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Mechanical Ocean Energy Conversion

Yesterday we explored Ocean Themal Energy Conversion and today we’ll move to mechanical harvest of the ocean’s energy. In the past, we’ve done an entry on tidal barrage which is one form of mechanical conversion using a reservoir system.

Illustration of channel reservoir system
Illustration of channel reservoir system

Fundamentally there are two ways to mechanically harvest ocean energy, using the wave motion and/or using tidal action. One of the simplest devices is the channel reservoir system which uses tidal action and wave action to capture water in a reservoir then uses gravity to release the water through a turbine.

Seapower floating reservoir system
Example of floating reservoir system (Seapower)

Commercial interest in reservoir systems has existed for some time with Sweden’s Seapower, Norway’s Norwave, Denmark’s Waveplane International, and Wave Dragon. The animated gif below shows the Wave Dragon floating platform that is intended to capture water from the waves breaching the outer rim of the device, holding the water in a reservoir, then allowing it to drain through a turbine generating electricity.

Wavedragon floating reservoir system

We’ll look at other harvest technologies in future entries.

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