Pelamis Wave Power - Interesting Engineering

Pelamis Wave Power

October 30, 2012

This is one of the first facilities that convert effectively the power of the sea waves into electric power. The device looks like a giant centipede floating on the water surface, and the more interesting here is that the project is already finished and running – first orders for the product came from E.ON and Scottish Power Renewables. Pelamis usually operates 2-10km away from the shore and generates power of 750 kW, which is enough to supply with electricity 500 households.

The Pelamis device is built up from five tubular segments connected by specific joints which allow movements in two directions. This artificial centipede floats a half-immersed on the water surface and normally stands perpendicularly against the wave front. When waves pass beneath the length of the machine and the segments flex in the water, the movement is converted into electricity using two hydraulic power take-off systems holt within the machine tubes. Then the power is sent to the shore through ordinary equipment and demersal cables. The power take-off systems at the joints of each segment are similar and operate independently from each other with redundancy of all general parts. The power take-off system is driven by hydraulic cylinders at the joints, which resist the wave-forced motion and pump fluid into high pressure accumulators, allowing process to be smooth and continuous.



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