Low Cost Clean Energy ( Solar Thermal Magazine) – The energy is the waves of the world’s oceans is sufficient to support a large percentage of our power requirements not just for hundreds of years but actually for ever. Ocean Power Technologies has been developing robust ocean ready technology to do just that. OPT’s PowerBuoy® wave generation system uses a “smart,” oceangoing buoy to capture and convert wave energy into low-cost, clean electricity.
How it works:
The rising and falling of the waves offshore causes the buoy to move freely up and down. The resultant mechanical stroking is converted via a sophisticated power take-off to drive an electrical generator. The generated wave power is transmitted ashore via an underwater power cable.
A 10 megawatts OPT power station would occupy only approximately 30 acres (0.125 square kilometers) of ocean space and have a very low “surface profile”. Unlike the eye sores that are natural gas,coal or nuclear plants wave energy have a certain beauty all their own. Also they are barely visible from shore.
Sensors on the PowerBuoy continuously monitor the performance of the various subsystems and surrounding ocean environment. Data is transmitted to shore in real time. In the event of very large oncoming waves, the system automatically locks up and ceases power production. When the wave heights return to normal, the system unlocks and recommences energy conversion and transmission of the electrical power ashore.
Gordon’s expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.