Harnessing the power of waves to create electricity seems to be on the verge of viability. But there's one application of wave power that makes more sense than any others, yet I've never seen even a design, let alone a prototype, of a wave -powered boat.
Well, those days are over! And here it is. The Suntory Mermaid, with captain Kenichi Horie. The boat will go from Hawaii to Japan in two or three months using nothing but the power of the waves to propel it. Those solar panels on the top, if you're wondering, are just for powering the interior electronics.
As waves pass underneath the boat, two fins at the rear rise and fall, converting the wave's energy into "dolphin-like kicks." The waves will propel the boat at a maximum speed of five knots...not something to really be all that proud of, but we are talking about the first of its kind here.
A diesel-powered boat would complete the same journey twice to three times as fast, but, really, being able to harness the power of waves so effectively on a moving object is something I wouldn't have thought possible.
The real question is whether there's any advantage to wave power over wind power. Wind-powered boats, after all, are a pretty well-developed technology, and similarly renewable.
written by marguerite manteau-rao, February 28, 2008
written by Azalia Short, February 28, 2008
written by Buck, February 29, 2008
written by Magnulus, February 29, 2008
written by Mark Babinaux, August 06, 2008
written by Raven Lee, March 09, 2010
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