How is wave energy produced?


The sea contains an enormous amount of energy with a clean and unlimited potential. Therefore, today we tell you everything you need to know about a specific type of energy that our oceans have: wave energy.

What is it? How is it produced and what technologies does it use? What advantages does it have and what is the current state of this energy?

What is wave energy?

It is the energy contained in the movement of the waves of the sea and that can be used to convert it into electricity. Due to its natural origin and the methods used to extract and transform it, this energy is renewable and clean.

How is wave energy produced?

Currently, wave energy can be generated by several different technologies. In fact, plants are classified by type depending on that technology.

The main ones are:

  • Oscillating water column: which has an air chamber that forces said compressed air towards a turbine that is the one that produces electricity.
  • Oscillating Wave Converter - Another device that, as the name suggests, oscillates with the waves and uses their rise and fall to capture energy and convert it.
  • Absorption point buoy: this device is a floating buoy, attached to the bottom by cables. It also uses the rise and fall of waves to generate electricity in various ways.
  • Surface attenuator: similar to buoys, they have several interconnected floating segments that are oriented perpendicular to the incoming waves. They produce a bending movement that activates electricity-generating hydraulic pumps.
  • Overflow devices: These consist of long structures that use the speed of waves to fill a reservoir higher than the ocean. The potential energy at the height of this reservoir is captured by turbines.
  • Submerged differential pressure converters: a technology somewhat more modern than the rest, which uses membranes to extract energy through pressure difference between waves and a fluid.
  • Floating converters: which have the advantage of simpler maintenance and repair than the previous ones, as they are not submerged.