A wave power plant converts the kinetic energy of the ocean waves to electrical energy. A funnel-shaped roof covers the surface of the water. Inside, the waves rise and fall, compressing and expanding the trapped air. The energy stored in the pressure difference is converted to electric power by a Wells turbine and generator. The special feature of a Wells turbine is that, once in motion, it maintains the same direction of rotation, regardless of the direction from which the water is flowing. The reason for this is the turbine’s completely symmetrical blade profile.
A wave power plant in Scotland supplies as many as 50 households with electrical energy. However, the cost/benefit ratio of such power plants is relatively poor, which is why hardly any other wave power plants of this type have been built worldwide since 2011.
Illustration; Interactive graphic
Personal, social and health education (PSHE)
Ecology; Energy; Environmental change; Environmental protection; Hydroelectric plant; Power generation; Renewable energy; Turbine
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