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A Green Energy Red Sea Serpent

Ironically In The Waters of Scotland

gallery08Pelamis is a giant red machine named after a sea serpent. More precisely, a yellow-bellied sea snake Pelamis platurus, one of the few known to thrive in the open sea, found throughout the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans from east Africa to Central America.

Designed by Pelamis Wave Power Ltd., based out of Edinburgh, Scotland, it is the brainchild of three engineers, Richard Yemm, who is now the company’s chief technical officer, Chris Retzler and Dave Pizer. When they founded the company in 1998, they had between them some 40 years of experience in hydraulics and engineering.

diagram02After a trying 2009 during which a technical issue was discovered during the Portugal project. It was tackled and solved resulting in the P2 Pelamis, but the investment company holding 77% of the project went under due to last year’s financial crises.

However like a snake shedding it’s skin for growth, Pelamis is back. Now there is a machine ordered, owned and in the water by the giant German power utility E.ON. Another ordered by Scottish Power is ready for sea trails, and an array of other investors are interested in the product.

Moored by the nose to let it turn into the waves, the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter is a semi-submerged, articulated structure composed of five cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints designed to undulate snake-like in the water when hit by big waves. The wave-induced motion of these joints is resisted by hydraulic pistons, which pump high-pressure fluid through hydraulic motors via smoothing accumulators. The hydraulic motors drive electrical generators to produce clean, sustainable, electricity. Power from all the sections is fed down a single umbilical cable to a junction on the sea bed.

diagram05The Pelamis is 180 meters (590 ft.) long and 4m (13 ft) in diameter and is rated at 750kW. Depending on the wave resource, machines will on average produce 25-40% of the full rated output over the course of a year. Each machine can provide sufficient power to meet the annual electricity demand of approximately 500 homes. Several devices can be connected together and linked to shore through a single seabed cable.

Once sea trials are completed, the machine will be towed up to Orkney Islands north of Scotland, home to the European Marine Energy Centre, (a UK government-funded test center for wave machines), where it will be deployed into the rich natural resources of wave action waters, linked into and start generating clean power to the grid.

… as the green future unfolds.

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8 Responses to “A Green Energy Red Sea Serpent”

  1. Eve Says:

    I am glad the Pemlamis Wave Energy project was able to keep going after the financial crisis. It is so important for clean energy to prevail and for minor set-backs to be overcome. I wish them well!

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Eve … Thank you and we are too! It seems that their storm is over and they have weathered it just fine. 😀

  3. Lissof Says:

    With our Well Lubricated Oceans, thanks to BP, this concept should take off and be a well received alternative to Fossil Fuel powered energy.

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof …. LOL! You crack me up!

  5. Barbara Says:

    I’m in agreement with Lissof. It funny, but it’s not if you know what I mean LOL!! This is very good and worthwhile information. If only we would get on with alternatives!
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..What’s The Truth-BP? =-.

  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … I know what you mean! I would love to alternatives start rolling…..

  7. demon tattoo designs Says:

    Good work ! Keep us posting, you are very good writer.

  8. Linda Says:

    Hi Demon …. Thank you and come back again!

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