Generation Of Electric Energy From Ocean Waves

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The proposed system is a number of buoys placed along the coast lines of USA to harvest the energy in water waves reaching the USA coast every day.

The suggested solution consist of several buoys, released next to each other in the ocean. Each buoy has a center located, vertical pipe, open in each end. The oscillation of the buoy will make water inside the pipe move up and down. A propeller turbine, located inside the pipe, will rotate with the water motion. The rotation is making a PM generator generate an AC voltage for each movement of the buoy. The AC is rectified and the resulting DC voltage is sent to the shore line via a flexible, electric cable. As several buoys are delivering power, the pulsating power from each buoy will average out to a steady DC voltage that can be converted to AC via readily available DC to AC converters.

Each buoy is about 20 feet in diameter and about 30 feet high. The inside pipe is about 3 - 4 feet diameter and each buoy should be able to generate of about 30 kW of power during a "normal" weather day [2]. The power generation is, to a certain amount, self regulating as the buoy would be partly under water during severe storms and not energy would be added when submerged.

The idea is to use a buoy that is conical shaped. By filling the buoy with a various amount of water in ballast tanks the buoy can be tuned to harvest maximum energy from the waves. The "bopping" frequency of a buoy is determined by the water density, the weight of the buoy and the area of the buoy at the water line. An onboard computer can adjust the water in the ballast tanks to optimize the wave – buoy interaction thereby maximized the power output from the buoy.

The manufacturing of the buoys would be manufactured by any mechanical workshop with enough lifting and welding capacity to work with steel sheet of needed thickness. The manufacturing should, for convenience, be located close to the shore line to avoid transportation problems with the reatively large size of the structure.
There is no cost relation calculated. It is expected that the buoys should be less than half of the present costs of wind mills of equal power/energy size.
[1] www.boem.gov/.../ocean-wave-energy.aspx
[2] en.Wikipedia.org/wave_power

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Hans Hammarquist
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Profession:
    Engineer/Designer
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
    never
  • Hans's favorite design and analysis tools:
    My brain
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    Radio Ham
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  • Hans is inspired by:
    The low visibility and easy implementation of electric energy generation compared to wind energy with large wind mills. The irritation to see present solutions to harvest wave energy.
  • Software used for this entry:
    My Brain
  • Patent status:
    none