We need all the help we can get when it comes to harnessing energy the natural way. We’ve seen the effects of nuclear, fossil, and other sources on the earth even as we continue to consume vast amounts of energy. So developing better renewable sources like wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal among others should be a priority. Wave energy is another source that has seen growth over the years and we’re seeing various improvements on devices over the years.
Designer: Oscilla Power
The Triton wave energy converter (WEC) is a platform that floats on the ocean and is able to convert the motion of the waves into electricity. It has a submerged reaction ring that anchors it to the ocean floor through drivetrains. The idea is to come up with something that is large-scale but still keep it at low cost so that more companies and communities will be able to avail of this kind of device to harness renewable energy and use it to power their production and operations. It has self-deployment and self-recovery functions so it’s easy to be deployed and “installed” in the area.
This platform is designed to have multi-point absorption and be able to get energy from all kinds of movement in the ocean whether it’s heave, pitch, surge, roll, and yaw. They used a geometrically optimized flat surface and connected it to round, heavy plate through the use of flexible cables. They are also using three hydrostatic and hydraulic drivetrains to manage the power flows and give off a more stable and consistent power flow, solving one of the biggest challenges faced with wave energy devices.
The Triton is also engineered to withstand the extreme ocean conditions that it will mostly encounter in places where there is the highest energy concentration. When weather conditions become extreme, the system is detuned as water ballasts are added so that motions will be reduced, buoyancy lowered, and maximum load is limited. When the waves are extremely strong, the system will be lowered and submerged into the water completely. But even in either conditions, it will still be able to generate power.