When the power of the waves present on the surface of the ocean is used to convert it into useful form of energy it is known as wave power. Wave power is different from tidal power and ocean currents. Wave power can be converted into electricity, water pumps and water desalination. This is not a very popular form of energy. The energy from the ocean waves is extracted by devices either from the motion of waves or movements in the deep sea level.
History of Wave Power
The history of wave power is very old; it was in 1799 when Girard and his son for the first time presented a proposal to have patent rights to use this power. Then in 1910 in Paris again Bochaux Praceique asked government to use this power to light his house. Scientist realized its importance but it was in 1973 when the growing oil crises arouse the desire to find alternative sources of power. Many research scientists from renowned universities started working on this project like Stephen Salter, johnnes Falnes, Micheal E and John Newman. However this development fell drastically in 1980’s when the problem of oil was resolved.
Disadvantages of Wave Power, Challenges to Wave Power
Deployment of wave power technologies has many downsides and challenges. The devices require regular and strong wave energy in order to operate efficiently. The typical wave power ratio is 4 whereas the peak power capacity should be ten times more than that. The fluctuations in wave powers sometimes due to storm in ocean might result in project failure. The working of the device has to be fast and it requires fast transformation of waves into electric current. The major challenge is to align the fast electricity generators with steady turbines. The wave power is high but the speed is low hence the electric generator has to work accordingly. The damage to devices is obvious because the devices have to withstand the tough conditions like high salt content in changing waves and storms. The cost of producing electricity is high and so as the cost of maintenance and replacement of equipments. The total capital cost of wave power projects is high and it includes power take off system, mooring system and electricity delivery cost. Here are some hazards to nature as well by deploying wave power houses. The wave power plants generate high noise pollution and it tends to affect the marine life. It can also snatch the bread and butter of local fisherman.
What are Wind turbines and How Wind Turbines Works
It is important to understand the working of the electricity generating wave power devices; the reason is that this would help in overcoming the deficiencies in the process. The working of the electric wind turbines can be described by simple example of swimming pool. When the air is blown in and out of the water chamber it helps in generating waves. This movement of waves forces the air present in the chamber of the air to turn on the wind turbine. A wind turbine is placed in the hole of the air chamber and it is operated when the pressure of air increases due to the movement of water. This wind turbine is connected to the generator, which is then used to produce electric current. The energy and power we draw from the movement of waves in and out of the chamber is a renewable energy sources. This process produces much noise pollution but it can be controlled by installing silencers at both ends. There are many methods of installing the wave power plant like off shore project, on shore project and shoreline etc. one example of shoreline energy converter is situated in Isaly Island Scotland known as Limpet.