Harnessing wave energy to light up coastal communities
There's a new renewable energy player in town and it's about to make waves in the industry. Despite its massive potential as a source for renewable energy, the ocean is unlikely to contribute meaningfully to electricity supplies without dramatic, innovation-driven reductions in the cost of energy conversion. That's where engineers Balky Nair, Rahul Shendure and Tim Mundon come in with their company, Oscilla Power. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), they're developing a utility-scale wave energy harvester called the Triton. It's a sturdy system with few moving parts -- rugged enough to stand up to harsh seas with little need for maintenance. This technology shows promise as a means for delivering utility-scale electric power to the grid at a price that is competitive with conventional fossil or renewable technologies. The team plans more tests with increasingly larger and more sophisticated prototypes. At full scale, each Triton system will be 30 yards wide and will power more than 650 homes.
Credit: National Science Foundation
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