Scientists are converting ocean waves into electricity Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society describes how ocean waves could serve as a source of renewable energy.
In a new study published in ACS Nano, scientists have created flexible power generators that can convert ocean waves into electricity.
The researchers set out to find ways to harness the ocean’s continuous movement as a renewable energy source. They were inspired by seaweed, copying the way that it vibrates and sways on the ocean floor.
Before they break on shore, ocean waves pack immense energy. The energy of a single wave, for instance, could power an electric car for hundreds of miles. Researchers are working to harvest and convert that energy into cost-effective and reliable electricity.
The team developed flexible triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs), which can efficiently convert surface and underwater waves into electricity to power marine-based devices. Ocean waves are converted to electricity with wave energy converter, or WEC, devices. Researchers expect typical full-scale WEC devices to be anchored miles offshore in deep water where wave energy is strongest.
The new devices may ultimately provide power to floating buoys, lighthouses, or underwater power stations.
Video Credit: American Chemical Society