New Tubes Using Hydraulic Pistons Could Harness Ocean Waves for Energy  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

Inhabitat has a post on a new wave power design - New Tubes Using Hydraulic Pistons Could Harness Ocean Waves for Energy.

The cylinders ride the peaks and troughs of waves, which spins concentric shafts working in pairs to push and pull hydraulic fluid (similar way to how a piston works). This double action then creates pressure which is stored in accumulators and released at a capped limit into a hydraulic motor. Etherington, who is an engineering graduate from Brunel University in London, got his inspiration for the device when he was kite surfing off the coast of Cumbria and he noticed that the waves rarely moved in a predictable fashion.

Replicating the unpredictable conditions of the ocean was one of the main challenges when testing the device. Etherington had to use data from buoys moored in the Orkney Islands which were used to create suitable waves in a water tank at Lancaster University. Since then, the engineer’s design has proved so good that it won him the UK round of the James Dyson Award, along with £2,000 (approx. $3230) to create a bigger prototype for further testing.

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