ERJ staff report (DS)
Southampton, UK -- Engineers at the University of Southampton are developing a wave powered system based on a rubber hose suspended horizontally just below the water surface. The system is different from the hose pump developed by Dunlop Oil & Marine, which uses a hose suspended vertically in the water. However, there are some similarities.
The Southampton system uses a hose which floats near the surface of the water throughout its length. Currently, the researchers have only developed a hose for use in a 1:85 scale model, but they have won funding for larger models, up to 1:14. A full-sized unit would use hoses roughly 7m in diameter and 150m long. Tjis long, snake-like structure inspired the proposed name for the system: 'Anaconda'.
The researchers say a ful sized unit, rated at 1MW would contain about 100 tonnes of rubber. They say this makes the Anaconda an exceptionally light wave energy converter for its power.
The hose extracts power from the waves by developing a pressure wave within the hose. The dimensions and elastic characteristics of the hose need to be selected to make the wave speed within the hose similar to the speed of the waves in the open ocean. If the wave speeds are properly matched, the internal pressure wave is continually reinforced by the ocean wave. Energy is extracted by allowing the pressure wave to pass through a valve and then through a turbine.
The small 1:85 scale model absorbed all of the incident wave power over a front equal in width to as much as 5 times its diameter. However, this small-scale model had high hysteresis losses and high water turbulence losses. The researchers said larger scale units wold have proportionally lower losses.
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Grant approvalfrom UK EPSRC