The type of wave energy that Oceanlinx converts into electricity is a combination of the kinetic and potential energy of water particles. Waves cause the water particles to oscillate in elliptical paths, with the maximum kinetic energy happening as the height of the wave passes through the mean sea level. You can feel the constantly varying effect when floating in the surf zone, as it pulls you back and forward, and up and down.
Due to the earth’s rotation it means it is heated unevenly, which in turn causes winds to blow as they try to re-establish temperature equilibrium. As wind blows across the ocean, it imparts energy into the water, resulting in the ocean waves we see breaking onto the shore. As waves move towards the coast, they are referred to as "swell". When they get close enough to shore to be affected by the bottom of the sea, they rear up into "breakers", which is what surfers utilise. It is the ocean swell waves that are the best form of wave for Oceanlinx technology.
Wave energy is not to be mistaken for tidal energy. Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun, and have a period of around 12 hours, whereas ocean waves have a period of around 10 seconds. Due to these vast differences the technology required to extract this energy is extremely different.
Advantages of Wave Energy
Comparison to other resources
The Oceanlinx greenWAVE device has the potential to be cost competitive with onshore wind and fossil fuels in the next 3-7 years.
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