Waves are Full of Energy, Sometimes Destructively So

A scale mockup of the Super Watt Wave Catcher Barge being tested in a wave pool. Source: Marine Energy.

Ocean waves are potential sources of energy that are powerful, often more readily available than wind and solar, and closer to population centers along coastlines.

But so far it is mostly just potential. Using the unpredictable changes of the ocean to drive the turbines of a large-scale floating generator is a problem, but hardly the only one that has yet to be solved.

“Wave energy current devices you put in the ocean need to be cost-effective and need to compete with what the other options are,” said Donald Gehring, president of Marine Energy Co.

The structural engineer, who has long made his living advising companies active in offshore oil and gas development, has developed a fascination with the challenges posed by wave power and has a design he thinks can reach the break-even level.

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Waves are Full of Energy, Sometimes Destructively So

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 August 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 8