State aims to use waves to generate powerUPDATED 10:42 PM HST Jul 21, 2014Video Transcript
Turning energy from the waves into electricity people can use on land Hawaii will be the first state to hook up to this type of water- produced power. KITV4's Paul Drewes has more details. show surf waves Hawaii is well known as the place to be for spectacular waves, where the best test their skills in the surf. But now the state will also be known as the place to test just how much electricity can be created in the waves. The U.S. Navy is spending millions of dollars to expand the Wave Energy Test Site in Kaneohe Bay. 24:00-24:10 "potential energy for Hawaii is huge, but the practical problems to make it commercially viable are also huge" The University of Hawaii will monitor and measure the impact and effectiveness of a new proto-type buoy that will be installed this fall. One that will sit largely below the surface in about 100 feet of water, generating power to undersea cables by the motion of the ocean. It will be the first time a wave- generating buoy will be plugged in to a US power grid. This buoy is just one of two new buoys that will be launched -- each different in design and size because researchers are still trying to figure out the best way to get the most power from the ocean. 25:20-25:33 "Wave energy is where wind energy was 30 years ago. We're at that early stage of trying to figure out what the viable approaches are to energy extraction." While coastal areas already have numerous buoys bobbing, it is unknown how an array of large power producing buoys could affect marine life. So measurements of sound generated Electro-Magnetic Frequency will be taken along with underwater surveys to see the durability of the new devices. Information that could be used as larger, commercial wave-power buoys are produced. show picture The first proto-type could generate up to 20 Kw, enough to power several homes, but more importantly it will also help determine just how much energy can be captured as both big waves and small roll in. 37:26-37:34 "there is a lack of of data to really answer the question how much power can we get out of a given wave" The first buoy will go in about 3000 feet from shore, the second one is expected to be installed -- next year just over a mile from shore. Each will be deployed for a year. Then newer designs and even bigger buoys could take their place.