Using a wave energy generator to capture tidal and wave energy may sound like science fiction, but this source of alternative energy is already in use. The wave energy advantages are many, and this sustainable energy source is already in use in some areas around the globe. There is more than one type of wave energy generator, and this will determine exactly how the generator will work. One of the first devices used was the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter, and these devices are in use in the first commercial wave farm, which was started in 2008 in Portugal. These specific devices use the joint motion, which is caused by the device bobbing up and down on the waves, to cause the connected hydraulic pumps to work. These pumps are connected to generators which turn and produce electricity.
Another type of wave generator uses buoys. These buoys have a pump or other mechanical device installed inside, and the power of the wave washing over the buoy is converted from mechanical energy to electrical energy. A power cable is required which runs across the floor of the ocean, to transfer the converted tidal and wave energy to shore. This type of wave energy generator does offer some wave energy advantages, but it also has disadvantages that the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter does not. With the buoy method there is not a substantial amount of power that can be generated far offshore. Close to shore the buoys may be quite large, and can be twelve foot square. A number of these can be grouped together for more efficiency, but they are still limited because of the transfer needed and the limitations.
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