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The Color Of Wave Power Is Marine Green

Riding The Wild Surf Into A Green Future


Three-quarters of a mile off the shore of the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base on the east coast of Oahu, Hawaii, bobs a single PB40 PowerBuoy in 100 feet of water.

Deployed in December 2009, as part of ongoing program with the US Navy for ocean testing and demonstration of Ocean Power Technologies’ (OPT) PowerBuoys. Since deployment the sea trials have produced power in accordance with the system’s specifications for local wave conditions. This spring, they’re going to connect it to the base’s energy grid. When that happens, it will send up to 40 kilowatts of energy back to shore. That’s enough energy to power roughly two dozen homes.

Compact and modular in design, the PB40 PowerBuoy is less than 12 feet in diameter and 55 feet long. It is based on OPT’s proprietary design which is primarily below the sea surface when deployed, with minimal visual impact.

hawaii_photo2Many U.S. naval bases around the world are suitable for wave power stations. With that in mind, the Navy and OPT have been jointly advancing PowerBuoy technology for a number of years. This has resulted in significant advances to the PowerBuoy design and increased operational efficiency.

The rising and falling of the waves off shore causes the buoy to move freely up and down. The resultant mechanical stroking is converted via a sophisticated power take-off to drive an electrical generator. The generated power is transmitted ashore via an underwater power cable.

A 10-Megawatt OPT power station would occupy only approximately 30 acres (0.125 square kilometers) of ocean space.

Sensors on the PowerBuoy continuously monitor the performance of the various subsystems and surrounding ocean environment. Data is transmitted to shore in real time. In the event of very large oncoming waves, the system automatically locks-up and ceases power production. When the wave heights return to normal, the system unlocks and recommences energy conversion and transmission of the electrical power ashore.
• Buoys are spaced to maximize energy capture.

• Rugged, simple steel construction.

• Utilizes conventional mooring systems.

• Simple installation using existing marine vessels and infrastructure.

• Scalable to large power stations (100+ MW)

The OPT wave power project at Oahu underwent an extensive environmental assessment by an independent environmental firm in accordance with the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA). This study featured evaluation of potential impacts on: the seabed, fish and benthic organisms, mammals, vegetation, and water quality. The project study resulted in a finding of no significant impact (FONSI), which is the highest such environmental rating.

as the green future unfolds!

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13 Responses to “The Color Of Wave Power Is Marine Green”

  1. San Diego Boutique Hotels Says:

    Thats a really nice implementation to help protecting our environment with clean energy, the PowerBuoys are a smart energy solution for lots of homes on the islands…without spending lots of money.

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi San Diego .. Yep! these babies are really cool for all over the world.

  3. Lissof Says:

    These “proof of Concept” programs run by various government agencies will shake out the functional products, so that future investment is focused on reality enterprises.

    We will need many diverse applications in all of the categories of renewable energy, i.e. wind, solar, bio-fuels, hydro and geothermal; to tap local resources, around the world.

    Thanks for keeping up to date on recent activities.

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof … You are welcome! The diversity in these fields will be much needed so that humans can make their own choice along with their own affordability.

  5. ConnieFoggles Says:

    I’m happy to see the US getting into the action. Nice that it’s a small object yet so powerful too.
    .-= ConnieFoggles´s last blog ..No Better Deal Contest =-.

  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Connie … it is and it works!

  7. Level 5 EPCs Says:

    I am impressed with the content of the article. I have been trying this method and I have seen some real improvements. This method is very useful.

  8. Linda Says:

    Hi level 5 … Glad to hear it really works for ya. Thanks for letting us know.

  9. Christa Says:

    Is it in practice or just a prototype.I think its really a great idea for power generation.In the current scenario we should avail all the sources of healthy power generation.

  10. Linda Says:

    Hi Christa … It is in use as we speak and doing very well, I might add.

  11. Brad Says:

    Hey Linda!

    Another bit of innovation that looks terrific. Very fascinating.

    If it has the potential to save us money, I’m all for it! 🙂
    .-= Brad´s last blog ..Say Good-Bye? Never! =-.

  12. Linda Says:

    Hi Brad … OMG! You are starting to see green! Sooner or later, …. 😀

  13. her latest blog Says:

    her latest blog…

    The Color Of Wave Power Is Marine Green |…

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