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The Warsaw Voice » The Polish Science Voice » December 13, 2015
Energy
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Wave Power
December 13, 2015   
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In response to growing pressure to find environmentally friendly methods of energy production, engineers worldwide are seeking to harness the power of sea waves. Prof. Boles³aw Ku¼niewski from the Maritime University of Szczecin in northwestern Poland has designed a power generator that sits on a platform attached to the sea bottom. The generator comes with a motor and a mechanical transmission.

The invention is expected to benefit seaside resorts, shipyards, seaports and yacht marinas as well as offshore rigs and companies producing fluvial and marine navigation devices. In this last case, the power supply is sometimes problematic because of the long distance from the energy source, and such devices must operate around the clock.

The motor ensures continuous propulsion for the power generator regardless of the direction of the sea waves. The generator can be used not only in the sea but also in a river. Compared with other systems producing electricity from sea waves, the design of the invention is much simpler, and thus cheaper and more efficient, according to Ku¼niewski. It can work as a system of modules, either horizontal or vertical, and it is easy to install. It can be used in both stationary and mobile systems, floating or partially submerged.

Waves are more predictable than wind and hold a huge store of untapped energy. According to Ku¼niewski, conversion of this energy into electricity is extremely simple.

Most technologies available around the world for harnessing the energy of sea waves are still at the prototype stage. The procedures are costly, but costs are predicted to fall with the improvement of technology, as in the case of wind power.

Karolina Olszewska
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