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The Warsaw Voice » The Polish Science Voice » December 13, 2015
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Electricity from the Sea
December 13, 2015   
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In another project seeking to harness the power of sea waves, scientists from the £ód¼ University of Technology in central Poland have developed a device that can power signaling lights in sea buoys and fishing nets. The device contains a set of pendulums that are set in motion by sea waves. This makes it possible to power a generator and produce electricity.

Normally signaling lights in sea buoys and nets are powered by batteries, but replacing these is often a tedious and expensive job, says the research team leader, Prof. Tomasz Kapitaniak, head of the Department of Machine Dynamics, part of the £ód¼ university’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. But once the signaling light is provided with its own little “power plant” provided by sea waves, he adds, battery replacement is no longer needed.

According to Kapitaniak, the device designed by the £ód¼ researchers is more efficient in terms of power generation than solar panels. It can work at night, even during the long polar night.

There are already devices that use the motion of sea waves to generate electricity, but the invention of the £ód¼ team is the first to use a pendulum-based synchronization mechanism, according to Kapitaniak. The pendulums are connected to each other with flat springs. This kind of miniature power plant can be used to power signaling lights on offshore buoys and fishing nets, thus helping fishermen locate their equipment at sea, especially at night.

The research project was co-financed by the Foundation for Polish Science.
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