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View Diary: Wave Power on its way (40 comments)

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  •  A better unit (6+ / 0-)

    was also developed in Scotland, essentially a stationary concrete funnel, wide at the bottom (with holes to let the waves pass through), a special turbine at the top.  As the waves came through they would force a column of air up the funnel, where it picked up speed as it reached the top -- then as the waves recede, air is pulled back in through the turbine.  The special turbine functions regardless of the direction of the air, so it runs continuously generating power.

    The advantage to this is that the basic construction is simple, cheap, durable, and needs virtually no maintenance.  You can also put six or so funnels together in one little island and concentrate any environmental impact (likely to be ultra-low) to one area.  The turbines themselves, plus the power line to shore, are the only costly part, and with economies of scale they'd be pretty cheap.  Plus there's no reason why you couldn't mount multiple power systems, including solar panels and traditional windmills, at this same point.  All in all the costs are low, the impact is light, and pretty much every coastline has waves.

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