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Latest Wave Contraption – Hot or Not?

One of the first rules of the game when it comes to recommended site buy levitra canada energy is that every time you transfer energy from one form into another, a little bit spills out on the way. It is for this reason that I am generally skeptical when I read about a solar-to-electric-to-biofuel-to-battery-to-whatever technology. That being the case, let’s examine the Searaser:

Designed by British inventor (is that a real profession in Britain? I’ve always wanted to be an inventor...) Alvin Smith, the Searaser is a buoy connected to a piston. The buoy is fixed into place; as a result, it bobs up and viagra pfizer uk down with the waves. As it does, it turns the piston and pumps sea water through an undersea hose. The hose carries the discount cialis water to a high place (either on land or at sea), where it can fall back down to earth, spinning a turbine in the process.

On the one hand, the device itself seems simple enough and is reportedly on the cheap side. It would not use up any fresh water resources, since all the water travelling through the system would come from the ocean. But if the wave can turn the pistons, why not simply turn a generator underwater? Why go through the trouble of building long hoses and constructing artificial waterfalls?

It is possible that keeping the underwater parts simpler makes for a more robust system; if all the important parts are underwater then when they sink, you are sunk as well. This way, even if one of viagra price in canada the buoys breaks down, the important part is still on land. And maybe hoses are cheaper than underwater electric transmission wires. I hope my instincts are wrong; Smith calculates that a sizable fleet of his inventions could power millions of homes.

Via Cleantechnica

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Comments (19)Add Comment
A good idea indeed.
written by Gary, November 18, 2008
There are many benefits from pumping seawater to a higher location before converting to viagra 100mg england electrical energy. For one thing, output regulation is well controlled, and is determined by a constant factor (gravity) rather than the waves alone.

I am thinking however, that it would be more reliable to pump the sea water using electricity obtained from the national grid. This way, in days when the sea is cialis 20 calm power can still be generated.

If clean coal generated electricity was used to run the pumps then we have an excellent solution.
written by Bob Wallace, November 18, 2008
Seadog has been experimenting with this idea.

The advantage that I see is that by properly sizing the pump field and water reservoir one can guarantee power 24/365. There are times when there are few to no waves.

It also gets the electrical stuff out of the ocean and onto dry land where it's easier to service....
written by jtatarazuk, November 18, 2008
we should test something like this here in san francisco since we have plenty of ocean laying around.
A great idea
written by Charles H., November 18, 2008
Wow, i think this is such a simple and elegant idea. I work in the energy industry and I know that the fda approves cialis idea of working at sea is a nightmare for most energy companies. The cost is horrific, you are a slave to the sea conditions and health and safety is always a worry. It is one of the reasons I do not believe off-shore wind will ever become a mainstream energy solution.
Now back to this idea, if you can bring the water up to a reservoir on land then the power can be generated and distributed with "standard" technologies, vastly reducing cost and complexity. I would like to see how this system looks from a cost perspective but very nice to see new ideas!
written by Brian Drought, November 18, 2008
I am thinking however, that it would be more reliable to pump the sea water using electricity obtained from the national grid. This way, in days when the sea is calm power can still be generated.

If clean coal generated electricity was used to run the pumps then we have an excellent solution.

That has been done for years though with large artificial lakes.. nothing new there. It's not terribly efficient, but it does provide extra power for peak demand.

The beauty of this system is that during the night when the power isn't needed, you're storing up extra water in the artificial lake that can be used during the day... no electricity needed.
written by Rob, November 18, 2008
I wonder if it would be possible to use the same concept to run a series of lowest levitra price mechanical desalination micro-plants? Can this be done with simple water pressure? -- Use the waves to convert sea water to fresh water.
There is an Australian oil guy with simi
written by Travis, November 18, 2008
Featured in Popular Science or PopMech if I recall. Same idea, keep the complicated bits on land, KISS principle. He's using cheap, off the shelf, proven hardware from the oil patch (for example) and investing heavily in computer simulation technology so that he can maximize the efficiency. Cross your fingers, there's 6.7 billion of us who want to maintain or grow our standard of living.
simple indeed
written by Duane, November 18, 2008
One piston bobbing with the waves, pushing thru a one way valve is pretty simple. It is probably much simpler to tramadol fedex cod transmit that power with the hose then any electric generator on i use it usa generic viagra the buoy.
written by Rob Chant, November 18, 2008
Well, in response Gary, the idea of clean coal is, of course, insane. And even if it wasn't, why go to the trouble of using electricity to pump water so you can turn it back into electricity (apart from using it as a large battery)?

That aside, I definitely see the advantage of pumping water into a reservoir before converting to electricity, in order to assure a smooth output.

I can think of a problem though -- we all know that damming places up and turning them into big artificial lakes is pretty bad ecologically, and doubtless this scheme would need a lot of land. I can imagine it being even worse for the environment as this is salt water, too.
another design
written by avfuktare för krypgrund och vind, November 18, 2008
Another possible design would be to turn an archimedes screw with wave forces. That way it would work with low waves and big ones.
written by Bob Wallace, November 18, 2008
The land requirement is determined by the length of "no waves" time. That tends to be pretty short when you get above Cape Mendocino along the CA coast.

It's not like the overnight cialis generic very large reservoirs where winter flow is stored for summertime power production.
pipes out of water ?
written by litteuldav, November 18, 2008
I'm not sure if I understood well, but it seems like pipes are out of water, so exposed to wind, waves, sun , so called "weather".
And each buoy in the the array is moving up and down at its own pace, requiring a very flexible pipes system.

Won't that be difficult to safe online viagra engineer ?

@Gary : Clean coal simply doesn't exist.
land is limiting factor
written by Mark Bartosik, November 18, 2008
This is an example of levitra online us pumped storage.

The buoy provides the pump (nice simple low maintenance design).

The limiting factor is look here how can i buy cialis in canada likely the location. To be useful pumped storage needs both volume and head (pressure), or height above sea level in this case. You need to be able to locate a lake right by the coast at the right height above sea level.

In Wales (Britain) there is an example of pumped storage where a mountain was hollowed out, and water is pumped up hill using cheap off peak electricity, ready to release at peak demand.
Sea pipes aren't free from maintenence
written by Ian E, November 18, 2008
I've got some friends who work for big aquarium, and they have all kinds of issues with piping sea water around. They take in saltwater from the ocean and pump it into various tanks and branded levitra exhibits. They've got to periodically scrub the pipes intakes and valves of debris and critters to keep everything functioning. It's not uncommon for stuff to get caught in the intake which they usually can clear by reversing the pumps - but divers often have to go out and manually clean it out.

I can't really imagine a system like this having less issues than they do - which means the maintenance would actually be a nightmare.
written by Kevin, November 19, 2008
This does have big potential, since as Mark states, its basicly a giant battery.

I'm not sure if using buoys to pump it is going to be very cost effective like stated above working with salt water and potential debris in there seems like trouble to me
Link to Searaser-Site
written by Arne, November 19, 2008

The hose is kept underwater and is fastened to an underwater buoy, keeping movement of the hose minimal. I would think that there are materials able to withstand reasonable periods of time under those conditions...
written by Paul Barthle, November 22, 2008
I wonder if this technology could be used for simple desalinization? Pump seawater to a small water tower and use gravity to apply the viagra alternative hydraulic pressure needed for reverse osmosis. Remote beach homes and resorts could have an unlimited supply of safe drinking water. The leftover brine could even be used for wastewater treatment by electrically converting the salt to herbal alternative to cialis a chlorine compound. (Sorry, I forgot the brand name but once tried a battery powered device for camping that made a srong disinfectant from a few drops of water and some rock salt).
sea aquaculture land is like hens teeth
written by nnn, February 21, 2009
ponds of seawater are self maintaining if used for aquaculture. raising big weights seems a better gravitational store for other energy production. better than batteries or hydrogen
written by gordon craft, March 07, 2009
I agree with several of the comments you have received, especially the problems with salt, maintenance, and land use. As to difficult to engineer, - that's what engineers do! Overall, solving the world's energy problems will be an engineering and economics problem.
But if you really want to have an impact on ecology,wildlife protection, our children's future, and a sustainable environment, as well as energy, consider population control. Why not limit childbearing to two infants per father, or mother, (or couple). This would stabilize population? Anyone who wants to raise more can surely adopt. This would be better than conventional methods: war,famine, and decease. We need to get busy soon.

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