Wave energy is form of energy produced with movement of ocean waves. These waves move on ocean through wind that blows across the sea. This energy is captured in form of kinetic energy and used for different purposes including power generation, movement of turbine and pumping water etc. Techniques and equipments used to convert wave energy into electricity are known as wave energy converter. Like Solar and Wind power, wave power is renewable natural resource of energy. Wave energy is still at its early stage of development and just two waves power plants are working worldwide.
How wave power works:
Idea of capturing energy from waves is not new, from ancient times sailors are using this power for different purposes but this concept disappeared after use of oil and other resources. But today, rising oil and fuel prices has brought this concept back and engineers are developing methods of collecting energy from waves of occens. To generate electricity from waves, energy is collected from shoreline. Different devices are attached near or offshore to transfer wave energy into electricity.
Terminator is a device that is placed on sea floor in perpendicular direction of wave. A terminator includes a stationary component and a component that moves in response to the wave. To maintain component stationary it is fixed in sea, while moving component moves up and down with pressure of water. It has two openings one at bottom and other at top. From one opening, water enters while from other it passes out and pressurizes air to make space for the flow. Pressure of air drives turbine and run the generator which produces electricity.
Another famous type of terminator is in form of overlapping device. This device is combination of a wall that collects water when it rises and stores it in reservoir. When this water escapes from reservoir, it rotates blades of turbine with its pressure and generates electricity.
Image and Video that will help you understand the working of wave / occen energy.
||This video demonstrates how wave energy works|
Obstacles for wave power:
Today wave energy is one of the biggest renewable energy sources but still this area is facing different issues with development and growth of this industry. Some experts say that today wave power can easily fulfill more than 10% energy requirements of world. Besides this, it is healthy alternate to other non-renewable resources but still it is highly expensive. Developers are trying many things to achieve their purpose and reduce the total cost spend on one wave power plant but they have not succeeded yet. Another limitation associated with this power is frequency of waves that does not remain constant. It is tough to run turbines at low frequency; therefore this cheapest source of energy is still not helping this world.
Importance of Wave energy in today’s energy crisis era:
Major reason of using wave energy is its environment friendly nature. We all know different natural sources are leaving bad effects on environment including carbon emission, greenhouse effects and noise population etc. Therefore, Wave Energy is considered as an best alternate to these sources. Other features that prefer to use this power includes
- It is easily available across the globe and will never end.
- Wave power plant devices are installed in water, in this way it does not leave bad visual impact on humans and birds etc.
- Once installation of wave power plant is completed, no heavy expenses will be needed to incur on this technology.
- Wave farms occupy less than half square miles of ocean and generate 30MW of power. This area is lesser than area covered by a conventional power plant.
Disadvantages associated with wave power:
- Frequency of waves does not remain same all the time, therefore sometimes you get energy and sometimes not.
- Some designs are noisy and can put bad effect on marine life living near the installed plant.
- Initial cost of installing wave power plant is high.