Tapping Wave Energy in Scotland
Aquamarine Power plans to harvest the energy of the easy with the Oyster.
Wave Energy has not seem as much development as other forms of renewable energy like solar and wind power. But developments are taking place around the globe some with more success than others.
Aquamarine hopes to install their new wave machine, the Oyster 2, around the waters of Scotland next year. Build like a large door hinge laying on its side, this massive machine will lay anchored in shallow water. As the swell of the sea passes back and forth over the Oyster the upper part of the machine will rock as each wave passes.
Driving hydraulic pistons the movement will pump water through pipes to an onshore electrical generator. Splitting the device in two parts has some advantages. Should the sea side device malfunction, which might be quite common given the nature of the seas the generating side will still function. Using multiple Oysters would provide sufficient backup and increased production of electricity from a single onshore station.
Oyster 2 is an advanced version of Oyster 1 which provided the company with information to make the new version more reliable and efficient.
The waters around Scotland are ideal for wave power. The Atlantic ocean gradually gathers the energy as it flows from the Americas towards the coasts of Europe and Scotland. This can sometimes be quite powerful with raging storms crashing on shore. If the Oyster 2 can survive that then there is lots of potential here for cleaner energy generation.
For home owners this type of device might be a little bit too large scale for many of us. A fortunate few may have streams or rivers running through our properties and this could be quite a boost to our energy needs. Using the equivalent of modern day water wheels or torpedoes anchored in the streams, energy can be harnessed as long as the water flows.