy) and even did an environmental impact study. If all the wave ener
  • ...if something like this does develop off the US Pacific coast, and (ok, let's pick on furriners) as wild salmon stocks keep getting lower and lower, and the US military distracted by stupid presidents, and a Russian, Japanese or Korean wildcat fish trawler or long-line boat follows a school of whatever they're going after, snags a couplefew of the bouys, and manages to somehow pull out or damage a good number of the units?

    Would the US get pissed off at Russia these days? Would Korea or Japan essentially s
  • This looks like yet another fairy-tale concept looking for funding.

    If you make just a few generous assumptions about wave heights, strength of materials, corrosion, and construction costs, the numbers are really dismal. Let's assume you have a 100-ton buoy rising and falling with the waves, averaging twenty foot waves 8 hrs a day, one wave every ten seconds. Note, that's quite optimistic. Assume (low) construction costs of $1,800 per ton.

    I get a net generation of $36K of power per year and costs of $

  • From the NY Times article [nytimes.com] "I don't want it in my fishing grounds," said Mr. Martinson, 40, who docks his 74-foot boat, Libra, here at Yaquina Bay, about 90 miles southwest of Portland. "I don't want to be worried about driving around someone else's million-dollar buoy."

    Mr Martinson, don't you realize we don't need your 74-footer named Libra. That kind has ruined the fishing grounds long since. Please read an article about that, here: http://www.ehponline.org/members/2004/112-5/focus.html [ehponline.org]

    Btw, are you

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