Instructables

Theoretical wave action pump, making fresh water and electricity

Picture of Theoretical wave action pump, making fresh water and electricity
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The theory: use wave action from the ocean to pump sea water uphill through a series of one way valves and reduced piping to a lipped dome reservoir, catching fresh water condensating inside the dome in the "lip", returning the sea water back to the ocean, thereby allowing hydro electric generation through gravity and water flow.

The question is this: will the wave action with the force of the ocean behind it be able to push sea water uphill to the reservoir?

If this can be accomplished the rest has all been done before.

If this can be done in area's of good wave action it may alleviate water and power shortages along much of the worlds coast-lines

Your comments would be appreciated

Graham L
gpatterson848 months ago

The waves may be a problem - pushing fluid up-hill, during low tide particularly.

Graham L (author)  gpatterson848 months ago

Hi

The whole theory of this concept is based on large scale construction. The walls been between 50 and 100 m long, channeling the force and direction of the sea water to the pipe opening. There would be a one way valve opening inwards so the push of the ocean would hopefully have enough pressure behind it to force the water inside the pipe on-wards and upwards. Due to the one way valves low tide should not be a problem. As I said it is and idea and if it can be done, YIPPEE

Graham L (author) 1 year ago
rimar2000 - having watched wave action push sea water through blow holes with high pressure and seeing the resultant force with which the water is pushed out the blow hole
i'm sort of convinced that with the whole ocean and wind pushing the wave to shore, that by channeling this force to a small area, one would be able to raise water through this method.
This would be and intresting project for those smart kids at university to try in a small scale wave pool to prove concept
rimar20001 year ago
The idea is not bad, but I think the waves's energy is not enough to force the water to raise through the valves. Maybe it is matter of tuning, but anyway the height will not be enough to move an hydroelectric generator.
Graham L (author) 1 year ago
Thank you for the comments, just a bit of history of where the idea came from.
A couple of beers and we are out to save the planet. The original idea was to produce fresh water on a constant basis to supply water to desert like coast lines, like the west coast of South Africa and Namibia. the fresh water would be used to plant pioneer plants buy digging away about 2 m of the surface sand, laying plastic sheeting, (rethought instead of plastic sheeting, a biodegradable material that could hold water and degrade over a period of time), recover the sheeting with the removed surface sand, water and plant.

r-philp - the scope of the idea is massive. the directional wall would be between 100 and 200m in length, the first stage one way valve, anything from 10 to 50 m square

Regarding the condensation aspect, the domed reservoir would heat up during the day (daytime temp between 30 and 40 degree's C, night time temp often below 0 degree's C) and as far as I am aware, as long as the dome cooled to less than the water temp, condensation would occur

Ironically, electricity production was an afterthought.

Rebellemming and Ranie-k: thanks for the comments, the concept although initially very costly was to have few moving parts and to be low maintenance

Your comments are greatly appreciated, lets work on this one and reclaim our desert like coastlines
I kind of agree with r-philp re. condensation. The electricity idea is good and has been used in some places with cavernous cliffs where the waves basically are "captured" and the water pushed upwards acts as a piston that pushes the air a large cylinder to power a horizontal windmill. I think the movement of water upward to a place for use in a hydroelectric dam as it is released may be a waste if you have waves all of the time. I would be more inclined to use the energy at its source. Why don't you use the funneled waves to push a piston horizontally and. . .
r-philp1 year ago
That's an interesting design. There are a few elements that I think could warrant further investigation.
1) wouldn't the constant influx of cool seawater inhibit the evaporation of the seawater, unless you restricted the incoming flow to a trickle?
2) if you did reduce the flow that much, it would seem that locating your generator on the return line might not be as efficient as placing it at the seawall, where the full force of the waves could act upon it.

Electrical generation aside, the idea of using wave action and tapering pipes to pump seawater to an evaporator is a great idea. It would be interesting to see how high water can be "pumped" with this method.
Ranie-K1 year ago
Even if it can't get up hill directly by wave action, you can use a more traditional wave power plant to pump it up hill to achieve the same result.