Wave energy is a suitable renewable energy resource for certain coastlines in major markets in Australia, the US, the Pacific Islands, Japan, China, northern Europe, South America and Africa.

Extracting Energy From Ocean Waves And River Systems

Brian Meano | Fieldstone Energy

That question in the past has be

Wave energy is a suitable renewable energy resource for certain coastlines in major markets in Australia, the US, the Pacific Islands, Japan, China, northern Europe, South America and Africa.

by Brian Meano, Fieldstone Energy

We've seen a recent spike in oil prices. This has brought our attention to the fact that we are entirely dependent upon fossil fuels. One of the underlying concerns is that we do not have a cheap reliable source of energy to replace fossil fuels. To date, the majority of society has not looked seriously at what will happen when fossil fuels are no longer available. This issue has been brought to the forefront as a result of several factors. One is a proclamation by the oil companies, that their known and prove reserves of oil are dwindling. Compounding the problem is the fact that a greater portion of the population requires fossil fuels to propel growth. Without a cheap and reliable source of energy and industrial nation is doomed to destruction.

Fieldstone Energy is a renewable energy company. The company has developed a new and commercially efficient system for extracting energy from ocean waves and river systems and converting it to electricity. The system and method for producing energy now makes it possible for wave energy to provide a cheap, sustainable source of electricity to the power grid. More importantly, Fieldstone's method and procedure for producing energy supports sustained economic growth and a clean environment.

There are two facets to this renewable energy solution. One has to do with a land-based application and the second is an open ocean/sea application.

The Land Based Solution

Fieldstone's new system and method for producing energy converts the flow of the river's Kinetic energy to potential energy and then back to kinetic energy utilizing small elevational changes. There are over 20 locks and dams located along the entire length of the Mississippi with elevational change of less than 30 feet. There are thousands of these locations around the world.

The flow at the mouth of the Mississippi river is over 300 thousand cubic feet per second. Not an ideal situation for a large hydro project nor would you want to try and impound this water either. Too much arable land would be consumed. However, with this method and procedure, water is diverted into a bypass channel next to the river system so as not to disturb the natural flow of the river system.

The water is diverted into an impoundment area. As the water flows into the impoundment area, it lifts a weighted buoyant device. The buoyant device is located over a cylinder/piston. The cylinder fits snugly into the piston. This is where the process of converting Kinetic energy to Potential energy and back to Kinetic energy exists. The ingress gate is closed and the egress gate is opened allowing the water in the impoundment area to flow out to a lower elevation using natural gravity. Note: This leaves the full force of the weighted buoyant device to pressurize the water in the cylinder below the piston.

Mechanical advantage is similar to hydraulics that we used to lift a car automobile repair shop. The advantage here is that a huge impoundment area is not required to develop the same amount of head pressure that this system is capable of developing. It is what I like to refer to as artificial net head pressure. To sustain the system the devices are arrayed to allow for continuous pressure on the water turbine.

One of the important properties of water in that it is not compressible. You recall that according to Pascal's Law that," the force is passed undiminished throughout the confining vessel." In short, if a 500 ton weight is lifted and left to drop, it creates 500 tones of pressure in the cylinder. The pressure in the egress pipe is magnified using the mechanical advantage equation in reverse. This law of physics is what drives modern hydraulics today. For example, a little bottle jack can lift a 4-thousand pound car. The potential energy is converted back to Kinetic energy again. The kinetic energy [the falling 500-tones] of pressurized water drives the water turbine and the electrical generator.

The Ocean Based Solution

The second method deals with wave energy resources. Wave energy represents one of the largest areas of potential energy, which have yet to be tapped. With our open ocean application the system and method for producing energy is simpler yet. The ocean wave propagates and lifts the weighted buoyant device, which is situated over the cylinder. Again, the devices are arranged to provide continuous input to the water turbine.

One of the major advantages of using this form of energy is that the extraction values are much greater than other means of extracting energy. One is capable of producing megawatts of energy, versus kilowatts of energy. In addition, the system runs in a synchronous manner, which allows for one to connect to the main electrical grid continuously.

According to the Department of Energy, land based potential energy exceeds 165,000 MW in the United States. The open ocean/sea application is estimated to produce over 300 thousand MW of energy. To put this into perspective, the State of California produced a 56,000 MW of power in 2004. Given the right incentives, the market will make a smooth transition to renewable energy. Fieldstone Energy looks forward to leading the way.

Our initial commercialization effort will be centered in the United States where the technology was developed and where we can take advantage of abundant natural resources. We have also researched and tested the market from a global perspective and will be pursuing opportunities around the world.

Wave energy is a suitable renewable energy resource for certain coastlines in major markets in Australia, the US, the Pacific Islands, Japan, China, northern Europe, South America and Africa. The Fieldstone Energy system can be deployed as a single device, or strung together in a series, similar in concept to wind energy's "wind farms".

The customers for the Fieldstone Energy are power utilities, single industrial users in heavy and remote industry, and remote communities and islands which are currently without power or rely on diesel. Hawaii is a good example, great hydro potential however, due to the premium on land, one would not want to impound thousands of acres of land to developed head pressure that could be created with this new method and procedure with very little impact on the environment. In addition, the not in my back yard argument is minimal as well because of the "footprint" is relatively small and does not create a huge visual impairment to the land or sea. Most of the structure is located either underground or below the waterline.

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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