Francis Farley, an experimental physicist (I like them much more than the theoreticians), has invented the “Anaconda” wave powered device. It can mainly be described as a large distensible tube, made out of rubber, closed at both ends and filled with water. The Anaconda tube is designed to be anchored just below the sea’s surface, with one of its ends facing the oncoming waves.

When a wave hits the tube’s end, it sqeezes it and forms a bulge wave inside the rubber tube. A “bulge wave” is a pressure wave, produced when a fluid oscillates forwards and backwards inside a distensible tube. The bulge wave created so travels at a speed determined by the geometry and material properties of the tube. A periodically reversing flow accompanies the bulge waves, and the power resulted is extracted using a pair of duck-bill valves that convert the bulge wave into a rectified flow past a turbine between a high pressure and a low pressure reservoir. The power produced that way is transported through a cable to the shore.

The price of making and maintaining the Anaconda Bulge Wave device is lower than that of standard wave powered devices, mainly because this one is made out of rubber and the others are made of metal. The Anaconda doesn’t have to have articulations, hydraulic rams, etc, all of those costing extra capital to the device’s maintenance and fabrication process.

Still, the Anaconda has only been tested in a small lab scale, the full version of it still needs to be tested in a real world environment to see if it’s viable or not.

Although theoreticians are indispensable to the invention process as a whole, they are often limited to their taught concepts and they often don’t see what’s obvious just because it isn’t written in their books or doesn’t show up in their calculations.

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[via greencarcongress]

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