Ocean waves are caused by the wind when it blows across the waters. Waves are a powerful source of energy. The main problem is that it’s not easy to harness this energy and convert it into electricity in large amounts. Thus, wave power stations are rare.
There are several methods of getting energy from waves. One of them works like a swimming pool wave machine in reverse. At a swimming pool, air is blown in and out of a chamber beside the pool, which makes the water outside bob up and down, causing waves.
At a wave power station, the waves arriving cause the water in the chamber to rise and fall, which means that air is forced in and out of the hole in the top of the chamber. We place a turbine in this hole, which is turned by the air rushing in and out. The turbine turns a generator. A problem with this design is that the rushing air can be very noisy, unless a silencer is fitted to the turbine. The noise is not a huge problem anyway, as the waves make quite a bit of noise themselves.
This is just one method for harvesting the power of ocean waves. The benefits of using this kind of energy are this: is free, no fuel needed, not expensive to operate and maintain and most important is no waste produced.
A good example of a power station operated by the Wavegen Company which is using this kind of harvesting wave energy is called “Limpet” and is situated on the Scottish island of Islay.