A forgotten cousin of the wind and water energy is wave power. Created by the surface waves on the ocean, this form of
energy is being considered by various research scientists as a viable renewable energy option for electricity generation.
History and Research
Since the 1890s research in some form or the other has been underway to generate viable electricity using the waves. In fact, in the year 2008, the first of its kind experimental wave farm was also established in Portugal, at the Agucaduora Wave Park. Even today, various scientists from across the world are working to make energy generation using waves viable.
How Wave Energy Works
The working of this clean energy is based on the transfer of power from wind to water. As waves are formed continually by a combined action of earths gravitational pull, size of the moon and the earths rotation, this energy is regularly generated. Energy transfers are noted to be made from the wind to waves every time the speed of the waves is lesser than the wind speed. However wave power is not just determined by this, but a combination of wave speed, wavelength and water density. Wave energy generated at the ocean level is sent through a turbine that in turn powers generators which provide electricity.
A few options
Wave Energy Converters or WECs are employed for the purpose of tapping this renewable energy form. In the light of modern technology, various devices are used to capture the energy in different ways. Pelamis Wave Power for instance, uses a floating tube, while Renewable Energy Holdings makes use of an underwater machine. You can learn more how it works from numerous renewable energy articles online. An interesting list compiled here lists a few such projects across the world. Though various kinds of equipment are being tested across various research stations, the challenge of generating sufficient amounts of power continues to be on.
Wave power does offer the continuous and steady green energy promise. However energy generation in high amounts, during rough weather and with consistency continues to be a challenge that wave energy experts continue to battle. Until then, the research goes on.