While the Loch Ness monster is still at large, sightings of Scotland's newest sea beast, the Isle of Lewis giant metal snake, have been confirmed. A Scottish company, Camcal, has riveted together three 450-foot wave-powered energy snakes in what they call the Pelamis project. As the hollow tubes slither across the surface of the ocean, they produce electricity via generators in their joints. The plan is to build enough Pelamis snakes to eventually generate 2.25 megawatts. This BBC article outlines the maiden voyage of the snakes on their way from the Isle of Lewis to Western Isles for Portugal.
Stateside, tidal pioneers in Oregon are opting to go with a large yellow bobber design. With a series of what they call permanent magnet linear generator buoys, professors at Oregon State University have implemented an elegant design that features a metal coil within a bobbing buoy surrounding a magnetic core that tethered to the ocean floor. As the coil jostles around the internal magnets, ocean electricity is zapped two miles to the Oregon coast.
In the wake of a recent study that bashes some renewable energy sources for using too much land, I say bring on the snakes and bobbers!
Thanks to Steven Christian of Portland, OR for the tip.
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