Energy Position Paper

1385 words - 6 pages

By using the endless power of ocean waves, endless energy can be created. Wave power plants have a simple, yet practical way of harnessing the endless energy that ocean waves provide. Although the development of harnessing this renewable source of energy is still in its infancy, many predict that this underdog of a resource could be used worldwide in the near future.
Wave power plants are able to harness renewable energy by using the ocean's waves. There are several different types of wave power plants, but most behave in a similar way. Most have a mechanical object that is affected by the ocean's waves. That mechanical object is then connected to some sort of generator, thus creating electrical power.
There are several popular wave power plants, one of which is the Pelamis wave energy converter. This wave plant is a large red and yellow snakelike object that simply sits on the surface of the ocean and generates power from the waves. The Pelamis wave plants are red and yellow since those are the two easiest colors to see in the ocean. The snakelike structures generate power anytime ocean waves cause it to move in a wavy motion. These types of wave plants are typically installed six miles from any coastline and are attached to the ocean floor with steel cables. Also, each plant is capable of generating enough electrical power to provide for 500 homes ("Pelamis Technology," n.d.).
Another type of wave power plant is the Searaser. Searasers simply use a large metal buoy that bobs up and down in the surf. As the metal buoy floats up and down with the tide, electricity is generated and stored. The Searasers are normally located fairly close to the shoreline. The reason for this is because Searasers do not store the electricity they generate. Unlike the Pelamis wave plant, Searasers take electricity that they generate, and immediately send it to a turbine that is onshore ("Seamills," n.d.). Another fact about the Searaser is that just like the Pelamis wave plant, the Searaser is also attached to the sea floor. Instead however, the Searasers are anchored to the sea floor. The reason that the Searaser is anchored to the floor is because the developers want the product to be able to withstand the ocean's strong waves and storms. There is only one downside to the Searaser, and that is that the developers do not have a product readily available. The developers however, have said that they will have some sort of prototype ready for testing by 2014.
It seems as if the Searaser would be the best choice. This is because they are fairly close to the shoreline, and they are anchored to the sea floor instead of just cabled. This is very important because wave power plants must be able to withstand the harsh environments of the ocean. The technology that is used in wave plants must be able to go through a lot of strain due to the unpredictable environment of the ocean. Due to this, the price of a wave power plant is quite high.
An important factor that wave...

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