Making waves

 
Published: Thursday 15 January 1998

Artificial bays on the beach can effectively be used generate power from wave energy. Tom Denniss, an oceanographer in Australia, has developed a wave reflector that would produce energy at cheaper rate than those generated by coal-fired power plants. The reflector consists of a large parabolic bay that focuses a wide front of waves onto a single point. The researcher has used the same principle to build the reflector, which is used by satellite dishes to transmit radio and television signals to a receiver. A shaped chamber has been employed over the focus. The other end of the chamber is a turbine. When the waves reach the reflector, they are concentrated and amplified. The inventor has ensured that after being hit by the waves, the turbine spins in only one direction. Denniss calculates that a 40-metre by 20-metre parabolic bay could be able to produce nearly 250 kilowatts to one megawatt of energy every day (New Scientist , Vol 156, No 2106).

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