UK Dyson Award picks wave power generator

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The wind generates sea waves and that energy has scientists interested in how to harness that power, in a field called wave energy. Harnessing energy from the waters has the potential to be an exceptionally environmentally benign form of generating electricity, energy generation sources in the mainstream energy production industry but just how remains an area of exploration.

According to BBC News, some wave power approaches present limitations because they only work best when waves travel in one direction, and are less efficient in turbulent seas. Enter the Renewable Wave Power (RWP), a multi-axis wave power generator that performs well under any sea conditions, and which has picked up the UK round of the James Dyson Award.

This is an international design award, presenting cash prizes, to promising next-generation design engineers. The RWP picked up the UK award and its next round will be the international finals. RWP is defined as a semi-submersible multi-axis wave energy converter, specifically designed to run in the Orkneys, in Scotland.

The RWP device can absorb forces from “peaks and troughs” of the North Atlantic waves in any given direction. That ability to leverage the forces of waves no matter which way the water is churning is what has attracted much attention. The creator is Sam Etherington. He has found that “It is better to work with the forces than to repel them.” How does it work? A long chain of loosely linked pistons draw power from the tidal waters that flow unpredictably. Energy is generated as the chain flexes in high and low points of each wave. As part of the project, data was taken from buoys moored in the Orkney Islands and used to make waves in a water tank at Lancaster University.

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“UK Dyson Award picks wave power generator”