This might not seem like the most glamorous bit of the energy revolution, but cables are a big frikkin' deal. And though superconductors are pretty sexy, regular old conducting cables can get pretty fancy too. Particularly when they're under 300 to 1000 feet of salt water.
In this video Gavin Harper takes us on a little tour of how complex a wire really can be. First you have two layers of thin bundled steal cables to protect the cable from stresses. Obviously, the ocean can exert a massive amount of mechanical energy, otherwise we wouldn't be building wave power plants at all.
The materials used to house and insulate the wires have to be changed as well. Since weight isn't a problem, but water-proofing is, heavy rubber is used to insulate the three copper conductors. Also included in the cable are fiber optic wires for communicating with the power-generating structures, be they tidal turbines, wave generators, or offshore wind turbines.
All-together, what once seemed like a pretty simple idea gets massively complicated. But it's just one more little step we've got to take toward a renewable future.
Filmed at EMEC - the European Marine Energy Centre, Orkney, UK,
written by Luke, July 21, 2008
written by The Food Monster, July 21, 2008
written by Gavin D. J. Harper, July 22, 2008
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