Harnessing Wave Energy: A High Schooler's Journey

In summary: The only energy that is lost is lost to friction. The machine converts the chaotic motion (all of it... yes that means up, down etc) of compound waves into the unidirectional rotation of a shaft. The idea is to get it to convert to chaotic motion of water waves because waves are a renewable resource. I'm not an engineer (yet) because I'm still in my last year of high school so your going to just have to take my word on what i claim the machine can do. I built the idea around wanting maximum efficiency and have shown a working model of it to a couple of engineers who say that they "have never seen gears work in that way before" and that "theoretically it should convert 100%
  • #1
86
0
I don't want to give too much away about the design but i have tested it in real life and it works... The only energy that is lost is lost to friction. The machine converts the chaotic motion (all of it... yes that means up, down etc) of compound waves into the unidirectional rotation of a shaft. The idea is to get it to convert to chaotic motion of water waves because waves are a renewable resource. I'm not an engineer (yet) because I'm still in my last year of high school so your going to just have to take my word on what i claim the machine can do. I built the idea around wanting maximum efficiency and have shown a working model of it to a couple of engineers who say that they "have never seen gears work in that way before" and that "theoretically it should convert 100% of the motion in a wave into energy" so I'm fairly certain that the machine does do what i say it does. What i don't know is what the implications of this are... keep in mind that the machine works whether it is really big or really small. Do people want this kind of technology? I mean i figured that it could be a good alternative source of energy but I would like some insight into what i should do from where i am now and what the demand for this kind of machine would be. Pretty cool idea thou eh :)
 
Engineering news on Phys.org
  • #2


Green Zach said:
have shown a working model of it to a couple of engineers who say that they "have never seen gears work in that way before" and that "theoretically it should convert 100% of the motion in a wave into energy"

Ummm... if they told you that, they're not real engineers.
 
  • #3


Danger said:
Ummm... if they told you that, they're not real engineers.

have you seen my machine?
 
  • #4


Gears only really do one thing so it doesn't matter if we've seen it or not. There is not fantastic new way a gear can be used.

Please decribe the machine to us and the principles upon which it works. And photos would be nice.

Edit: just for your information nothing can transfer 100% of the energy, entropy says so. and like you said there is friction which is a loss.
 
  • #5


If you aren't willing to actually discuss your machine, then all you are doing is trying to pick a fight. Unless we get something we can actually discuss, this thread will be locked.
 
  • #6


Sorry. Not buying it. Unless this thing is made out of unobtanium, you are losing more than just to friction.

Pull my other leg. It plays jingle bells.

I give this thread about 4 nanoseconds left to live.
 
  • #7


Ok fine let me clarify... yea i guess 100% of the motion is a bit of an exaggeration but in my defense i can say that it converts 100% of the motion that you could convert within reason i.e. no the machine doesn't defy the laws of physics that we have all grown so fond of. What i am trying to say is that it converts all of the vectors acting on a body connected to a wave into a unidirectional output so no the output is not equal to the input BUT the output is based on ALL of the inputs so 100% of the energy available is being utilized which is pretty much as good as i think a water wave converter could get. Try to think of what I'm saying as something like a bed sheet floating on top of wavy water... No we can't say that 100% of the motion in the wave is being transferred to the bed sheet but we can say that all of the forces in the wave are contributing to the motion of the sheet so there is technically a loss of energy but no unnecessary loss of energy. Please note that my machine doesn't use bedsheets lol. I have looked at quite a few ideas for wave converters and one thing they have in common is that they all seem to not utilize ALL of the forces available to them e.g. some of them only convert the upward force of a wave but what about the downward force of a wave? So ok fine please forgive me I'm kinda exited about my machine because its really cool so for future reference: it converts all of the motion available in a wave, not just one component such as upward motion, into unidirectional motion but because of the laws of physics, some energy IS lost in the transfer. happy? i learned my lesson :P

Anyways like I said, i don't want to give too much away about the design because it is not patented yet (it is in the process of being patented fyi). Think of it like this... pick your mouse up off your desk spin it around, bob it up and down, move it forward then backward, in fact move it in any direction then try to imagine all of the complex motion that your mouse just did being converted into one unidirectional motion... I know you guys may be skeptical because this seems like a pretty hard thing to do but i don't think anyone here can say with confidence that its impossible. I'm seriously not trying to pick a fight I'm just a bit worried about someone copying my design before its fully patented so give me a break. I just want to know what the demand for a technology like this is not if it is or isn't possible because I already know that it is because I already have a working prototype.
 
  • #8


russ_watters said:
If you aren't willing to actually discuss your machine, then all you are doing is trying to pick a fight. Unless we get something we can actually discuss, this thread will be locked.

I realize now that i may have accidentally given people reason to disagree with me but I wouldn't say that i was "trying to pick a fight" because my reason for not giving a full description of the machine was because its not fully patented yet but i am in the process of patenting it. The purpose of the thread is not to discuss the design, it is to discuss what i can do with it. I guess i can't be given full insight into what the machine's potental uses are becuase i haven't outlined its design but I am mostly interested in what the demand for a machine that can convert water waves into energy with maximum efficiency because I'm not an engineer so i don't know much about the importance of getting renewable energy from waves... I would assume that it would be fairly plausible to think that a potential source of renewable energy should be explored but I would like the opinion of actual engineers before i go ahead and commit to developing the idea and ultimately invest large amounts of time and money into it.
 
  • #9


It's pretty tough to determine whether it has a useful application without knowing what it actually does. If you're clever enough to think of something that nobody else has ever thought of, you're clever enough to work out whether it has a useful application.
 
  • #10


First, I'm not very fond of the laws of physics, they keep me from doing what I would like to do.

Second, my guess is, you have a computer generated model with something like helical gears that are made of material that will float, and clutch bearings that allow only one direction rotation, as they are pushed up and down by the waves.

Third, I'm on thin ice with this forum, my advice is read all the rules about conduct, and stay within the bounds of those rules. If you plan going on to become an engineer this forum is a good help and guide tool that will be a great asset in your future.

Good luck, and mind your P's and Q's.

Ron
 
  • #11


RonL said:
First, I'm not very fond of the laws of physics, they keep me from doing what I would like to do.

Second, my guess is, you have a computer generated model with something like helical gears that are made of material that will float, and clutch bearings that allow only one direction rotation, as they are pushed up and down by the waves.

Third, I'm on thin ice with this forum, my advice is read all the rules about conduct, and stay within the bounds of those rules. If you plan going on to become an engineer this forum is a good help and guide tool that will be a great asset in your future.

Good luck, and mind your P's and Q's.

Ron
Thanks for the advice :). I actually developed the idea in my head and have a real working physical model of it. None of it was done with a computer... and its nothing like what you described lol. Honestly i really want to share it with you guys because i know once you see it your going to be just as exited as i am :D How about once its patented i will make a special post on outlining it's design with pics and videos
 
  • #12


I can appreciate that you want to protect your idea. However it is simply very difficult to say if there is any application without knowing exactly what it does and the principles upon which it works.

Existing tidal/wave power is simply the extraction of gpe from the wave rising and the wind giving motion, that's why it only acts in the up/down direction. I'm fairly sketchy on this stuff as I've not done it in quite a while.

The broad answer is that if this is simply a better way of extracting motion from a wave then it'll be used in all the ways that tidal and wave power tech is used at the moment.
 
  • #13


Keep in mind, just because someone is an engineer doesn't mean they know everything. When I was in HS I had a few CVT designs that I showed some engineers and they said it "blew their minds" even though my designs didn't actually work.

Whether or not your machine is useful, from the sounds of it I would say probably not. If you look at the mechanics of a wave in the ocean you will see that the water really only travels up and down if you subtract the motion of the current (which doesn't oscillate).

One more thing, patents are EXPENSIVE so be dam sure this thing work unless your doing it to put something on your resume.
 
  • #14


Topher925 said:
Keep in mind, just because someone is an engineer doesn't mean they know everything. When I was in HS I had a few CVT designs that I showed some engineers and they said it "blew their minds" even though my designs didn't actually work.

Whether or not your machine is useful, from the sounds of it I would say probably not. If you look at the mechanics of a wave in the ocean you will see that the water really only travels up and down if you subtract the motion of the current (which doesn't oscillate).

One more thing, patents are EXPENSIVE so be dam sure this thing work unless your doing it to put something on your resume.

The thing works... if your saying that all of the force in a wave is vertical then that wouldn't change the function of my machine i.e. all of the motion in a compound wave is used to make the thing work so if the only motion is up and down then the thing still works fine. And i know the machine works because its not a computer model, as in if i wanted to pick it up and squeeze it in my hand or touch it then that's up to me because the working model i built is a real physical model. I have also successfully converted real life water waves so its not a question of if it works or not anymore.
 
  • #15


Well, good luck. Without details on how it works, we can't really suggest any applications without them being much more than a shot in the dark. Ocean wave power is an example of harnessing wave energy. Could your device utilize it? Dunno.

There isn't really anything to discuss here, so the thread is locked.
 

1. What is wave energy?

Wave energy is a form of renewable energy that is harnessed from the power of ocean waves. It is a type of kinetic energy that is created by the movement of waves on the ocean's surface.

2. How is wave energy harnessed?

Wave energy is harnessed through the use of devices called wave energy converters. These devices are typically placed on the surface of the ocean or on shore and use the movement of the waves to generate electricity. There are several different types of wave energy converters, including point absorbers, oscillating water columns, and overtopping devices.

3. What are the benefits of harnessing wave energy?

Harnessing wave energy has several benefits, including being a renewable and clean energy source. It also has a low carbon footprint and can help reduce our reliance on non-renewable energy sources. Additionally, wave energy is abundant and predictable, making it a reliable source of electricity.

4. What are the challenges of harnessing wave energy?

There are a few challenges that come with harnessing wave energy. One challenge is the high initial cost of building and installing wave energy converters. Another challenge is the potential impact on marine life and the environment, which requires careful consideration and mitigation strategies. Additionally, the technology for harnessing wave energy is still in its early stages of development, so there may be limitations in efficiency and scalability.

5. How can high school students get involved in the field of harnessing wave energy?

High school students can get involved in the field of wave energy by learning about the science and technology behind it. They can also participate in science fairs or projects that focus on renewable energy, including wave energy. Additionally, students can explore potential career paths in engineering, environmental science, and renewable energy industries that are involved in harnessing wave energy.

Suggested for: Harnessing Wave Energy: A High Schooler's Journey

Replies
4
Views
321
Replies
34
Views
757
Replies
51
Views
5K
Replies
25
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
3
Views
763
Replies
9
Views
1K
Back
Top