Wave power

Wave power refers to the energy of ocean surface waves and the capture of that energy to do useful work — including electricity generation, desalination, and the pumping of water (into reservoirs). Wave power is a form of renewable energy. Though often co-mingled, wave power is distinct from the diurnal flux of tidal power and the steady gyre of ocean currents. Wave power generation is not currently a widely employed commercial technology although there have been attempts at using it since at least 1890 [, 204 pp. See page 7.]

Discussion of Salter's Duck

While historic references to the power of waves do exist, the modern scientific pursuit of wave energy was begun in the 1970s by Professor Stephen Salter of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in response to the Oil Crisis.

His invention became known as Salter's Duck, although it was officially referred to as the Edinburgh Duck. In small scale controlled tests, the Duck's curved cam-like body can stop 90% of wave motion and can convert 90% of that to electricity. [ [http://www.mech.ed.ac.uk/research/wavepower/EWPP%20archive/duck%20efficiency%20&%20survival%20notes.pdf Edinburgh Wave Energy Project] ] The machine has never gone to sea, primarily because its complex hydraulic system is not well suited to incremental implementation, and the costs and risks of a full-scale test would be high. Most of the designs being tested currently absorb far less of the available wave power, and as a result their remain far away from the theoretical maximum.

According to sworn testimony before the House of Parliament, The UK Wave Energy program was shut down on March 19, 1982, in a closed meeting, [ [http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200001/cmselect/cmsctech/291/1031409.htm Memorandum submitted by Professor S H Salter, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Edinburgh] House of Commons, UK Parliament] the details of which remain secret. The members of the meeting were recruited largely from the nuclear and fossil fuels industries, and the wave programme manager, Clive Grove-Palmer, was excluded.

An analysis [ [http://www.earthsci.org/mineral/energy/wavpwr/wavepwr.html Water Power Devices] ] of Salter's Duck resulted in a miscalculation of the estimated cost of energy production by a factor of 10, an error which was only recently identified. Some wave power advocates believe that this error, combined with a general lack of enthusiasm for renewable energy in the 1980s (after oil prices fell), hindered the advancement of wave power technology. [ [http://www.greenleft.org.au/1992/64/2832 The untimely death of Salter's Duck] from GreenLeftOnline July 1992]

ee also

Renewable energy

Renewable energy effectively uses natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat, which are naturally replenished. Renewable energy technologies range from solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity/micro hydro, biomass and biofuels for transportation. main|Renewable energy

Ocean energy

*Pelamis wave energy converter
*Wave farm
*Tidal power
*Ocean energy
*Ocean thermal energy conversion

Other renewable energy

*Wind power
*Solar power
*Geothermal power


*World energy resources and consumption


*US patent|3928967 — "Apparatus and method of extracting wave energy" - The original "Salter's Duck" patent
*US patent|4134023 — "Apparatus for use in the extraction of energy from waves on water" - Salter's method for improving "duck" efficiency
*US patent|6194815 — "Piezoelectric rotary electrical energy generator" - Assignee: [http://www.oceanpowertechnologies.com/index.htm Ocean Power Technologies]
*US patent application|20040217597 — "Wave energy converters utilizing pressure differences" - [http://www.exn.ca/video/?video=exn20051114-buoy.asx| PowerBuoy Video]


* citation
title=Renewable Energy Resources
first2=Anthony D.
last2= Weir
publisher=Taylor & Francis
, 601 pp.


External links

Institutional links

* [http://www.oceanrenewable.com Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition]
* [http://www.eu-oea.com/ European Ocean Energy Association]
* [http://www.emec.org.uk/ The European Marine Energy Centre Ltd.]
* [http://web.mit.edu/ehl/www/uwenergy/ MIT Underwater Energy Research Group]
* [http://www.waveenergy.dk Danish Wave Energy Society]
* [http://www.iea-oceans.org/ IEA - Ocean Energy Systems]
* [http://eecs.oregonstate.edu/wesrf/ WESRF - Wallace Energy Systems & Renewables Facility]

News articles and compilations

*cite web | title=Power From the Restless Sea Stirs the Imagination | author=Kate Galbraith | date=September 22, 2008 | publisher=New York Times | url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/23/business/23tidal.html?em | accessdate=2008-10-09
* [http://www.economist.com/search/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11482565 "Wave Power: The Coming Wave"] from the Economist, June 5, 2008
* [http://www.vbresearch.com/images/VBRSectorFocusMarinePower3Dec07.pdf "Is wave power commercially viable?"]
* [http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/1992/64/64cenb.htm "The untimely death of Salter's Duck"]
* [http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/14268/ "Ocean Power Fights Current Thinking"]
* [http://www.publicaddress.net/default,4132.sm "Wave energy in New Zealand"]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1032148.stm "How it works: Wave power station"]
*" [http://www.seafriends.org.nz/oceano/waves.htm Oceanography: Waves] . Theory and principles of waves, how they work and what causes them", at Seafriends, New Zealand
* [http://www.worldwideflood.com/flood/waves/waves.htm "Waves"]
* [http://gazettetimes.com/articles/2005/02/05/news/top_story/sat01.prt Waves power future] from the Corvallis Gazette Times, February 5, 2005
* [http://www.wavetrain.info/?page=347&wnsid=b426ea6a7979ba6f01bad7d2a9870e32 EU Wavetrain project] — A series of full-text, on-line scientific publications on physical concepts.

Wave climate and forecasts

*Information on the long-term statistics of ocean waves can be found at the KNMI [http://www.knmi.nl/waveatlas wave atlas] .
*The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides imagery and forecasts of [http://www.lajollasurf.org/swpa.html wave height] on a global scale. On-line [http://www.lajollasurf.org/gblpac.html NOAA animation] of a user-specified region-of-interest can be set to either wave height or wave period forecasts.

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