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US scientists convert ocean waves into electricity

Atargis Energy researchers use their wave energy converter to produce electricity from ocean waves

Ocean waves could be the newest source of green energy

US researchers successfully converted simulated ocean waves into electric power using a Cycloidal Wave Energy Converter (CycWEC). Atargis Energy Corporation scientists used a 1:10 scale model that delivered 370 W of electric power from the incoming wave at the Texas A&M Offshore Technology Research Center in College Station, Texas.

Atargis’s CycWEC is the first converter to produce electricity this way. The corporation will produce a full scale ocean prototype with a design power of 5MW, which should be enough to power more than 3000 average US households.

Atargis Energy said: “A CycWEC uses hydrofoils that create lift in order to interact efficiently with incoming ocean waves, and produces rotational shaft power that can directly drive a conventional generator.”

The converter operates fully submerged and can be shut down by feathering the hydrofoils to avoid damage in a storm.

Atargis Energy plans to make design adjustments for their ocean prototype at 1:4 scale that is scheduled for testing in 2014.