Green energy from machine with ocean waves

British scientists are developing the next seabed to the Atlantic coast of the Orkney Islands (UK), the installation of a new large machine called Oyster, designed to harness energy from ocean waves and converting it into “green” electricity . In autumn 2009, the first tests will be done to test whether this technology can be a commercial source of renewable energy, and if you can use in coastal areas around the world.

Unlike many other mechanisms of harnessing the energy of waves, Oyster uses hydraulic technology to transfer wave power to shore, where it is transformed into electricity. According Ronan Doherty, technical director of the team that developed the prototype of Oyster, a key aspect of its design is an oscillator of 18 meters wide, which uses tanks waves and based on research conducted at Queen’s University of Belfast under the direction of Trevor Whittaker.

This oscillator is connected to pistons and, when activated by wave action, high pressure water pumped to shore through an undersea pipeline. On the ground, a conventional hydroelectric generators convert this high pressure water into electrical energy.

“The whole field of electricity generation from wave power is a pioneer,” Doherty says. However, “Oyster technology is truly innovative, because it is based on simplicity. The component is located in the sea (a spoiler high reliability with a minimum of moving parts submerged) is the key to success when operating in marine areas with adverse weather conditions, in which maintenance can be very difficult. Has no generator, power electronics or underwater gear boxes that can be damaged. The entire complex equipment power generation is perfectly accessible by land, “adds the researcher.

The Oyster is designed to be installed in waters near the coast, at a depth of between 12 and 16 meters, to get the most consistent marine area and a directional wave propagation closer. The height and the load of the waves are reduced to increase its life, and allows a high percentage of average annual production and constant energy distribution. Any energy surplus exceeds the top of the wing, as their rotation capacity allows you to literally dive beneath the waves.

According to scientists, the environmental risks associated with this device are minimal, since it uses only water and hydraulic fluid instead of oil. Furthermore, the process does not involve any toxic substances, and operation is quiet. According to figures from the Carbon Trust, the annual carbon savings of each machine can reach 500 tons.

Although at an early stage of development, the concept of Oyster has broad potential for use in many parts of the world. “Our computer model best suited for the application of this technology in Europe coastal states that are suitable candidates Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the United Kingdom. But worldwide there is a huge scope in areas such as the northwest coast of the US and the coast of South Africa, Australia and Chile. We estimate that the potential market could exceed 50,000 million pounds, “concludes Doherty.tigador.