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PaulS's picture

Searaser wave power

The Searaser machine works by using wave energy to pump water up to container tanks and the water is then released to a hydro-electric turbine.

The advantage of this system over many other wave energy machines is that there is a controllable supply.

Former garage mechanic Mr Smith came up with the idea after developing a number of wave energy systems.

He has now patented the Searaser which he believes, with 11,000 machines, could provide enough power for UK domestic needs.

The system has been tested off south Devon with the financial support of three local businessmen.

He is now negotiating a contract to construct the first Searaser system in the Middle East, although talks are an early stage and he will not reveal the names of the interested countries.

He told BBC News: "If you think of the power in waves to lift a 500-tonne ship and harness that to pump water, you have an amazingly powerful resource.

"When you combine that with hydro-electric power, creating a constant, controllable power, you have something that could answer the world's and not just the UK's energy problems."

A question remains on getting planning permission to site many containers or water towers to feed the turbines, but Mr Smith says the potential of the system outweighs planning concerns.

He said: "The potential is enormous. We have plenty of waves around the west coast of the UK and plenty of seawater. There is an abundance of energy there which we have got to use."

The same principle could be used with other renewable energy sources. For example, a wind turbine could be used to pump sea water up a cliff during off-peak. At peak time not only could the wind turbine switch to producing electricity directly, but at the same time the pumped water could be released to a hydro-electric turbine to generate further peak time electricity.

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