[permaculture] Waves of human powered generators

jc at rockymountaintrading.com jc at rockymountaintrading.com
Wed Oct 18 12:43:21 EDT 2006

I think harnessing the natural energy of the ocean has some
potential (surfers know this) but with that technology comes
the potential to muck up the ocean and fish life as well in
the process.  The big possibility and in my opinion the best
solution to the so called "energy crisis" (which is actually
better defined as a "wasteful consumption crisis") that I
never see discussed in the energy generation mix is
human-powered generation.  When I get my second $1,000,000
(I would buy a hot springs in Idaho with my first, see
www.HavenUp.com) I plan to sponsor a nation-wide contest in
which the million dollars would be awarded to whomever can
devise the best human powered electricity generator (I am
thinking between 2, 4 and 8 humans working together, not
just a one-person generator although this also may also be
feasible ?).  Once such a generator is designed it could be
franchised and placed in every prison in the country as well
as gyms and any area of high electrical consumption or
low-employment or high rates of obesity.  Prisoners could be
motivated to work off a partial amount of their sentence and
in the process be given an opportunity to do something good
for the planet/community...  The working civilian teams
members would be paid wages in proportion to how much their
team was able to generate...

Think about it, humans are the problem (we are the ones that
consume energy) so we should be able to solve it by our own
muscle and brain power using mechanical advantages and my
guess, simple and already available technology. 

Hanta Yo,  JC


 ----- Original Message Follows -----
From: Saor Stetler <saor at ycbtal.net>
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [permaculture] Waves: The Next Wave in Clean, Green
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 17:17:41 -0700

>Published on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 by the lnter Press
>Service  <http://www.ips.org>
>Waves: The Next Wave in Clean, Green Power
>by Enrique Gili
>SAN DIEGO, California - Oregon's spectacular coastline
>could become the  United States' center for wave energy
>development in coming years, with  plans underway to
>install power buoys in locations with enough potential  to
>meet the state's future energy needs.
>Electrical engineers at Oregon State University are
>developing  electricity-generating buoys they believe will
>be a key component for  clean, green wave power. Their
>objective is to convert the Pacific  Ocean's heavy rolling
>swell into a renewable energy resource., relying  on buoys
>to harness the near constant rise and fall of waves to
>produce  electricity.
>"Waves generate energy through motion," said Dr. Annette
>von Jouanne, an  electrical engineering professor at Oregon
>State University (OSU).
>The OSU project is part of a renewed global effort to
>investigate wave  and tidal power as a potential source of
>alternative energy, she noted.
>"Oregon is an ideal location," von Jouanne added in an
>Along Oregon's 460 kilometers of open coastline, waves
>average 1.5  meters high during the summer months and 3.5
>meters during the winter.
>To achieve their goals, von Jouanne and her colleagues at
>OSU have  designed several types of power buoys, including
>oscillating linear  generators they refer to as "direct
>drive" technology.
>"The devices directly convert the linear motion of the wave
>into  electrical energy without any hydraulic or pneumatic
>stages," von  Jouanne said.
>The upshot is a submersible buoy that can produce
>electricity without  the risk of corrosive salt water
>wreaking havoc on its internal parts,  and which is capable
>of withstanding the constant wear and tear of  moving water
>that causes most machines to break down.
>The buoy is composed of copper wire sheathed around a
>magnetic shaft  made from high-density, rare earth
>materials, housed in a watertight  chamber that forms an
>impermeable barrier. Tethered to the ocean floor  with a
>heavy cable, the shaft remains fixed in place as the outer 
>section bobs up and down in the water. That motion, coupled
>with a  magnet moving through the center of a copper coil,
>generates electricity.
>Today, wave energy is undergoing a revival not seen since
>the OPEC  energy crisis of the 1970s. At that time, ocean
>energy enjoyed a brief  period of notoriety, as oil
>supplies slumped and the price of crude  skyrocketed.
>However, interest waned as prices for fossil fuels dropped 
>and incentives to develop alternative energy supplies
>"Wave energy is still in its infancy," said Justin Klure, a
>senior  energy advisor for Oregon State. In order for ocean
>energy resources to  be viable, advances need to be made in
>the technology and wave energy  must be made affordable to
>consumers, he said.
>Nevertheless, Oregon is committed to developing renewable
>energy  resources in order to cut overall greenhouse gas
>emissions and reduce  the state's dependency on hydropower
>and fossil fuels. In the long term,  25 percent of Oregon's
>energy supply will come from wave, solar, and  wind power,
>Klure said.
>These efforts reflect renewed interest in the United States
>and  elsewhere to use wave and tidal power to reduce fossil
>fuel dependency  and to develop alternative sources of
>energy. Energy experts claim that  harnessing just 0.2
>percent of the ocean's untapped energy would meet  the
>entire planet's power needs.
>Currently several energy projects are underway to test the
>feasibility  of wave and power in Hawaii, Portugal and
>England. Klure compares wave  power favourably to wind
>technology when that industry was in its  earliest stages
>of development 15 years ago. When specialists began 
>advocating the use of wind power for large-scale energy
>projects,  modern-day wind farms were a promising though
>untested technology.
>Initially, wind turbines were expensive to produce and
>unwieldy. Over  time, their fabrication, design and
>efficiency improved dramatically.
>With the development of von Jouanne's prototypes and plans
>for a wave  farm near Gardiner, Oregon hopes to become the
>epicenter for a new  industry focusing on wave technology.
>Not only will Oregon become less  dependent on fossil fuel
>and hydropower, but in the process become the  "Boeing"
>corporation of wave energy technology, bringing investment
>and  jobs to the region, said Klure.
>Western Oregon's paucity of sunshine also makes wave
>technology  appealing to state regulators. Water is 800
>more times dense than air so  the amount of energy
>extractable from ocean power is exponentially that  much
>greater. Also, when compared to wind and solar power, waves
>are  more consistent. Incoming swell can be predicted with
>80 percent  accuracy and is virtually constant.
>A buoy measuring three meters high, bobbing up and down in
>the ocean,  could produce 250 kilowatts per unit -- meaning
>a modest-sized network  of about 200 buoys could illuminate
>the downtown business district of  Portland.
>Theoretically, a grid of wave farms established along
>Oregon's shoreline  could produce most if not all of the
>state's energy needs. However, the  state's renewable
>energy objectives are far more modest, with an overall 
>goal to produce 500 megawatts of wave power within 20
>However, plans for wave power remain just that. Before wave
>farms are  fully implemented, renewable energy has to be
>balanced with concerns  over the impact on marine resources
>and the effect on tourism and the  recreation industry.
>Power buoys could pose their own unforeseen threat to
>wildlife. If those  concerns are dealt with, Oregon's clean
>green wave power could lead the  nation in developing
>renewable energy resources.
>This story is part of a series of features on sustainable
>development by  IPS and IFEJ - International Federation of
>Environmental Journalists.
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>permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org

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