Monday, November 16, 2009

CleanPower from Waves


As the conventional sources of energy are dwindling, scientists are continuously looking for alternative sources of energy. We are frequently reading about generation of alternative and clean energy from unconventional sources. Portugal built Agucadoura, the world’s first wave farm off its coast. This wave farm has three Wave Energy Converters which are producing a total of 2.25MW.
f we can trap the wave power of oceans as a new alternative energy resource most of our energy crisis can be resolved. It is estimated that if we can install these 142m long wave energy converters all over the world’s oceans, 2 terawatts of power can be harnessed — twice the consumption of the entire world. We all know that this kind of alternative energy solution will be quite impractical to implement but we can definitely trap the ocean wave clean powerhouses for small-scale rollout. These types of alternative energy resources can provide the necessary respite for an energy-starved planet.

Currently four cylindrical caterpillar-look-alike converters are being used to harness the wave power. These carbon steel cylindrical wave energy converters are 142m long and weigh 700 ton. They are designed and built by Pelamis Wave Power generating a total of 2.25MW. These wave energy converters produce clean electricity for 1,500 homes at peak hours. The Agucadoura station will open another 25 Pelamis units later on, thus generating 21MW of power. They will save 60,000 tons of CO2 per year compared to a conventional fossil fuel plant. Humankind has realized that ocean waves can prove to be good alternative energy resources.

Each wave converter consists of four articulated sections. When the waves move up and down these four sections move too. At the hinges between sections, hydraulic rams utilize the wave motion to drive generators, producing power. This energy is transported by underwater electrical cable to the Agucadoura substation and fed into the Portuguese national grid.

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