Energy from Ocean Waves

Today everyone is after green energy. As we know the supply of fossil fuels are going to end. Our worlds only hope is in green energy. I was browsing youtube to learn about green energy sources and saw this simple but amazing video of an amateure idea.

What is so great about this idea is that it has a lot of room for improvements. I like the second idea better as I think it is more easier to implement because in the first idea you have to keep columns of cylinders in vertical position on the waves. That can be tricky. Also the waves are stronger near the shore so a spot near the shore is better for implementation of these kinds of power plants.


Its working is simple. As you can see in the video it has a cylinder-piston arrangement like an engine cylinder. It has an inlet valve to intake air during the suction stroke (not exactly the term to be used) and at the outlet valve there is the turbine. So when the piston moves downward the inlet valves open sucking air at atmospheric pressure. During the upward movement of the piston these valves close forcing the high pressure air through the turbine.

Areas which needs improvement:

1. The material of the piston plug: The creator of the video says that the material used for the piston plug should be lighter than water inorder to make it float. this is not necessary. If the piston plug properly seals the cylinder then it will create the upward and downward movements as intended. The problem with a light piston plug is that during the downward movement it need not come down as expected, especially when the waves don’t have a fixed frequency.

2. Stroke length: The stroke length, along with the settings on the exhaust valve determines how much pressure is created within the cylinder. The stroke length will vary depending on the height of the waves. For the same location the waves are higher at dawn and dusk. They will be low during noon times, so the length of the stroke will vary and so will be the power output. Some measures have to be taken to keep the power output constant. You will have to find out what they are.

3. Exhaust valve:
The exhause valve should open only at a pre-determined pressure. Otherwise the cylinder will fail to build up enough pressure for the turbine to rotate.

4. Lubrication: I don’t think lubrication will be necessary as the pistin plug and the cylinder will be in constant touch with sea water.

5. Corrosion: Salt water is corrossive. So a bit research is needed to find suitable materials for turbine, cylinder and piston plug.

6. Shape of the cylinder: The whole cylinder need not of of fixed diameter. Reduce the diameter of the top portion to increase the flow of air through the turbine, like a syringe.

Feel free to share any missing points. Have a happy project time.

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