Snaky generator or electric eel

July 28th, 2008 | Posted in alan | Tags: ,

A giant rubber snake could be the future of renewable energy. The rippling ‘Anaconda’ produces electricity as it is squeezed by passing waves. The device is a flexible tube filled with seawater and sealed at both ends like a sausage. Each wave squeezes the tube, producing a bulging pressure wave that travels down its length. When the bulge reaches the end it sets turbines spinning, generating electricity. Full scale versions will be 7 metres across, 200 metres long and produce 1 megawatt of power. Mini anacondas a few metres long are now being tested by John Chaplin and Grant Hearn at the university of Southampton. They hope to test a one-third scale model in the sea next year. Chaplin says a rubber structure with few mechanical parts will be more resilient than existing wave-power devices