How efficient is wave power?





Question: How efficient is wave power?

Answer: The efficiency of wave power depends on the type of technology being used and the specific configuration that technology is using. For example the Pelamis wave energy generator which is a surface following attenuator (imagine a snake floating on the water) is optimized for the specific conditions for the generation site. This is because in calm seas efficiency needs to be maximized but in rough seas it is sacrificed to ensure the equipment is kept safe. In testing environments the Pelamis converted 70% of mechanical energy to electrical energy. Another wave energy device known as Salter’s duck was a floating buoy system that was tested and converted 90% of mechanical energy to electrical energy. These are essentially maximum efficiency rates though and real world applications usually sees efficiency drop as low as 50%.

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