Gestic motions of ocean waves are long considered substantive kinetic resource. For centuries ringing navigation bells, since 1880’s using OWC oscillating water column buoys to blow whistles, and since 1947 when the Yoshio Masuda OWC buoy generated electricity, I.L. Roberts' 1881 U.S. Patent 250,104 is the first modular wave power machine. Despite 22 years since Edwin Drake uncovered oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania, 29 years after Abraham Gesner made kerosene from crude petroleum, 50 years since Michael Faraday demonstrated non-static electricity generation by passing a magnet through coils of copper wire, 92 years after Jan Rudolph Deiman and Adriaan Paets van Troostwijk used static electricity for water electrolysis that produced hydrogen and oxygen gases, and 104 years since Henry Cavendish isolated hydrogen, Roberts’ wave energy machine employed buoy-driven racks and pinion gears to rotate a common axle affixed with wheel and drive belt. Mechanical motions were preferred over the still mysterious, sometimes shocking results of mixing electricity and water. Concurrent with early stages of electrification and oil extraction, and during a most naturally moderated world climate, if wave energy electrical generators and water electrolyzers were then developed to flourish, conceivably, hydrocarbon, nuclear, and related utility process waste mismanagement now would be non-conventional, unnecessary energy. Absent, allayed, or minimal would be deleterious results of subterranean fossil hydrocarbon retrieval, exploitation, and aerosolized dispensation within Earth’s biosphere.
Short-sight and oversight, of all the technological effort to extract hydrocarbons from deeper waters, render excuses of inconvenience. Yet of great value is that renewable ocean energy facilities empower wider activity that does not interfere land. Toward such promising future, and for so long overshadowed by solar and wind power, a major energy resource is utility–scale electrical generation from MHK marine hydrokinetics. Estimates of potential indicate that world energy demand is satisfied if less than 0.02% of renewable ocean energies are converted to electricity. Per unit area volume, comparatively, deeper ocean waves are compact energy carrier having intensity several times that of solar or wind. MHK, and particularly electricity generated from waves, has advantage using unlimited movements that are concentrated from several dynamic processes. Open water wave conversion provides five major benefits: direct absorption of amplifying forces in energy dense ocean waters; helping to manage the enlarging “supplemental” seawater de-resalination source of potable fresh water and cyclable minerals; electrolyzed hydrogen fuel potential; motive source for oxygen injection; and devices low profile footprint precludes land consent and use issues while buffering waves’ sediment transport. Once deployed, wave energy conversion apparatus require no fuel or emissions retrofit. No hydrocarbon, particulate, CO carbon monoxide, CO2 carbon dioxide, N2O nitrous oxide, or SO2 sulfur dioxide emissions are generated. Marine hydrokinetics and wave energy conversion are poised for exceptional growth when such true costs are objectively valued.
The modular, self-referencing OWEC® Ocean Wave Energy Converter was invented 1978, 97 years after Roberts' patent, when pollution rampaged United States. Dependence on inflated world market prices of refined petroleum, derivatives, and oil imports also were perceived as deterrent to domestic sovereignty. OWEC® inception near preceded a friend’s death, and inventor’s coma, induced from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. As a homo sapiens “module”, personal tragedy exemplified larger environmental calamity beset by society. Quest hardened to formulate non-polluting power generation and energy storage means specifically absent CO and CO2 process effluents. Through philosophy that any human activity seems to adversely affect other nature, manufacture and deployment of wave energy technology focus on “minimum systems” inflicting least water displacement and environmental impact. On or near shore convenience inevitably gives way to primarily offshore and deeper deployment sites.
OWECO experimented with the first wave-driven linear electrical generators, rectifier designs, buoy shapes including resonantly tuned cylinders, and construction materials, patent issued 1980, and performed 1982 wave tank tests of three working models. OWEC® operation and electrical output elucidated design improvements that culminated in 1987 patent authored, drafted, and prosecuted by the inventor. Following a decade of grant applications, dry trials and analysis of full size linear-rotary generators were completed, 1989-90, during the first USA federal contract award for wave energy conversion. Small Business Innovation Research activity focused on using wave energy to operate US Coast Guard active signal AtoN Aids to Navigation. Tests rendered power points for refining a technology engineering program that virtually describes all ranges of energy input, module sizes, and electrical output. OWECO engineers developed computational fluid dynamic and structural analyses. Electrical control and power take-off are examined relating to large buoy dynamics. 2008 U.S. Patent 7,352,073 and 2014 U.S. Patent 8,810,056 resulted. Experiment and sea trials raise data accuracy. Then the verified program is a most important tool for system modeling, module specifications, manufacturing standards, and process control.
Intensifying need of in situ electricity is predicted for ocean activity of several traditional and emerging technologies. Off-grid power systems and autonomous techniques initially supplant offshore electrical generation methods that depend on regeneration from land-based sources. As example the practice of using non-renewable fuel or battery operated equipment requires repeated service and component replacement during a performance period. Though solar panels have been phased in to power quite specialized and interesting uses, clouding, salt deposition effects, and wave batter remain problematic for industrial deployments. Often the scope of offshore floating wind installations, particularly high freeboard or counterweighted structures, exceeds appropriate size for lower power applications. Costly maintenance frequency is reduced when utilizing indigenous power supplied from efficient mechanisms that convert water wave hydrokinetic energy.
With low initial outlay, and flexible build-out or reduction as needed, self-stabilized OWEC® Ocean Wave Energy Converters power a range of small-scale or niche functions. OWEC® operates singly or, preferably, in triad formations of three connected units that are quickly assembled with other triads. Diminutive size and number modules deploy to assist or replace prime charging sources of discrete marine AtoN, environmental monitoring instruments, and by example as “drive-up” recharge stations for ROV remotely operated vehicles, AUV autonomous underwater vehicles, or larger vessels. Energy from spot undulations is marketable for such application yet spatially diffuse interference wave fields require a significant number of devices to generate utility scale electricity. OWEC® floating and neutrally suspended modules are methodically fabricated, shipped, and quick-connected together in movable arrays that have qualities of efficient electrical generation from water wave fields, durable reliability, regulated maintenance processes, and low true cost. Conformally scalable modules and protected direct-drive components are varied in size to operate in all sea states of offshore and deeper interference waves. Electrical energy for wider commercialization supports remote off-grid or island communities and resource processing facilities as fishery and aquaculture. At the margins of ocean dead zones, sheltered structures provided by certain systems can support biogrowth, habitat development or restoration, and environmental compatibility.
OWEB Ocean Wave Energy weB Map and Google Earth application locate growth stages of global wave energy farms, land electrical and gas grid connections, and several environmental factors. A power calculator estimates OWEC® module electrical generation. Wave predictability enables reliable energy production, storage, and transmission exceeding many other renewable types. Beyond spot use, far reaching deployment of sizable OWEC® installations is anticipated to capacitate industrial activities that harmoniously utilize oceans bounty. Wide implementation focuses on rising seas management. Surplus seawater’s composition is a gift predicted to satiate escalating demand and impending critical requirements. Toward power, water, and climate management, relating to broad desire for using renewable energy and environmentally cyclable fuel sources, MHK marine hydrokinetic energy converters are effective for large-scale seawater purification. Device motions push seawater through desalination filters. MHK produced electricity splits fresher water’s H2O dihydrogen monoxide bond to produce and cycle large storages of “True Blue H2” hydrogen gas for standalone applications, transportation, grid balancing, and sea level adjustment. When adequate ocean water portion is converted to hydrogen gas, sequestered in power and motion processes of human endeavor, and recycled, then grave problem is synergetic solution. Specialty modules pump down waters’ liberated oxygen gas to revigorate dead zones. Increasing storm strength and North Atlantic frequency roil seas. Minimum systems of connected OWEC® modules absorb heightened forces while functioning as macro electrolyzers and aerohydrators of the water cycle. Process “exhaust” is non-toxic, recyclable water. Societal utilization of this enduring fuel feedstock accompanies the only form of desalinated seawater sequestration that helps to mediate both the causes and regulate hydrologic symptoms of rapidly changing sea levels.
Founded in Rhode Island USA 1978 as the first ocean wave energy company, and establishing the first wave energy web site 1995, OWECO internationally participates in fostering best practice ocean power implementation in the energy sea change. High or low resolution Windows Media File introduces the OWEC® system. We hope you regard this site and select links to relevant information. Other telephone: (401) 286-9933, (401) 253-4488.