Green power from the sea – harnessing wave energy
 

The water of the world’s oceans is always in motion. Without being interrupted, waves constantly break at the coastline, sometimes strong, sometimes weaker. There is an enormous energy potential that is available around the clock and free of charge. The potential for wave energy is huge and the drive to harness the power of the waves is gaining momentum.
 
The energy potential that wave power possesses is estimated to be around 11, 4400 TWh per year. Its sustainable potential is estimated to be around 1,700 TWh. This comes down to about 10 per cent of global energy requirement.
 
Because of the fact that few large-scale projects have been able to get off the ground, there has not been one specific design that is seen by engineers as optimal for harnessing the power of the oceans and subsequently many designs are still being experimented with. Most of the different concepts can be classified into three categories.
 

The Oscillating Water Column

This ingenious design to harness wave energy is normally situated on the coast or is fixed offshore. It consists of an enclosed chamber with an opening beneath sea level. Wave action causes water to move up and down within the chamber. This causes air to be displaced and escape through an opening in the roof. The escaping air turns a turbine that is placed within the hole and consequently generates power.
 
Oscillating water column pilot plants have recently been set up in Portugal, Scotland and Japan.
 

The Oscillating Bodies

These types of facilities are usually found offshore and utilize the movement of the ocean by means of a semi-submerged generator on which a fixed counter bearing moves sideways or up and down.
 
Other systems are made up of flexible mounted components that float on the water to harness wave energy. These components push against each other as they move over the waves putting hydraulic oil under pressure. The pressurised oil in turn drives a turbine, generating electricity.
 
The most well known of these systems is the Scottish developed “Palemis” system. The “Palemis” consists of four train coach sized cylinders strung together by hydraulic joints giving it snake-like characteristics.
 

Overtopping

Overtopping devices work on the same principles as hydroelectric dams but are situated offshore. Similar to a hydrodam these devices have a reservoir that is filled up with water as the waves break over the sides. The reservoir is filled up to levels above the surrounding ocean. The water falling back to the ocean drives a turbine that in turn generates energy.
 

Future of Wave energy

To be able to harness wave energy at a cost competitive level to that of fossil fuels have been extremely difficult. A coal powered station can produce power 24 hours a day. Wave farms are dependent on the ocean and when the seas are calm, these farms aren’t efficient.
 
It is still early days though and there is a lot of energy and resources being pushed into wave energy. We would just have to wait and see. There are still interesting times ahead.
 
For more information about the installation of solar panels for your home, business or farm complete the content form located here.

 
 
 
Previous Posts
 
Solar power Africa: Morocco’s World’s Largest Concentrated Solar Power Plant
   
Going Solar: Solar Impulse 2 – Back in the Air and Breaking more Records
   
Easy and Effective ways to reduce your Carbon Footprint
   
Current Load Shedding Situation in South Africa
   
South Africa on Track to becoming Global Leader of Green Energy
   
Solar Impulse 2 Around-the-World Flight Update
   
A Guide to going Solar
   
Farming and Solar Power – Go Together like a Horse and Carriage
   
Solar Power FAQ
   
Considerations when Finding the Perfect Solar Installer
   
Soventix Solar Projects: Gauteng Grid-Tied Solution Taking Shape
   
Soventix Large Scale Solar Project Kicks Off in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
   
V&A Waterfront set to implement huge solar power project
   
South Africa ranks in Top 10 globally for solar power
   
South Africa on track for more utility-scale solar power plants
   
Robben Island set to run on solar power
   
Kenyan mall switches on largest solar carport system in Africa
   
What happened to load shedding
   
Understanding electricity consumption
   
Solar power advantages
   
How solar technology is improving informal settlements
   
Home solar options
   
Green Festivals – How Rocking the Daisies plays hard while treading lightly
   
Eskom turns to solar power to beat load shedding
   
Cutting fuel costs with innovative solar powered motorbikes
   
Why use solar power for home security?
   
Why do I need solar power?
   
Solar solutions for businesses
   
Installing solar on my roof
   
How to start my solar project
   
How much can I save with solar?
   
Commercial solar system project completed at ACA Threads, Cape Town
   
Large scale outdoor PV system completed at Quiver Tree Apartments, Stellenbosch
   
South Africa’s power crisis driving mines to renewable energy
   
New lithium battery technology could change solar power industry
   
How to finance your solar power systems
   
Comparing solar systems and generators
   
Understanding solar power language
   
Solar Impulse completes its historic solar energy flight to Hawaii
   
How to calculate the solar system size for your needs
   
Beating load shedding with photovoltaic solar systems
   
5 Solar tips for farmers to beat load shedding
   
5 Solar power tips to get through load shedding with ease
   
Solar cell breakthrough brightens the future of solar energy
   
How to beat load shedding. Solar power vs. Diesel Generators
   
Solar panels investigated. Which will suit your needs?
   
How farmers save money through solar energy
   
5 Clever ways agriculture can use solar power
   
Comparing solar power systems for your home
   
The Ecocapsule, a revolution in green design
   
Polycristalline vs. Thin Film Solar Panels
   
Everything you need to know when upgrading your solar power system
   
South Africa’s Solar Power Farms
   
Seamless Solar – Solar Panels that add to the beauty of your home
   
Solar powered cars – are they the future of motoring?
   
Solar power, battery – vs no battery backup system
   
Is solar energy expensive energy?
   
Load Shedding – How does it affect agriculture?
   
Ten easy steps for creating a green home
   
5 Things you didn’t know about solar cookers
   
Green power from the sea – harnessing wave energy
   
Selling electricity to Eskom. Can it be done?
   
Load Shedding – Is There An End In Sight?
   
Five Simple Ways to Reduce Your Electricity Bill at Home
   
Eskom’s Rebate Scheme for Small-Scale Renewable Energy – Is it for You?
   
Three Ways To Get Your Business Off The Power Grid
   
The Latest In Solar Power Technology For Your Home
   
Five ways farmers can reduce their carbon footprint
   
Why is solar power becoming more affordable?
   
Seven Facts About Owning A Solar Power System
   
Vrede en Lust leads the charge in the Cape’s solar-powered wine farms
   
Carbon Neutral Homes: Can they Exist?
   
Five easy steps for creating a green office
   
Solar Power and Agriculture
   
Different Sources of Renewable Energy
   
Solar Power and its Global Effects
   
Discover The Benefits of Household Solar Panels
   
Yingli Solar Panels
   
Solar PV Diesel Hybrid Solutions
   
Small-Scale Renewable Embedded Generation
   
Beat the Darkness of Load Shedding With Solar Backup Power!
   
Net Metering in the Cape Town Domestic Market