]Building a Better Wave Energy Machine: Can it Be Done?

In summary, Salter's Duck is the most efficient way to use wave power. However, the cost and complexity of the machine has prevented it from being implemented in full.
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wolram

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Would it be possible with modern materials and know how to build a better Duck?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_power

His invention, Salter's Edinburgh Duck, continues to be the machine against which all others are measured. In small scale controlled tests, the Duck's curved cam-like body can stop 90% of wave motion and can convert 90% of that to electricity.[26] While it continues to represent the most efficient use of available material and wave resources, the machine has never gone to sea, primarily because its complex hydraulic system is not well suited to incremental implementation, and the costs and risks of a full-scale test would be high. Most of the designs being tested currently absorb far less of the available wave power, and as a result their Mass to Power Ratios remain far away from the theoretical maximum.

According to sworn testimony before the House of Parliament, The UK Wave Energy program was shut down on March 19, 1982, in a closed meeting,[27] the details of which remain secret. The members of the meeting were recruited largely from the nuclear and fossil fuels industries, and the wave programme manager, Clive Grove-Palmer, was excluded.

An analysis[28] of Salter's Duck resulted in a miscalculation of the estimated cost of energy production by a factor of 10, an error which was only recently identified. Some wave power advocates believe that this error, combined with a general lack of enthusiasm for renewable energy in the 1980s (after oil prices fell), hindered the advancement of wave power technology.[29
 
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]I can say that building a better wave energy machine is definitely possible with modern materials and knowledge. In fact, there have been significant advancements in wave energy technology since the invention of Salter's Edinburgh Duck. However, there are still challenges that need to be addressed in order to make wave energy a viable and efficient source of renewable energy.

One of the main challenges is the complex nature of the ocean and the unpredictability of waves. This makes it difficult to design a machine that can efficiently harness wave energy in all conditions. Additionally, the harsh marine environment can also pose challenges for the durability and maintenance of wave energy machines.

Nevertheless, with advancements in materials such as stronger and more corrosion-resistant metals, as well as improvements in design and control systems, it is possible to build a better wave energy machine. In fact, many companies and research institutions are actively working on developing new and improved wave energy technologies.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the costs and risks associated with testing and implementing full-scale wave energy machines are still significant. This is why it is crucial to have support and funding from governments and private investors to continue the development of this technology.

In conclusion, while there have been challenges and setbacks in the development of wave energy technology, it is certainly possible to build a better wave energy machine with modern materials and knowledge. Continued research and investment in this field can lead to a more efficient and sustainable use of wave energy as a renewable energy source.
 

What is wave energy and how does it work?

Wave energy is the energy that is harnessed from the movement of ocean waves. This energy is then converted into electricity using specialized wave energy machines. These machines typically consist of a buoy or float that moves up and down with the waves, driving a generator to produce electricity.

What are the main challenges in building a wave energy machine?

One of the main challenges in building a wave energy machine is designing a system that can withstand the harsh marine environment. The machine must be able to withstand strong waves, corrosive saltwater, and unpredictable weather conditions. Additionally, the machine must be cost-effective and efficient in converting wave energy into electricity.

How does a wave energy machine differ from other renewable energy sources?

Unlike wind and solar energy, which are dependent on weather conditions, wave energy is a consistent and reliable source of renewable energy. It also has a smaller environmental footprint compared to other renewable energy sources, as the machines are typically located offshore. However, wave energy technology is still in its early stages of development and faces challenges in scalability and cost-effectiveness.

Can wave energy machines be used in all ocean environments?

Wave energy machines are most effective in areas with consistent wave patterns, such as coastlines with high tidal ranges or strong ocean currents. However, wave energy technology is constantly evolving, and researchers are exploring ways to make it more adaptable to different ocean environments.

Is it financially feasible to invest in wave energy technology?

The cost of building and maintaining wave energy machines is currently higher than other renewable energy sources. However, as technology advances and economies of scale are achieved, the cost of wave energy is expected to decrease. Additionally, the long-term benefits of using a clean and renewable energy source may outweigh the initial investment.

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