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Published by: kriswithuatall15 on Feb 28, 2011
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e|About Us|Ocean Energy|Information Centre|Projects|Become a Member   ean Energy?
  Return toAbout Ocean Energy Technology 
ave Energy
Tidal Energy
  Current Energy  
Salinity Gradient
  Unlike other RES, Ocean Energy is not captured from a single source, but, instead, is storedin a variety of forms: the energy of waves, the kinetic energy of marine and tidal currents,the potential energy of tides, and salinity or thermal gradients. As a consequence of thisvariety the number of concepts for ocean energy conversion is very large. A first, basicdivision is grounded on the specific source of energy that the technology is tapping into:
salinity gradient
, and
thermal gradient
. Major achievements have taken place over the last few years with various ocean energysystems having been deployed at sea in several countries and these technologies are makingthe transition from research to demonstration to market penetration. Though ocean energy technologies are not yet economically competitive with more maturerenewable energy technologies such as wind, in the medium term these technologies willbecome significant contributors to those markets adjacent to the resource. In the longer term, ocean energy could become a much more important part of the world's
energy portfolio. The potential worldwide wave energy contribution to the electricitymarket is estimated to be of the order of 1-10 TW, which is the same order of magnitude asworld electrical energy production capacity. Wave energy has the highest density among allrenewable energy sources The best resource is found between 40 - 60 degrees of latitudewhere the available resource is 30 to 70 kW/m with peaks to 100 kW/m. The supplypotential is estimated to be 7 TWh/y from ~200000 MW installed wave and tidal energypower by 2050 with a load factor of 0.35 (DTI and Carbon Trust estimates). To date wave and tidal energy are the most advanced types of ocean energy systems under development. More information on the different types of ocean energy systems and their current status of development can be found by clicking on the links on the right Click on the links above for more information about the status of each technology, work currently underway, and the challenges that remain.New Cell
ave Energy
The possibility of generating electrical power from the seahas been recognized for many years (the first patent onwave energy conversion was issued as early as 1799, and,already in 1909, a harbour lighting system in California waspowered with a wave energy system). However, significantresearch and development of wave energy conversion beganonly rather recently: in fact, although there was a renewedinterest on wave energy after the oil crisis of 1973, itsubsided again a few years later. Five years ago, especially in Europe, the sector experienceda resurgent interest. Today, wave energy conversion isbeing investigated in a number of EU countries, major activity is also ongoing outside Europe, mainly in Canada,China, India, Japan, Russia, and the USA. Nascent waveenergy companies have been highly involved in thedevelopment of new wave energy converters such as thePelamis, the Archimedes Wave Swing, AquaBuOY,Oceanlinx, Wave Star, Wave Dragon, etc.  
ave Energy Potential
 The global wave power resource in deep water (i.e. 100 mor more) is estimated to be ~ 110 TW (Panicker, 1976). Theeconomically exploitable resource varies from 140-750  Seawave Slot-ConeConverter (Wave Energy AS)   Aquabuoy(Finavera Renewables Ltd.)
TWh/y for current designs of devices when fully mature(Wavenet, 2003) and could rise as high as 2,000 TWh/y(Thorpe, 1999), if the potential improvements to existingdevices are realised. Global electricity consumption is about15,400 TWh/y (BP, IEA), hence wave could supply up to13% of current world electricity consumption which isequivalent to about 70% of what is currently supplies byhydroelectric schemes.  
 The predicted electricity generating costs from wave energyconverters have shown a significant improvement in the last20 years, which has reached an average price below 10c¼/kWh. Compared to e.g. the average electricity price inthe EU, which is approx. 4 c¼/kWh, the electricity priceproduced from wave is still high, but it is forecasted todecrease further with the development of the technologies. 
 The most important objective for the wave energy sector isto deploy full size prototypes to prove performance at seaand to bring the technology to a point where it becomescomparible with other renewable energy technologies suchas wind energy. This step is crucial in order to gain greater confidence in ocean energy as a reliable energy source. Thisrequires suitable funding. 
 Wave energy systems can be divided into 3 groups : Shoreline devices: are fixed to the or embedded in theshoreline, having the advantage of easier installation andmaintenance. In addition shoreline devices do not requiredeep-water moorings or long lengths of underwater electrical cable. The disavantage shoreline devicesexperience is that they experience a much less powerfulwave regime. The most advanced type of shoreline deviceis the oscillating water column (OWC). One example is the Pico plant, a 400 kW rated shorelineOWC equiped with a Wells turbine that was constructedbetween 1995 and 1999. Due to malfunction problems the   Oyster (Aquamarine Power)    Wave Dragon(WaveDragon ApS)    Wavestar (Wave Star Energy)  

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