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Main Explanation | Connecting Electronically | Storms

    There are many ways to capture wave power. This is just one of them. Application of wave power is easy on your own island.

What features are in your favor:

  1. Waves all but never stop, 24/7.
  2. This method can be accomplished in water of any depth.
  3. Your island floats, and is fairly large. It’s going to go up and down whether you like it or not.
  4. It can be fairly inexpensive to implement.
  5. A good weekend project.
    There are 3 types of waves to work with.
  1. Regular waves
  2. Tidal waves
  3. Storm surges
    This method is designed using regular waves, the continuous ones. Most large bodies of water have useable waves. They don’t have to be tall ones, like in Hawaii, because your needs are reasonable.

    Thus, your equipment can be reasonable. An automobile alternator, with an automobile battery and charging system. True regular waves don’t quit very often, so the battery may seem superfluous. However, electrically the car’s electrical system is designed to maintain itself within acceptable limits, which allows you to connect things like you would in your car, and you don’t need to be an electronic engineer like me.

    However, a working alternator must turn much faster than wave power will ordinarily supply. Thus a “gearbox” or a group of pulleys can speed up the crank’s turning speed to the needs of your alternator. Each location will have regular waves to turn your crank at different speeds. So you will have to experiment a little, until your alternator turns at full speed. If you’ve included the “charging light” from the dashboard you salvaged your secondhand alternator from, under ordinary circumstances it will be off. Make sure you follow the wiring from the salvage car, so you can hook it up right.

    The gearbox is connected to the crank. (See the Picture.) It turns at the speed of the waves. How big it needs to be depends on how tall your waves usually are. It should be at the top of its turning when your waves are at their peek, and at the bottom of its turning when your waves are at the bottom of their trough.

    It’s much easier to use a plastic rope or flexible cable, because it is easier to handle lines at sea. You’ll note that there is a swivel where it connects to the crank, so it won’t just wrap itself around the crank as it turns. On the opposite side of this crank is a counter weight. Its purpose is to help keep the flexible line straight when you’re moving downward. You may or may not need it.

    Near the sea bottom is a special anchor, with wings, that can be made of natural fiber reinforced concrete, so it is tough, but cheap. Your island goes up and down with the waves. This winged weight is designed to pull the other way, and keep the crank turning in your ordinary waves. Once again you may need to experiment a little to see that it works properly with your waves.

    Next, consider the tides. This system is not designed to generate from tidal waves, which are very slow, and may be only about a foot or so, check your local tidal maps to see what you are compensating for.

    The position of the smaller winged-weight should be judged so that it is near the bottom of the sea at low tide, and doesn’t just go “clunk” on the bottom when the tide is out. The idea is to keep your wave power working, regardless of where the Moon is.

    The main anchor, on the bottom, allows for daily tidal changes, but doesn’t allow things to float away. It will take some experimenting to find out the best configuration in your case. The length of the line between the two anchors is also for you to determine. Basically, if your tide is taller, this line needs to be longer. It’s like you would use to tie up a boat.

    The anchors are shown round, because they will probably be home-made from concrete, or natural fiber reinforced concrete -- full of sand.

    You will probably need:

  1. Lights at night.
  2. Safety lights like on any sea-going boat.
  3. Your two way radio.
  4. Storm warning radio.
  5. GPS.
  6. AM/FM radio.
  7. Maybe even a TV or CD Stereo.
  8. An emergency spot light.

   That may seem like a lot, but it all works in a car or regular boat. But choose units that use the least amount of power. The two-way radio transmitter draws more power when you’re talking, than just listening, that’s another good reason for the battery.


    It’s difficult to calculate what a storm may due. I’m sure Rishi didn’t expect a storm to pick up his first island and slam it on a beach. But you can prepare within reason. Selecting your location is important. And the Main Island Anchor shown has a longer tie line, this will allow your island to go up and down as the storm serge passes through, hopefully, without causing much damage. However, the lines for generating power shouldn’t be made to hold your home in place. They have a different purpose, and are designed accordingly.

    Please keep me informed as to the progress you make. I will try to include you experience here.

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Update: 11-09-11