Monday, March 13, 2006

Wave Power

In Hawaii, there seems to be experiments going on to try to utilize wave power as opposed to wind power. See this article that describes one such experiment.

Let's think about this. Wind power requires windmills and associated structures to be built on land and of course, needs the wind - which makes certain parts of the country useless for wind power generation. There are politics also with building windmills as I have detailed before.

Wave power is more consistent and requires the use of the ocean. Barring sea animal rights groups from going out there and destroying the equipment, I can see why there is a preference for it. Waves are more available (generally speaking) and more consistent and these things are not unsightly unless you like being a few miles offshore in your boat a lot of the time. It does have the possible issue of high maintenance costs due to seawater corrosion as any marine engineer can tell you, is pretty fiercesome. A relative once told me that his mom who lived in Hawaii always got samples of new alloys of metals to test from an uncle of his. The uncle asked his mom to put it on the beach. She never did that. She just put it on the verandah of her beach house and send it back in a month or so fully corroded.

Now if you've never owned a beach house, you'll never understand why the house is in perpetual part replacement. Bricks and cement don't tolerate seawater too well. Now I wonder if Trex would do any better. Hmmmm....


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