Dec 8, 2008 | 1
American research firm SRI International and Japan's Hyper Drive Corporation today are testing the latest generation of their jointly developed buoy-mounted, ocean wave-powered generator off the coast of Santa Cruz, Calif. As the generator bobs up and down, an accordionlike device inside, made of artificial muscle called Electroactive Polymer Artificial Muscle (EPAM), stretches and contracts, creating mechanical energy that is converted into electricity.
SRI is hoping to demonstrate its ability to generate at least 10 Watts of power in waves about 3.3 feet (one meter) in height, a stepping stone to the 100-Watt capacity the researchers hope to be able to generate within a few years. One of their goals is to replace the 25-Watt batteries that navigation buoys use today with a source of renewable energy that can power additional equipment such as cameras and storm warning sensors.
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