Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 14, 2016 at 10:16 pm.
This unusual approach based on close observation of nature harmonizes generation of power with the behaviour of plants and animals in the marine setting. Instead of poles or floating platforms, the vanes or blades are below the surface, where they move with the waves and tides in continuous self-orientation, somewhat like seaweeds. This technology allows capture of a larger "swept area" than a turbine mounted on rigidly-fixed structure.
Also like marine plants, more extreme water forces will cause the vanes to extend and narrow themselves, reducing stresses and minimizing the risk of breakage. When a storm's power approaches the tolerance limit of the technology, the device automatically shuts itself down and lies flat on the seabed.
This range of adaptability and self-limitation will also reduce costs both in the strength of the materials required and in avoiding breakage and replacement as far as possible. The main requirement will be secure anchorage of the bioWAVE(TM) device, and its connection to land-based energy systems which will utilize the energy.
Since many types of devices are routinely deployed offshore with cables attaching to the sea floor, one would expect that no new technology is required for the anchoring structure. However, this company has come up with one called bioBASE(TM) which instead of a single pole sunk deeply, utilizes a subdivided anchoring analogous to the roots of a kelp plant. See .
Versions of the bioWAVE(TM) can be scaled up from 500 kW to 2000kW depending on local requirements and ocean conditions.
Nature's version of a tidal generator, according to BioPower Systems, is based on the finely-honed shape of a shark's tail fin, which is 90% efficient at converting energy into motion. Having a single rotational attachment, the device can align itself with water flowing in any direction.
In this case the thinking is reversed compared to the bioWAVE(TM). The bioSTREAM(TM) is a fixed structure in a riverbed, and the force of the flowing water moves this fin against the O-DRIVE(TM) generator.
This generator is designed by the same company to maximize the power that can be converted from wave energy, which tends to be random rather than linear. Thus the oscillation is captured around a single axis. http://www.biopowersystems.com/odrive.html.
This technology in effect reverses the wave-drive that some proposed boat designs would use instead of engines and propellors.
In order to derive continuous delivery of smooth AC power from random wave energy, features of the design include:
a single-stage reciprocating gear mechanism
a direct-drive synchronous permanent magnet generator
a high-inertia flywheel.