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Published on November 17th, 2008 | by Andrew Williams

15

Searaser Device Uses Waves to Pump Sea Water Uphill, Could Be Huge Boost for Hydro Power



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A UK engineer has invented a device that harnesses wave power to pump sea water uphill, from where it can flow downhill to create hydroelectricity, raising hopes of a cheap, abundant source of renewable energy.

In trials, the device, called the Searaser, has pumped water more than 160ft above sea level, using little more than the natural motion of the waves. There are now plans for a much larger version, capable of pumping to a height of more than 650ft.

Inventor Alvin Smith reckons that each full-size device would be able to pump enough water to supply electricity to 470 homes. He also calculates that a fleet of 43,000 could generate enough power for a staggering 20 million households.

According to Smith, one of the major advantages of the method is that the turbines that would be used to generate electricity are a proven and reliable technology that has been in use for years in hydroelectric installations in hilly areas, where water can be held in reservoirs.

The Searaser is currently undergoing a six month trial (video) prior to commercial production. Once this is over, we might be getting used to the sight of flotilla’s of these ingenious devices bobbing up and down all around the UK coast, or further out to sea. If the relatively cheap, simple invention can be shown to work effectively alongside a dependable hydroelectric system on a large enough scale, it might just be possible that the approach could be taken up elsewhere around the world too.

Image Credit – Dartmouth Wave Energy

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About the Author

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.



  • Pingback: A Wave Power Generator with a Twist: It Generates Electricity On Dry Land | CleanTechnica

  • http://www.hd-energy.com/images/zwj100k.jpg 刘工

    祝好!来自“海电技术”- 刘工的问候!

    提供兆瓦级海洋能发电厂、海洋能海水淡化瓶装水设备:一次能源消耗为零的产业。

    1、全漂摆式海洋能发电厂(站)(100kw~500Mw)。

    2、漂浮摆式海洋能海水淡化瓶装饮用水。

    3、6mw垂直风力机。

    参阅:http://www.hd-energy.com

  • http://www.hd-energy.com/images/zwj100k.jpg 刘工

    祝好!来自“海电技术”- 刘工的问候!

    提供兆瓦级海洋能发电厂、海洋能海水淡化瓶装水设备:一次能源消耗为零的产业。

    1、全漂摆式海洋能发电厂(站)(100kw~500Mw)。

    2、漂浮摆式海洋能海水淡化瓶装饮用水。

    3、6mw垂直风力机。

    参阅:http://www.hd-energy.com

  • Saulih

    Or… integrating the pumps into the hull design of large ships. These pumps would pump to an elevated reservoir onboard which in turn would run hydro generators to power the ship.

  • Saulih

    Or… integrating the pumps into the hull design of large ships. These pumps would pump to an elevated reservoir onboard which in turn would run hydro generators to power the ship.

  • FightinAg2012

    Johann, it is a good idea which can help the harvesting of uranium from seawater… There are applications beyond just hydroelectric energy… And those wave-generators are largely inefficient…

  • FightinAg2012

    Johann, it is a good idea which can help the harvesting of uranium from seawater… There are applications beyond just hydroelectric energy… And those wave-generators are largely inefficient…

  • http://www.zoomilife.com Electric Vehicle Blog

    If this thing can pump water uphill just from wave action, doesn’t this mean that it could also theoretically run an electrical generator? If so, just how much energy could be generated from a single unit? Could this be a viable source of alternative energy for coastal dwellers?

  • http://www.zoomilife.com Electric Vehicle Blog

    If this thing can pump water uphill just from wave action, doesn’t this mean that it could also theoretically run an electrical generator? If so, just how much energy could be generated from a single unit? Could this be a viable source of alternative energy for coastal dwellers?

  • Johann

    Oh Well

    The UK man thinks he found some thing new using wave energy?!

    Using waves to pump H2o uphill = power loss

    You may need additional land for reservoir and generator to generate power.

    In California USA there are wave-generators in place to produce electricity straight from the waves, without pumping H2O up-hill etc. These wave-generators should be a lot more efficient, since there is no additional load or work (pumping H2O) involved.

    Further the enviromental impact is therefore held to a minimum, since there is no reservoir or external generator needed.

    Johann

  • Johann

    Oh Well

    The UK man thinks he found some thing new using wave energy?!

    Using waves to pump H2o uphill = power loss

    You may need additional land for reservoir and generator to generate power.

    In California USA there are wave-generators in place to produce electricity straight from the waves, without pumping H2O up-hill etc. These wave-generators should be a lot more efficient, since there is no additional load or work (pumping H2O) involved.

    Further the enviromental impact is therefore held to a minimum, since there is no reservoir or external generator needed.

    Johann

  • http://www.trygghetsvakten.se avfuktare vind samt krypgrund

    Great idea, but wouldn’t it be even better to use an archimedes screw, so that the pump would work with very small waves as well?

  • http://www.trygghetsvakten.se avfuktare vind samt krypgrund

    Great idea, but wouldn’t it be even better to use an archimedes screw, so that the pump would work with very small waves as well?

  • http://dotcommodity.blogspot.com Susan Kraemer

    So cool!

    Love it.

  • http://dotcommodity.blogspot.com Susan Kraemer

    So cool!

    Love it.

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