Wave Energy System | Engineering Dissertations

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1.0 Executive Summary

The offshore ocean wave energy resource, as a derivative form of solar energy, has considerable potential for making a significant contribution to the alternative usable energy supply.Wave power devices are generally categorized by the method used to capture the energy of the waves. They can also be categorized by location and power take-off system. The energy extraction methods or operating principles can be categorized into three main groups; (1) Oscillating water Column (OWC) (2) Overtopping Devices (OTD) (3) Wave Activated Bodies (WAB); Locations are shoreline, near shore and offshore.

This report discusses about Terminator wave energy devices which extend perpendicular to the direction of wave travel and capture or reflect the power of the wave. These devices are typically onshore or near shore; however, floating versions have been designed for offshore applications.

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2.0 Introduction

Traditional sources of energy such as oil, gas, and coal are non-renewable. They also create pollution by releasing huge quantities of carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere. In contrast, waves are a renewable source of energy that doesn’t cause pollution. The energy from waves alone could supply the world’s electricity needs.

The total power of waves breaking on the world’s coastlines is estimated at 2 to 3 million megawatts. In some locations, the wave energy density can average 65 megawatts per mile of coastline. The problem is how to harness wave energy efficiently and with minimal environmental, social, and economic impacts.

Ocean waves are caused by the wind as it blows across the open expanse of water, the gravitational pull from the sun and moon, and changes in atmospheric pressure, earthquakes etc. Waves created by the wind are the most common waves and the waves relevant for most wave energy technology. Wave energy conversion takes advantage of the ocean waves caused primarily by the interaction of winds with the ocean surface. Wave energy is an irregular oscillating low-frequency energy source. They are a powerful source of energy, but are difficult to harness and convert into electricity in large quantities. The energy needs to be converted to a 60 or 50 Hertz frequency before it can be added to the electric utility grid.

Part of the solar energy received by our planet is converted to wind energy through the differential heating of the earth. In turn part of the wind energy is transferred to the water surface, thereby forming waves.

While the average solar energy depends on factors such as local climate and latitude, the amount of energy transferred to the waves and hence their resulting size depends on the wind speed, the duration of the winds and the duration over which it blows. The most energetic waves on earth happen to be between 30 degrees to 60 degrees latitude,

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