Lighting The Oceans With Wave Power

The Wavelight concept coverts mechanical energy captured by ocean waves into electrical energy to illuminate a series of LED lamps. Each lamp is tethered to its neighbor with a weight anchored to the sea floor. The lights are designed to attract attention for rescue operations or to warn passing ships to steer clear. A very intriguing design but are LEDs powerful enough? What happens if the anchor isn’t long enough to reach the sea floor?


Designers: Zhang Yakun, He Siqian, Zhu Ningning, Chen Chen & Mu Zhiwei

Wavelight by Zhang Yakun, He Siqian, Zhu Ningning, Chen Chen & Mu Zhiwei

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22 Comments

  • andrews says:

    okay good initial idea but.. you saying its fixed to ocean floors, if you take the oil rig, and the 100’s of meters it will have to take to get to the bottom, how can that be anchored with ease? and waves do move up and down so would there have to be a slack increasing and decreasing device on it, other wise they would be moving with the waves, give or take a new meters?

  • brack says:

    neat idea, but yeah the string to the bottom thing won’t work.

  • Hunter says:

    I thought this would be attached to an anchor on it’s own and aid in setting perimeters for underwater divers, I saw the fins as a water turbine… I have no idea how it works now.

  • John q says:

    light is not a good communication tool for under water use. GPS or the like would do a much better job

  • StereoTypo says:

    @John Q, GPS is not a better tool if you can’t recieve satellite signals.

    But everyone is right, scene 2 and 3 are far less feasible than scene 1.

    Also materials for design? saltwater = bad product life

    • John q says:

      i mis-stated myself, I meant something like RF. In that case it doesn’t have to be dark in order to see the markers and it would also allow someone to embed information into the pod things (e.g. Danger oil spill)as well as relay information specific to distance/depth, time of placement, etc.

  • stephen russell says:

    Must for marinas & harbors & for midsea use for Ocean rescues IE sub salvage etc.
    Otherwise, minisize for swimming pools.
    Neat idea.
    Must for NYC, LA CA Harbors alone.

  • simson says:

    repeated many amny times please don;t post this again , thank you

  • Juni says:

    Nice one I Like this idea ………………

  • Dan says:

    Well in situations like that, an anchor could be used instead. Just heavy enough to keep the line of wavelights at the water level.

  • Hey wait, this isn’t a real product, right? First off, water in waves don’t move horizontally, only up and down and this mechanism appears to propose a tidal power system, not wave power. It’s tidal energy that can be gotten from moving water. Small oversight or big technical goof? Second, there are no photographs of even a real prototype or contact info for where to buy these things. Finally, it’s hard to see lights at surface level. It’d be much more effective if the light-emitting part was held above the surface. Might be an interesting concept but it sure looks far from being anything more than that.

  • notimpossible says:

    Nowhere in the description or scenes does this say or show them designed for underwater visibility. However, they do need to be “pulled” underwater fairly often in order to work properly.

    They do in fact use wave motion – which is why they *must* be tethered to the bottom. The vertical motion of the waves moves the fins.

    People have been developing & using materials designed for saltwater environments for quite some time.

    People also have been anchoring buoys & platforms for quite some time as well, and while it has its challenges in deep water, it’s not impossible.

  • Durfus McGrew says:

    Right on Melina!!

  • interesting concept, not quite there yet. once the product is set for primetime I could use it on my personal vessel at night in high traffic areas

  • lance says:

    Interesting concept. If it’s well executed, it might save some lives.

  • rob says:

    anybody wonder how its gonna affect marine life or do we just care about how it affects humans?

  • valyeon says:

    i think the problem of anchoring those around an oil platform or anything could be solved by having poll-like arms coming out of the support frame on the rig under water. then anchoring buoy to it and stringing the Wavelight between the buoy?

  • Jason says:

    This is neat idea for something that is low maintenance. How is it visible during the day though? Shouldn’t its design make it stand out more?

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