Wave energy is produced when electricity generators are placed on the surface of the ocean. The energy provided is most often used in desalination plants, power plants and water pumps. Energy output is determined by wave height, wave speed, wavelength, and water density. To date there are only a handful of experimental wave generator plants in operation around the world. Oregon State University is in on the experimental technology.
In 2007/2008, Oregon State University, in collaboration with Columbia Power Technologies (CPT) and the U.S. Navy, evaluated 18 different direct-drive technologies, and down-selected to five promising designs. OSU and CPT built each of those prototypes at the 200W peak level and tested them on OSU's new wave energy linear test bed. OSU and CPT also comprehensively simulated each of the designs, and scaled the simulations up to 100kW, including full 100kW designs with costs, maintenance, operations etc., to give estimates for total costs of energy for each. This has been a tremendous collaboration enabling the zeroing in on optimum designs, and based on this work, in September 2008, OSU and CPT completed a series of very successful bay and ocean testing. CPT is now driving these efforts to commercialization, and OSU will continue to partner with them in a supporting/research role.
Visit the site http://eecs.oregonstate.edu/wesrf/ for more information about Oregon State University research of wave energy. There are also some cool posters about wave energy that can be accessed full size for print on this site.
For more information about wave energy, see the Alternative Energy News site.