Waves are among one of the renewable resources of energy. It can generate energy without damaging the ecological order of this earth. However, the generation of energy via waves is one of the most complex procedures and is waiting for more and more development. Climatologists are focusing on devising better ways to gain the power from the surface of ocean in areas where wind blows swiftly.
Wave energy is that energy which is extracted either from the surface of the waves or from the fluctuations beneath the surface of the waves. Wave power devices are used to collect the wave energy. It is impossible to harness wave energy in all nooks and corners of the world. However, the richest wave energy parts of the world are northwestern costs of United States, western costs of Scotland, southern Africa, northern Canada and Australia. The energy of ocean waves is more potent than many other natural phenomenons. Many technologies have been proposed and utilized to extract energy from the waves, some plans are under consideration. These technologies are designed by keeping in mind location like far offshore, near shore and offshore. Offshore systems are installed in great depths of water nearly more than 131 feet (40 meters).
The similarity in all these technologies is their association with water, however they vary in their orientation based on how they will interact with the waves and what will be the procedure of generating energy. Now let us discuss some of the technologies.
- Terminator Devices: These devices stand vertical to the direction of wave movement. They are installed in a near shore location, there mobile versions are also available.
- Point Absorber: The floating structure comprised of parts that are moved by the wave. Their motion is relative and used to run hydraulic or electro chemical energy terminators.
- Oscillating Water Column: In this technique water enters into the air trapped chamber through a subsurface slit. The air thus move up and down like piston by the wave action, the waves push wind to the compartment where turbine is placed.
- Attenuators: The long multi fragment mobile structures are projected in the direction of the waves. Variable heights of waves flex the connection of these segments where flexing is attached to converters like hydraulic pumps.
- Overtopping: This device has compartments that reserve incoming waves in level higher than the average level of ocean. This water is then released which is pulled down by the gravity and in its course to went back to ocean the water moves the hydro turbines.
Wave power stations are not found in abundance because it is very hard to harness energy from tides (the system depends on the blowing wind) and then to transform it into electricity. There are some environmental factors which must be kept in mind. Let us have a look at them.
- Installation of these waves based power stations is quite expensive. Its maintenance is also complex due to huge compartments.
- If pollutants or other chemicals get discharged in case of accident than the aqua life is directly affected. Strong measures with constant monitoring must be maintained to avoid any critical situation.
- A very common problem with these stations is the noise made by the wind. These voices can be only avoided by silence filters. Waves themselves create a lot of noise.
- Additional submerged surface of the stations also affect the marine life. The sea level also shifts as a result of these wave power stations. Ways should be discovered to save the habitants of ocean from getting in touch with the power station and the electricity generators.
- The stations are also troublesome for those who love to spend their leisure time within sea. Thus these stations suffer criticism from recreational and tourist departments.
The system of extracting power from waves will be mature very soon and it is expected that some of the coastal areas will be able to fulfill the ever increasing demand of power for their population. This is an expensive but a natural source of collecting energy and will be utilized for the greater benefit of mankind.Advertisement
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