Jorge Chapa

Giant Anaconda Tube Generates Energy from Waves!

by , 07/07/08
filed under: Renewable Energy

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A snake-like rubber tube floating in the ocean could prove that wave energy conversion is an economically viable solution to meet our power needs. At least that’s what the creators of the Anaconda device are hoping. Designed in the UK by Francis Farley and Rod Rainey, the Anaconda is a very simple giant rubber tube that generates energy by simply bobbing up and down in the water. We’ll bite our tongues and hold the inevitable dirty jokes on this one (but do check out the video below the fold).

Despite being the unfortunate namesake of one of the most unbelievable action movies of all times, the Anaconda has convinced us of its plausibility. The device is a 200 meter long and 7 meter diameter plastic tube that is completely closed at both ends and filled with water. It is then anchored to the ocean floor and sits just a little bit below the sea’s surface.

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The device is remarkably simple as there are few moving parts. In principle, the Anaconda could just bob up and down on the currents forever. Electricity is generated via the up-and-down motion of the waves. The waves will hit one end of the tube, thus creating a bulge which is pushed from one end to the other. The bulge becomes bigger and bigger as it runs down the tube until it hits the generator, where the water turns a turbine, and generates electricity.

The brainchild of Francis Farley and Rod Rainey, the Anaconda is being developed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in collaboration with Checkmate Seaenergy. If proven successful, those involved hope to be able to deploy a significant number of these along the British coast. Each tube is expected to generate around 1MW.

+ Anaconda Wave Power Bulging Snake
+ Checkmate Seaenergy
+ Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

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5 Comments

  1. cosma vasile February 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Did you know that Romania has a technical solution with the highest efficiency to capture wave power??.
    Patent RO 108893 entitled Dynamic Engine for sea wave energy catching. a pioneering invention. It is estimated that “dynamic engine” has the ability to catching wave energy at a rate of over 80% while the other technical solutions known worldwide, are not able to capture wave energy with a higher percentage of about 10-15%. E-mail cosma.vasile @ yahoo.com
    Cosma Vasile Romania

  2. ugocrazy July 9, 2008 at 9:34 am

    These kind of “intrusions” in the sea always scare me on the long run. I mean 7m x 200m is pretty big a piece of equipment. What are the impacts on the shore? This must have a certain effect on the shape of the waves at this precise spot, what are the long term consequences on the reefs / shores? And the vibrations this must create, any impact on the fauna around? It’s a known fact that most fish a very sensible to vibrations will this disrupt their habits?

    Otherwise i really appreciate the way this works, quite ingenious.

    Ugo

    stencilworks.fiinewar.ca

  3. PhilW July 8, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Interesting – how does it compare with the hinged barge generators that were operating a number of years ago? It seems like the lifespan of the rubber would be a key factor in determining maintennance costs and replacement frequencies. It does make for a better “view” acceptance – especially if it could be used to float/tie other items in the area.

  4. TXU Energy July 7, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    That sounds like it has possibilities. For all readers interested in how you can conserve more today, I’d like to inform you of the TXU Energy Saver Challenge.

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    Fifteen semi-finalists will win $100 in credits towards their TXU Energy bills. Three finalists will each win an HD video camera, a $5,000 cash fund to use for home energy improvements, and a free in-home energy audit with energy-saving recommendations.

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  5. Brian Lang July 7, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Looks interesting. Too bad YouTube is blocked at work. Could you possibly find a different video source?
    How would these be marked to prevent ships fouling them up?

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