How Waves Form?
- Differential warming of the earth causes pressure differences in the atmosphere, which generate winds.
- As winds move across the surface of open bodies of water, they transfer some of their energy to the water and create waves.
- A few factors determine how strong an individual wave will be. These include:
- Speed of wind: The faster the wind is traveling, the bigger a wave will be.
- Time of wind: The wave will get larger the longer the length of time the wind is hitting it.
- Distance of wind: The farther the wind travels against the wave (known as fetch), the bigger it will be.
Of the 173,000 TW of solar power arriving at the earth’s atmosphere, 114,000 TW is absorbed in the atmosphere, oceans and the earth’s surface. About 1200 TW of this thermal energy is then converted into the kinetic energy of the wind.
How much energy and what types?
- 250 Billion barrels of oil worth of energy coming into ocean every day
- 80 million barrels of oil per day produced
Theoretical global resource of ocean energy:
- 8,000-80,000 TWh/yr for wave energy
- 800 TWh/yr for tidal current energy
- 2,000 TWh/yr for salinity gradient energy
- 10,000 TWh/yr for ocean thermal energy
- World’s electricity consumption 17,000 TWh/yr
History of marine energy convertors
An early application of wave energy was a device constructed around 1910 by Bochaux-Praceique to light and power his house at Royan, near Bordeaux in France.
From 1855 to 1973 there were already 340 patents filed in the UK alone.
Modern scientific pursuit of wave energy was pioneered by Yoshio Masuda’s experiments in the 1940s. He has tested various concepts of wave-energy devices at sea. The development of the wave energy technology grew rapidly, particularly in oceanic countries such as Ireland, Denmark, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Furthermore, international organizations, such as the International Energy Agency and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), are heavily involved in the development of wave energy devices. In 2001, the International Energy Agency established an Ocean Energy System Implementation Agreement to facilitate the coordination of ocean energy studies between countries. In 2007, the IEC established an Ocean Energy Technical Committee to develop ocean energy standards.
Advantages of wave energy
- Renewable: The best thing about wave energy is that it will never run out. Unlike fossil fuels, which are running out, the waves flow back from the shore, but they always return.
- Environment Friendly: also, unlike fossil fuels, creating power from waves creates no harmful byproducts such as gas, waste and pollution
- Free: The energy is free – no fuel is needed, no waste produced.
- Not expensive to operate and maintain.
- Can produce a great deal of energy.
- It is a reliable source
- Easily predictable
- No Damage to Land
- Available 24/7 on 365 days: therefore, power produced from them is much steadier and more predictable – waves can be accurately predicted 48 hours in advance and therefore forecast energy output (BUT irregularity in wave amplitude, and direction)
- Good data on waves from wave monitoring buoys
- Wave energy contains 1000 times the kinetic energy of wind (can produce the same amount of power in less space)
Disadvantages of Wave Energy
- Suitable to Certain Locations: The biggest disadvantage to getting your energy from the waves is location. Only power plants and towns near the ocean will benefit directly from it.
- Effect on marine Eco-system: As clean as wave energy is, it still creates hazards for some of the animals near it
- Wavelength: Depends on the waves – sometimes you will get loads of energy, sometimes almost nothing.
- Needs a suitable site: where waves are consistently strong.
- Weak performance in rough weather.
- Maintenance and weather effects
- capital costs: Currently the major obstacles towards wave energy commercialization are the high capital costs of wave energy devices (translated into high electricity unit costs for power generation) and the adverse working weather conditions that these devices have to endure, requiring additional safety features which results in escalation of the capital costs.
- Noise and Visual
- Effect on fish, marine mammals, and birds: The presence of these buoys may affect fish, marine mammals, and birds as they pose a minor collision risk or they may either attract organisms to the device or cause them to avoid the site.
Today the sea is a rich source of energy, From the energy of the waves to the potential used by the sea to raising fish.
Having enough knowledge of the sea to take advantage of this rich resource help you to achive your goals correctly.
Marinnor R&D team with the marine expertise can help you in this subject ,contact us.