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Australia Power Hardware Technology

Ocean Energy Tech To Be Tested Off Australian Coast 103

Posted by Soulskill
from the wave-of-the-future dept.
cylonlover writes "The researchers at Australia's BioPower Systems evidently looked at kelp, and thought, 'what if we could use that swaying action to generate power?' The result was their envisioned bioWAVE system: 'At the base of each bioWAVE system would be a triangular foundation, keeping it anchored to the sea floor. Extending up from the middle of that foundation would be a central column, topped with multiple blades — these would actually be more like a combination of the kelp's blades and floats, as they would be cylindrical, buoyant structures that just reach to the surface. The column would join the foundation via a hinged pivot, allowing it to bend or swivel in any direction. Wave action (both at the surface and below) would catch the blades and push them back and forth, in turn causing the column to move back and forth relative to the foundation. This movement would pressurize fluid within an integrated hydraulic power conversion module, known as an O-Drive. The movement of that fluid would spin a generator, converting the kinetic energy of the waves into electricity, which would then be delivered to shore via subsea cables.'"
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Ocean Energy Tech To Be Tested Off Australian Coast

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  • by skids (119237) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @11:46PM (#38287820) Homepage

    You know, I think it would be fair to say that until motorboats are banned these shouldn't be either.

  • Well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShooterNeo (555040) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @12:02AM (#38287908)

    Why didn't we do this before? I see nothing in this article describing anything in the technology that wasn't technically possible 20 or 40 years ago. There's not even sophisticated CFD behind the design : it appears to just be a float on the end of a rod.

    That isn't good for it's future prospects, then : if the technology has not advanced, then likely this machine will face the difficulties that they had last time they tried this.

    I'm imagining all kinds of horrible sea life buildup and corrosion and damage in storms causing it to be uneconomical. Each unit has a whole generator, transformer, cables, everything that it needs to support.

  • by RazorSharp (1418697) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @01:48AM (#38288314)

    Isn't the whole point of science to make the impossible possible?

    The Wright Brothers with your attitude: 'It's never been done before, even if in theory it could work. It's dangerous and costly, so we better stick with bicycles.'

    I find it hard to believe that harvesting oceanic energy efficiently is impossible just because there are many challenges associated with it and it has yet to be done successfully. It'll never happen if no one tries.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @02:55AM (#38288552) Journal

    You see it is THIS, this right here, that is the cancer ruining Slashdot.

    Once upon a time we had really good racist trolls, they were so subtle you wouldn't even catch the troll until the second paragraph. Like a good shit eater troll they would string you along, making you think it was a completely different post then WHAM, right in the balls.

    Our OS fanbois brought true entertainment value to this site, like how Twitter could take a story about shoes and twist it into a truly Machiavellian tale of power and betrayal that always led to a secret bunker in Redmond where Gates and the Illuminati planned the destruction of everything with GNU in it. Our shills so damned good that they could make you root for Union Carbide and even those against them believed they were real.

    Now like a TV series that has stay on long past the writers ability to think up new stories here lies the formerly great Slashdot. Once a great land where geeks fought epic battles about shit the common man couldn't even spell and where trolls pushed the limits simply to prove that they were the greatest in their fields. Now, sadly, it lies barren, where the best trolls can do is say the word nigger like a 3 year old saying dookie, the fanbois only call each other shill all day, and the geeks and their epic battles? The battlefield lies empty, their battles but fading echoes of a once great past. Truly a sad day my friends, truly a sad day.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:07AM (#38288992)

    Maybe your right,
    however some points that counter your argument:
    The potential energy in moving water and moving air is very different, due to higher density in water.

    Waves and tides are different, but if this tech generates power by water moving around, low winds but high tides should still make it move around a lot in those less windy periods. Plus research in this thing will provide tools and knowledge usable in tidal energy production.

    And then there is this next little bomb:
    Solar requires good weather during the day, and only the day. Wind requires windy weather (not too much and not to low). A cloudy windless day/night would ruin your entire energy production.
    I've never seen a sea/ocean that didn't move.

  • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thegarbz (1787294) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:59AM (#38289140)

    advances in materials will make the thing work better in practice...

    You're making an assumption that the people know what they are doing rather than just putting a piece of kit together out of any metal they can find.

    We have a desalination plant in Australia which rusted out before it even finished construction []. I kid you not, someone built something that goes into the ocean with the wrong metallurgy.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @06:48AM (#38289300)
    I like the idea of geothermal but in most locations that involves very deep expensive holes and (ssh, don't tell anybody) lots of fracking. Getting a large temperature difference currently means fairly awkward locations.
    It's like hydro - with big mountains and lots of snow feeding big lakes it makes a lot of sense, and with geothermal it's only easy if there is a volcano not far away bringing all that heat to where you can get to it. High voltage DC means you can get that power to where it is needed but anything other than a small installation just under an existing power line is going to cost. It's the same thing that effectively killed all expansion of civilian nuclear decades ago - you need something very big and capital intensive to get any sort of decent generating capacity and nobody is putting up the money when they can speculate with it instead.

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do.