The Anaconda is a new wave power generator which could soon be harnessing the vast amounts of clean power around Britain’s coasts.
Checkmate Seaenergy Ltd have put together a proof-of-concept prototype system to convert wave energy into electricity using bulge waves – Anaconda. Anaconda is simply a large long rubber tube filled with water, closed at both ends, with its head anchored to face the oncoming waves. As the motion of the waves underneath the rubber tube causes the tube to rise and fall, it sqeezes the tube in some places and causing bulges of water to form in other places. The bulges are pushed through the tube at the same speed as the waves passing below the tube with the bulges effectively surfing on the front of the waves carrying energy (in the stretched rubber around the bulge). This concept is illustrated well in the image below from Daily Mail.
The bulges of high pressure water are collected in an accumulator before being released into a conventional hydraulic turbine which in turn drives an electricity generator. When the water leaves the turbine it is fed back around into the main tube again (in a low pressure region).
The advantage of the Anaconda over say the Pelamis system is that the Anaconda is so cheap to make (relatively), and has no hinges or joints to break. The designers predict that the cost of an Anaconda which will generate an average of 1 Megawatt of electricity (12 month average) will be around GBP 2-3 million. Such a tube would need to be 7 metres in diameter, and 150 metres long, and would be installed a couple of miles off the UK coast in the North Atlantic.
Anaconda was invented by Professors Francis Farley and Rod Rainey.
Useful Links and Downloads
Click below to watch a video simulation of the Anaconda wave energy converter in action.
Click here to download the Anaconda technical memo (12 page PDF) which explains the science behind Anaconda and electricity generation from bulge waves.