Buoy harnesses ocean waves to create energy

By on Mar 14, 2011

 

Ocean Power Technology (OPT) recently finished construction of the company’s largest device to harness the power of ocean waves to deliver up to 150 kW of energy just from the natural movement of the seas. The PB150 PowerBuoy was build in Scotland and is slated to be deployed forr open-water trials about 33 nautical miles offshore of Scotland’s northeast coast.

OPT already has many small PowerBuoys deployed including a 40 kW buoy off the shore of Oahu, Hawaii but this is the largest to date, measuring in at 135 ft. long and 36 ft. in diameter near where the buoy breaks the ocean’s surface. Another PB150 is being assembled for testing in Oregon.

The PowerBuoy is an offshore wave energy converter with much of the buoy submerged below the surface. There is a piston-like structure inside that bobs with the rise and fall of the waves. The movement drives a generator, producing electricity and sent ashore through an underwater cable. The PowerBuoys can be configured into a powerplant, with identical buoys connected together on one power cable to produce the desired amount of electricity.

The buoys are anchored to the seafloor with a proprietary anchoring system the company says avoids harming or damaging the sea bed or sea life. OPT installs the buoys in around 100 to 150 feet of water.

[via Earth Techling]

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