Home T+C Assessment Bibliography Component 1 Component 3
Team Design Glossary Component 2

Component 3

NCT- Energy
Sub Category- Renewable Energy
Technical Application- Ocean Turbines

Task One: Propose an original improvement or new use regarding your team?s technical application. Explain in detail how it works and provide a link to your design requirement.

Our team?s problem regards major power outages that take place during and after severe thunderstorms. We narrowed down to a way to prevent power loss in homes by replacing it with an alternative energy source when the outages take place. Our main topic is to research on ocean turbines. After doing research and thinking of a solution for our problem we have decided upon an improvement that consisted of building a tank in the ocean that contains several turbines that spin in the ocean, making artificial waves. After the waves are made, they are passed directly to the ocean turbines so they can produce electricity. Since oceans don?t always produce waves that are strong enough to spin the turbines, we can use this device to make greater and stronger of waves that will make ocean turbines more efficient in generating power. Eventually, the world will have more than enough electricity that can replace the lost power during power outages. Click here to see our design.

Task Two: Explain what economic impact your team?s proposed improvement or new use would have as it relates to the problem you identified in Component One.

Our solution to the constant weather-related power outages would have a large economic impact, especially in the state of Florida. Generator sales would decrease as most people would not have to worry about having back-up power. Also, companies and businesses would not have to worry about losing money or customers during a storm, as power outages would no longer affect businesses equipped with our solution. Traffic due to power outages causing traffic lights to malfunction would be solved as well, creating safer road travel after a storm. And since the roads will be safer, there will be less car craches and less funding for people?s recovery in automobile accidents. Also, Non-renewable forms of energy that pollute the atmosphere such as oil would not be used as much, causing the oil industry to lose sales. People would see that renewable energy can be put into action.

Task Three: Identify and describe a company, federal agency or academic research laboratory that could carry out your team?s proposed new improvement or new use.

Our new improvement, using a wave pump to increase waves for ocean turbines, was originally developed by the makers of SEA DOG, a wave pump. INRITM is an energy technology company that develops environmentally friendly technologies from idea through pre-commercial demonstration. The company owns the rights to a patented technology that captures energy from ocean waves (the SEADOGTM Pump) and a system that can generate power from the excess pressure released by natural gas pipeline systems (EAGLETM).

Task Four: Using e-mail, obtain the opinion of a scientist or engineer about your team's proposed improvement or new use for the technical application. Add this information to your website by including the individual's name, organization, copies of the e-mail the team sent and the reply it received from its inquiry.

Possible Solution

Dr. Boatman,

As you know our team would like to generate power by using altenative energy. We narrowed it down to ocean turbines. We know you have done work with them so we wanted to run a possible solution by you. We want to use something similar to a wave pump that only generates waves in a larger thing that hold water. We want to put it into a fresh water chamber to ceate waves that will in turn spin a simple turbine to generate power. Please critique this as much as you need to make it better. I am not able to access my school Email at home so please email me back.
Thank you so much


Hi Samantha -

One of the big issues with generating electricity is how much energy do you need to produce the electricity. Putting a turbine in the ocean uses the earth's system, i.e. currents, to generate electricity, there is no input from people. In your suggestion, how will you make the waves in the chamber? Won't that take energy? Will it use more energy than you are creating?

However, if you are still focusing on hurricanes and power outages, could you somehow harness energy from the hurricane to make waves and generate electricity? Remember that the main reason people loose power at their homes is that the transmission line is broken. Is there something that each home could have to generate electricity? Maybe the chamber could be a swimming pool?


New Idea

Dr. Boatman,

We took your idea of having the power source near the home itself. Our other mentor suggested we have a device that has two water tanks on top and three cylinders with turbines inside in between them. The water will start on top and one cylinder will open and water will rush down and spin the turbine and go to the bottom tank. They will then close up and it will do the same thing for the other two cylinders until all of the water is in the bottom tank. We are not sure how we want to get the water back up so the process can start again. We have thought about something similar to a rotisserie. We did some research and found a car rotisserie and thought we could use something similar to that. We also thought of cutting off a corner so that it might turn by itself from its own weight. How do you feel about this idea? Do you have any ideas that may improve it? http://www.theroto2000.com/ this is an example of a car rotisserie
Thank you so much

Response from Dr. Boatman

Hi Samantha -
I think it is a good idea, especially if you can get the water back to the top without using the electricity you are generating or some other power source. Is there some way that the water that has passed over the turbine can be used to raise another bucket to the top? I'm thinking of something like a Ferris wheel design with buckets, not unlike the rotisserie. Sounds like you are on the right track to a very interesting and innovative idea that would meet your initial goal.

Response from Mr Wilson

I think the idea is rotisserie plausible but not practical. you need to have two to three times the more volume of water in the top tank and continuously pump from bottom tank to top tank. The power used to pump water should be minimal.

Back to top.
?2008 CAT#07-1715 • Last Update:February 29, 2008 • Contact-Project Advisor-Dicus