October 14, 2008 11:34 am

You’ve heard of wind power and solar power, but what about wave power? InventHelp’s Invention Girl has learned that the world’s first commercial wave power project has been inaugurated off the Portuguese coast.

Scottish engineering company Pelamis Wave Power Limited has invented the Pelamis Wave Energy Converters (PWEC), which is designed to harness the ocean’s massive energy to generate 2.25 megawatts of power.

Named for the sea snake Pelamis, each machine measures more than 450 feet long and 11-1/2 feet wide, and is partially submerged in the salt water of the sea. Hydraulic rams within the machine move up and down with the motion of the waves. This power is channeled along a system of reservoirs and eventually fed down to a cable on the sea bed. The cable then links back to a sub-station on shore where it is converted into useable electricity.

When the full array of 25 machines is in place, it is calculated that around 60,000 tons of CO2 will be displaced by this green-energy option. However, inventing a machine that’s durable enough to withstand the forceful power of the waves could prove to be a challenge in the long-term.

The immense power of the ocean is not news to anyone who’s ever turned their back on it, only to be clobbered by a huge, towering wave. InventHelp’s Invention Girl is looking forward to seeing what’s next for wave power inventions!

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