Plans for sea energy device Searaser  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The BBC has a report on a wave power design from Britain - Plans for sea energy device Searaser.

A Devon inventor's electricity from seawater generator could be sited at 200 points around the UK coastline.

Energy firm Ecotricity wants to develop a commercial Searaser for testing off Falmouth in Cornwall and put hundreds around the coast in five years. Dale Vince of Ecotricity said the potential was "enormous".

The Searaser machine works by using wave energy to pump water up to container tanks and the water is then released to a hydro-electric turbine.

Searaser is the brainchild of British engineer Alvin Smith from Dartmouth. He came up with the idea about 10 years ago while he was playing with an inflatable ball in a swimming pool.

Searaser pumps seawater using a vertical piston between two buoys - one on the surface of the water, the other suspended underwater and tethered to a weight on the seabed.

As the ocean swell moves the buoys up and down, the piston works like a bicycle pump to send seawater through a pipe to an onshore turbine to produce electricity or to a coastal storage reservoir. It can then be released through a generator as required.

1 comments

Bob Wallace   says 1:53 AM

This isn't the first company to purpose this idea. We had a company working on the idea here in Northern California but along the way they dropped out. Apparently their wave pumps worked well in initial testing.

I think at least part of their problem was securing property on which to build their reservoir.

There's a huge advantage to this system, if it can be pulled off. The power would be dispatchable which makes it much more valuable.

Once established, the system could also be used for pump-up hydro storage when there is excess power on the grid. Just a matter of installing an electric driven pump and adequately sizing the turbine. It might be possible to use a combo turbine/pump for all purposes.

Additionally there's a secondary use for all that water pumped up from the ocean - fish farming. Use the initial up-flow go straight to farm tanks/ponds and the waste water from the farms go into the storage reservoir.

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