Some claim the UK is the world leader in developing marine energy technologies and the sector must continue to bring forward innovative new technologies. If the eco-friendly energy requirements of the future are ever to be met then the device known as Searaser goes a long way toward achieving that goal.
Imagine if you will a big aquatic bicycle pump type action device that works to turn wave power into clean electricity. If you can then you get some idea of the innovative new eco-energy source recently introduced by green energy company Ecotricity.
These so-called Searaser machines pump salt water to onshore generators. Having already been tested at the prototype stage their performance much praised by ministers of the government. These people were impressed by the simplicity of the design as the devices employ the rising and falling of large floats to pressurise water.
This technology differs from other wave power generation in that electricity is not internally generated. Hostile ocean environments in which machinery is routinely battered and corroded mean most such technologies are not cheap to produce or maintain but this device is
It is not only cheap to produce with few moving parts but has a great advantage over other designs. This comes through the fact that in Searaser salt water and electricity-generating equipment never meet. This gives the devices far greater potential for cheap energy production especially in the UK, which has vast potential in terms of available wave and tidal power.
Large numbers of such devices could significantly contribute to replacing use of coal and gas power plants. This would mean a huge reduction in CO2 emissions helping control global warming. It has always been the case that survival of machinery in hostile marine environments has been problematic.
In fact to date only the Strangford Lough – Ireland – based Marine Current Turbines are producing electricity for the National Grid. All the same Ecotricity founder Dale Vince believes that these new devices have the potential to produce lower cost electricity than any other renewable energy type.
He confidently expects that there will be 200 18 metre-deep Searaser devices operating around UK shores by the end of 2016, powering 236,000 homes from wave energy. This energy generation comes through the devices working exactly like bicycle pumps.
They have need of neither lubricating nor hydraulic oil and the structures are flexible enough to cope easily with the heaviest of seas. Welcome UK government plans to more than double marine energy subsidies will help speed the process. This is a great step toward a much more environmentally friendly way of generating power and will hopefully lead to much bigger things.
Image via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Current_Turbines#mediaviewer/File:Seaflow_raised_16_jun_03.jpg
I have been writing for pleasure for half a century, but only started writing for money around 1994. Since then I have had a few thousand articles, stories and poems published on line and in print all round the world.
I am now 63 years old, male, from Burnley in the UK, and apart from writing, I love to read - mainly crime thrillers, conspiracy theory books and science fiction, though I also love films, gardening and chatting with my wife who is also my best friend.
I enjoy feedback from readers, and interaction with fellow writers. Anyone who gets in touch with me will get a reply. I am always happy to read and comment upon the work of others, as I think we writers are something of a definite sub-species of humanity!