Using electric eels to generate power

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The electric eel generates large electric currents by way of a highly specialized nervous system that has the capacity to synchronize the activity of disc-shaped, electricity-producing cells packed into a specialized electric organ. The nervous system does this through a command nucleus that decides when the electric organ will fire. When the command is given, a complex array of nerves makes sure that the thousands of cells activate at once, no matter how far they are from the command nucleus. The electric eel has three abdominal pairs of organs that produce electricity: the Main organ, the Hunter’s and the Sachs organ. These organs comprise four fifths of its body.

These organs are made of electrocytes, lined up so that the current flows through them and produces an electrical charge. When the eel locates its prey, the brain sends a signal through the nervous system to the electric cells. This opens the ion channel, allowing positively-charged sodium to flow through, reversing the charges momentarily. The Sachs organ is associated with electrolocation. Inside the organ are many muscle-like cells, called electrocytes. The organ gives the electric eel the ability to generate two types of electric organ discharges, low voltage and high voltage. Each cells can only produce 0.15v, through working together the Sachs organ transmits a signal of about 10v in amplitude at around 25 Hz.

The signals by the Main organ and Hunter’s organ can be emitted at rates of several hundred Hz.

It is possible to use an electric eel to produce electricity. But consistency is the problem. For the electricity to be useful, the eel would need to keep releasing it at a constant rate.

It produces approximately 1 amp at 500v. An inverter to change the DC to AC. Due to the inconstant electric produced a stabilizer/regulator is connected to receive the AC power. The stabilizer removes the ripple and stabilizes the power to flow constantly. The electric eel generate current when it locates it prey. Electric eel feeds on frogs, fish and crustaceans.


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  • Name:
    Joseph Andrew Acquah
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