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Wave power : brief introduction
Submitted: 2 September 2002
Introduction Ocean waves are caused by winds as they blow across the surface of the sea. The energy that waves contain can be harnessed and used to produce electricity. Due to the direction of the prevailing winds and the size of the Atlantic Ocean, the UK and north-western Europe have one of the largest wave energy resources in the world.

Wave energy can be exploited at the Shoreline…..

The main device deployed worldwide is the Oscillating Water Column (OWC). This consists of a partially submerged, hollow structure that is open to the sea below the water line. This encloses a column of air on top of a column of water. Waves cause the water column to rise and fall, which alternately compresses and depressurises the air column. This trapped air is allowed to flow to and from the atmosphere via a Wells turbine, which has the ability to rotate in the same direction regardless of the direction of the airflow. The rotation of the turbine is used to generate electricity.

or Offshore.

Offshore wave devices exploit the more powerful wave regimes available in deep water. Several different types of offshore device have been developed, but none has yet been deployed commercially. Three projects were awarded contracts under the third round of the Scottish Renewables Obligation (SRO-3). One of these is the LIMPET (Land-Installed-Marine-Powered Energy Transformer) - a 500kW shoreline OWC on Islay.

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