April 7th, 2008 - Open Knowledge
Apr. 7th, 2008
Oceanlinx, an Australian wave energy company, announced plans for a $20 million project to install three floating wave energy converters (WECs), i.e. wave-powered turbine platforms, to supply up to 2.7MW of electricity to the island of Maui, Hawaii. The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Renewable Hawaii, Inc. (RHI), for potential passive investment in a project . RHI is owned by the Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc.
The project could be operational by the end of 2009.
69-year-old Japanese sailor Ken-ichi Horie will attempt to captain the world’s most advanced wave-powered boat 4,350 miles from Hawaii to Japan. If all goes as planned, he’ll set the first Guinness world record for the longest distance traveled by a wave-powered boat and, along the way, show off the greenest nautical propulsion system since the sail.
At the heart of the record-setting bid is the Suntory Mermaid II, a three-ton catamaran made of recycled aluminum alloy that turns wave energy into thrust. Two fins mounted side by side beneath the bow move up and down with the incoming waves and generate dolphin-like kicks that propel the boat forward. “Waves are a negative factor for a ship—they slow it down,” says Yutaka Terao, an engineering professor at Tokai University in Japan who designed the boat’s propulsion system. “But the Suntory can transform wave energy into propulsive power regardless of where the wave comes from.”
“The 36 foot catamaran, Revelation II, is powered by 3 20-foot long carbon fiber propellers on a 30 foot rotating mast. The windmill transmits power to a 6 blade propeller underwater, with the net result that the boat can make way even directly into the wind.”
The boat was apparently built by Jim Wilkinson who is a member of the AYRS or Amateur Yacht Research Society.
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