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Wave energy can be harnessed and converted into electrical through various types of mechanisms and various devices are used for each type of mechanism. There have been eight types of devices used till date to convert the wave energy and use them for various domestic and commercial purposes.
They are as follows:
Attenuator is a device which has two arms connected to a common shaft. It floats along the surface of the ocean parallel to the sea waves. It is a floating device that captures the kinetic energy (i.e.) the upward and downward movement of the waves. The kinetic energy of the waves is converted into electrical energy by the relative motion of the two arms that are connected to the common shaft.
The point absorber has two parts in it namely the floating part that is at or near the water level and a base that is under the sea level. This is also a floating device and it is capable of capturing the wave energy from all the directions in the water level. The upward and downward motion of the floating top is converted into electrical energy.
This device operates under water and has a pendulum arm which is fixed to the base, As the water particles and the water surges pass through the device the pendulum arm oscillates and this movement is converted into electrical energy.
This is not a device but a hollow structure with its bottom open to the seawater and the top is sealed with an opening to the atmospheric air. As the seawater moves up and own in the structure the air pressure inside decreases and increases thereby rotating the turbine which is placed in the path to the atmospheric air. Thus electric energy is produced.
It is a structure that captures the water during the high tides and returns them back into the ocean through a low head reservoir. This returning water is passed through a turbine where the kinetic energy of the water is converted into mechanical energy of the turbine and then into electrical energy. This is similar to that of a tidal power plant.
This device is generally placed near the shores where the base is attached to the seabed and the floating pumps moves according to the oscillation of the waves. This pumping creates pressure differential thereby generating electricity.
It is nothing but a rubber tube filled with water and has a low-pressure turbine at one end with an opening at the other. The water enters through the opening creating a bulge that travels along the waves gaining energy. This energy is used to run the turbine thereby producing electric energy.
This device has an electric generator whose shaft is connected in common to the whole device itself and a mass inside it. Due to the ocean waves movement the device rotates and so does the weight inside it. Both the motions are captured and converted into electricity by the electric generator.