Ocean Wave Energy Company Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 phone: 401-380-6906 foerd@owec.com 1678 East Main Road #21 Portsmouth, RI 02871 USA 
  
Ocean Wave Energy Company - About Us
Ocean Wave Energy Company - Inception
Ocean Wave Energy Company - Development

 

First:

Wave energy company,

Expressions "Ocean Wave Energy Converter", "OWEC", and "LEG linear electrical generator",
Wave driven linear electrical generator- 1978
Proposal to integrate power, water, and climate management- 1979

Wave driven LEG patent- 1980
Wave powered LEG electrical generation- 1982
Wave driven flywheel generator patent- 1987

USA government Small Business Innovation Research contract for wave energy- 1989
Simulated wave powered flywheel generator electrical generation- 1990

Internet website about wave energy conversion- 1994

Built-in sensor matrix for pre-tuning power take-off and module attitude- 1996
Wave driven counter-rotating electrical generator- 2003


About Us  

 

OWECO Ocean Wave Energy Company is developing the OWECŪ Ocean Wave Energy Converter. The Company mission provides for self stabilized modules having qualities of high electrical generation efficiency from water waves, rugged reliability, low maintenance, and low true cost. OWECŪ was invented by then 20 year old architecture student with growing interest in industrial design. As participant in a studio, "Ocean Habitat", having primary design focus on living and research spaces at water's edge, on the ocean hydroface, or in submerged environs, the inventor made organics sketches including photosynthetically activated building constructions, floating wind converters, and research spheres arranged to generally resemble octopus shapes. Spherical bodies would be interconnected by new materials, analogous to muscle tissue, that electrochemically contract or expand to situate spheres at various depths and height of research interest. While technologically unfeasible in 1978, further exploration disclosed water waves nature and, particularly, attenuation of water particle motion correspondent to depth. Concepts of modularity and neutral buoyancy embellished the technical approach. Simple beginnings led to preliminary design drawings of the first thus termed OWECŪ "Ocean Wave Energy Converter". Table tennis ball and wire sketch models were tested in water filled wastebaskets and at bay side. Within one week of OWECŪ inception, adverse effects of petroleum combustion caused a friend's death and extreme illness to the inventor. During recovery, a special study program permitted focused  OWECŪ technology development leading to graduation and 1980 U.S. Patent 4,232,230. The inventor's quest is to formulate non-polluting electrical generation means, devoid of carbon monoxide toxins, that produce fresh water and hydrogen gas.

OWECO experimented with the first wave-driven linear electrical generators, rectifier designs, buoy shapes, construction materials, and 1982 wave tank tests of three working models. OWEC® operation and electrical output elucidated further design requirements that culminated in 1987 U.S. Patent 4,672,222 authored, drafted, and prosecuted by the inventor. Full size linear-rotary generator trials were completed during 1989 US Coast Guard Small Business Innovation Research activity. Tests rendered power points for refining a technology engineering program that virtually describes all ranges of wave energy input, module sizes, and output. Since 2000, OWECO hosts international engineering interns working on computational fluid dynamic and structural analyses. Electrical control and power take-off are examined as related to large buoy dynamics. This work resulted in 2008 U.S. Patent 7,352,073 and Patent Pending. Further experiment and sea trial data verify results and raise program accuracy. Then the program is a most important tool for scalable system modeling, module specifications, manufacturing standards, and process control. Ongoing review of other proposed conversion methods confirms that large point absorber buoys have most advantageous qualities within wave environments of wide energy bandwidth and diffuse nature. 

 

Our Mission

 

I.L. Roberts’ 1881 U.S. Patent 250,104 describes a machine for utilizing the power of water waves. This modular system of discrete reciprocating buoys with racks transmits torque to corresponding pinion gears mounted on common rotating axle. If general utility then developed to flourish, concurrent with early stages of electrification and 22 years after  oil was first uncovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania, perhaps would be minimal, allayed, or absent the deleterious results of subterranean fossil hydrocarbon retrieval, exploitation, and aerosolized dispensation within Earth’s biosphere. 97 years later, the OWEC® Ocean Wave Energy Converter was conceived when inflated world market prices of refined petroleum, derivatives, and dependence on oil imports were perceived deterrents to domestic sovereignty. OWECŪ applies to several conventional and emerging technologies. Commercial utility of wide range may first be promoted in relatively small-scale application. Intensifying electrical demand is predicted for assisting or replacing prime charging sources of discrete marine aids to navigation audiovisual signaling, environmental monitoring instrumentation, and like installations requiring in situ electricity. Off-grid power systems and autonomous techniques are needed to supplant present electrical generation methods that depend on regeneration from land-based sources. The practice of using non-renewable fuel or battery-powered equipment, for example, requires repeated service and component replacement operations during a performance period. While solar panels have been phased in to account for more specialized requirements, clouding and salt deposition effects remain problematic over large-scale ocean deployment. Costly maintenance frequency is extensively reduced when utilizing indigenous power supply from efficient mechanisms that convert water wave hydrokinetic energy. Once deployed, wave energy conversion apparatus require no fuel or emissions retrofit. No hydrocarbon, particulates, CO, CO2, Nox, or SO2 air pollutant waste streams are generated. Electrical energy for wider commercialization supports off-grid communities or resource processing facilities such as fishery, aquaculture, and environmental restoration. Sheltered structures provided by certain wave energy systems can intrinsically support biogrowth and habitat development. Far reaching deployment of vast OWECŪ installations is anticipated to capacitate industrial activities that harmoniously utilize bounty of the world's oceans. Toward power, water, and climate management related to broad desire for using environmentally cyclable fuel, impending critical needs are satiated with large-scale water purification and hydrogen gas production. OWECŪ  modules symbiotically function as macro electrolyzers and aerohydrators that help regulate sea level. Wave energy can be used for pumping liberated oxygen to reinvigorate ocean dead zones. By this form of seawater sequestration, OWEC® Ocean Wave Energy Converter can help mediate both the hydrologic causes and symptoms of climate change.

Humanity's growth to over 7 billion people, at nearly 95 million per year, adds over one million people every 4 days. Predictive models conclude that 10 to 11 billion, with double today's protein needs, will inhabit Earth by 2050. That may be low. Regional exceptions exist, for example, including Japan's depopulation. Absent of humility, swelling masses of 98.6š Fahrenheit people, petroleum by-product emissions, and attendant "meaningful life activities" defer natural accountability to false economies of easy open-ended emissions practices. Some regions exhibit extreme degradation in the form of perpetual auto and stack excretions hanging in the still, 115š Fahrenheit, air. Vehicle owners cheaply obtain automotive inspection stickers without inspector scrutiny. "Interests abroad" export messy production methods to those countries with lax environmental regard. Well-documented, more understood, industry contested effects of past century combustive endeavors, effluent from more than 1 billion motor vehicles (Asia 400% increase since 1999), manufacturing process, and improperly disposed plastic flow of limited or trivial function consumables are evidenced throughout oft ill colored atmosphere, troposphere, and hydrosphere. Though discharge from specific industrialized areas relatively pale or exceed and natural seafloor oil vents contribute to the mix, overall, humanity is scraping by on hacks and coughs of a petroleum addiction that seemingly won't abate until dry reserves.

Since measurements began in 1970, genocidal worldwide hydrocarbon combustion and other deleterious by-product effluents now release up to 2 million pounds CO2 carbon dioxide per second. The abuse symptomatically contributes to CO2 expansion and pollution settlement in a gaseous greenhouse ceiling that is measurably choking the biosphere while letting in more of the sun's heat than is reflected. There is some contention that only past CFC chlorofluorocarbon emissions are most significant contributor. Perhaps each conjecture inadequately describes the toxic soup. Nevertheless, earthward descending particulates, runoff, and spillage adsorbed and absorbed in the hydrologic cycle are cause of worldwide  decline in water quality- 50% for fresh water and  30% for salt water. Predicted are rampant fresh water shortages  in less than 40 years. Within specific regions, changing elements disrupt life cycles and bleach coral (also NOAA Google Earth Reefs kml layer ). Possible factors include increased ultraviolet radiation through the thinning ozone layer, climate change, and endocrine disrupting chemicals that cause deformities and interfere with reproduction. Even during relatively short-term study, estimations merit continuous revision as populations of more delicate organisms indicate accelerating debility. For example, "All amphibian biologists are now convinced that something unusual and catastrophic is happening to amphibians. We also think the amphibians are telling us humans something has happened to the habitat we share with the frogs," stated Ron Heyer of the Smithsonian Institution. "In some sites we are actually witnessing the decline as we try to study it," said Gary Fellers, a research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Cutting into nature's subtle dance, changing global surface temperature and thermohaline trends manifest currently observable phenomena as shifting climate zones producing increased force (and possibly frequency- still debated) of extreme storm weather and precipitation intensity. Floods reduce wetland acreage and expand sediment and nutrient flows causing adverse impacts on water quality, aquatic habitat, and reduced crop yields. Such climate forcing may precede eventual atmospheric dissolution leading to intolerably fast and wide climate variation.

The previous decade had the warmest years in at least 6 centuries and records continue to be broken. 2013 tied 2003 for the fourth warmest year since records began in 1880. Air conditioning exacerbates the problem. Arctic sea ice has shrunk to record-low volumes and summer melt is 2 weeks longer than a decade ago. Directly interfering required actions, the US Department of the Interior plans commercial oil drilling lease expansion into new regions of the warming Arctic Ocean. Melting and displacement of approximately 14,000 square miles of land ice into the sea per year, in addition to recent large ice shelf calving, thermal expansion of oceans, dynamic topography, and groundwater liberation, results in raised worldwide SLR sea level rise- 60mm from 1992 to 2013. Latest  polar ice melt predictions range from 5 foot above normal to 20 feet  after 2100. Some higher SLR estimates go to 170 feet. From the Arctic, alone, are attributed 1 foot rise from thermal expansion, 1 foot from glacial dissolution, and 1 foot from glacial cracks. Antarctic ice melt from land could raise global sea levels by 10 feet or more.  The range of certainty will likely continue flux in coming years of increasingly anamolous trends.

For numerous years, the IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sought to qualify climate change symptoms and whether induced by human activity or natural cycles. Indeed, rock-embedded marine fossils are at quite high elevation of the Atlas Mountains. IPCC workshops focus on methods for estimating past and current global conditions and projecting trends. Assorted models use reference frames to apportion complicated calculations including solar radiation, global surface temperature/pressure, plant growth, carbon cycles, aerosols, salinity transport cycles, volcanic activity, Earth rotation, and other factors such as seasonal radiative forcing by oceanic whitecaps. During participation with the 2002 workshop, and as technical reviewer, it has until recently been disheartening to witness unbalanced reporting and controversy regarding minority opinion exclusion in risk assessment techniques. Such bias compromised objective consensus documents and, despite the collective intelligence resource, possible solutions to global climate change were not then tabled. After acknowledgement of anthropogenic contributors, in wider consensus, such “calling cards” of recent weather events and projected hydrospheric processes are signals that command lasting solutions. One researcher's suggestion to "build seawalls" seems Band-Aid basic while other geo-engineering proposals are fantastic or expensive. In addition to both carbon emissions reduction and sequestration, implementing certain types of renewable energy devices can absorb anamolous weather forces- particularly those expressed through water. Persistent minority voices helped redirect IPCC in its fourth assessment to begin analyzing relatively realistic climate solution scenarios. This focus resulted in special reports, “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” and “Renewable Energy and Climate Change Mitigation”. AR5 Fifth Assessment Working Groups examine climate change physical science basis; impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability; transformation and changes in systems- avoided damages; and mitigation of climate change via sustainable development. Backing into the future, hydrogen is finally listed as a low carbon energy carrier. Leading the way to renewable energy take-up are emergent economies of China (29% renewables 2012), India (28%), as well as Europe (20%). Substantially lagging  behind are developed economies of Russia (15%) and USA (12%).

So whispers found louder voice for honest water accountability, the plans are revising, we are still late and must sea change to the renewable hydrogen economy. The aqueous portion of our very serious dilemma is elegantly resolved when ocean water is sequestered for use as purified freshwater supply and fuel. As adequate portion of desalinated water is electrolyzed to hydrogen and oxygen gases, processed within human industry and transport, resalinated and recycled, then the problem transforms to opportunity. During 1970's, OWECO debated whether large-scale application of its  wave conversion and hydrogen producing technology would reduce sea levels. Though a minimal systems approach, the mostly submerged technology would displace at least some amount water contributing to sea level maintenance. For several practical reasons of efficiency, to achieve equilibrium, the answer never lay in purposely enlarging technology displacement. By 1987, OWECO optimistically perceived that rising seas of climate change could be considered a "gift" for providing hydrogen and oxygen while permitting water level stabilization.

Ensuing promotion of oxymoronic “clean coal” sin gas technology, pre-combustion, post-combustion, oxyfiring, and underground or deep-sea CO2 carbon dioxide storage heavily rely upon scrubbing and sequestration techniques for validating appearance of zero CO2 emissions. Sweeping under the rug to such "out of mind" regions serves to increase climate science complexity as several important factors are difficult to project and reliably monitor for specific locations. Conflicting with current land use, solutions include phased programs of widespread reforestation, and possibly afforestation, covering very large areas. However, such practice cannot replicate preternatural symbiotic environments. In like manner nuclear energy industries, including market application for clean air credit as related to greenhouse gas reduction, omit negative externalities of water use and irremediable waste seepage. Plutonium or uranium enrichment and surface dispersal is intrinsically hazardous. Notions of its repose within subductive plates of Earth’s crust, in mountains, caves, oceans, or aboard space bound vessels obviate objective risk assessment of imminent consequence. Working knowledge is insufficient of active global tectonic and removed resource cavitation patterns. The most appropriate location for thermonuclear activity seems within our core and the distance of our rotating, air-ocean world from the sun (best viewed full screen- also: 2012 Sun-Venus). Ignoring true cost (including SCC- Social Cost of Carbon), largely allayed to future generations, environmental clean up is accounted an economic contributor to Gross Domestic Product. Like wind cast bits of degraded plastic tarpaulin amongst fallen leafs in autumn woods, inability to adequately process even society’s garbage remains problematic.

  

 Walking Pichic Bay Beach at Lo So Shing, Lamma Island 2011- How deep?

Interim steps to promote cellulosic ethanol and biodiesels delay our most epochal transition toward water-based fuels. With development of the long foretold “hydrogen economy”, the above industries continue incomplete accounting to advocate respectively based methods for segregating detrimental process effluents while producing hydrogen gas. This status began change with fallout from recent nuclear events. Immediate effacement to following generations of all life must surmount irresponsibility and manifest rapid improvements conveyed over wide basis. United Nations, World Energy Council, and others need ignore politico-geographic lines and quest to minimize border bashing, tropospheric and hydrospheric born chemical permutations of human endeavor. As natural elements, land, and water are compromised for temporary convenience, a most epochal energy-use transition is required from thriftless dispersion of permanently depletable hydrocarbon resources. In a most serious version of the "Rock-paper-scissors" game, wherein the package is more valuable than the product or formerly separable product components are united, heads in the sand must stop wanton combustion practices and disposable flow of limited use consumer "goods". Examples:

Plastic Candy Packages

        

 

 

 

 

  

 

                  

Individually Wrapped Prunes

 

                                                        

 

      

 

    Multi Pack Disposable Razors/Handles 

 

 

Little Water, Little Bottles, Big Problem

As background primer, OWECO recommends full screen viewing of "Home", available in several languages. Manufacture operations need incorporate methods that reserve and recycle petroleum resources, principally, for supplying material value in beneficial or specialized application. A variety of medical or renewable energy conversion components are most suitably fabricated with certain plastics. Despite malaise, present capability imbues immediately attainable technologies to mitigate these grave problems. Industrial discovery of a repeating polylimonene carbonate polymer comprises a CO2 catalyst and limonene oxide produced from orange peel oils. Having characteristics of polystyrene, the material may form elegant CO2 sequestration application such as closed cell foam where required in buoyant vessels. Land-based solar and wind energy conversion installations also have become more widely adapted. Small-scale success promoted quantity field arrays melding with expanding population zones and naturally important areas. Industry plans of large-scale nearshore wind farms also are hampered by arising public contention for naturally clear horizon. With some reoccurrence, audiovisual impact of wind turbine tower vertical structures and avian or signal interference direct deployment toward offshore seas. There, floating structure blade clearance must extend sufficient height, above the highest wave, frequently requiring submerged counterweight of substantial cost. Any human activity or construct intrinsically changes the natural environment in which it exists. Some well-intended works, particularly constructions near land/water interface, often have detrimental effect that was not predetermined. Technological interaction requires a carefully monitored and controlled approach. Within ocean environs, onshore and nearshore littoral zones comprise biodiverse processes that are best left unhindered. OWECŪ Ocean Wave Energy Converter is intended for offshore and deep ocean application. Such placement, whether OWECŪ systems or other, may also comprise negative or beneficial attributes. Within context of wide scale deployment, for example, prudence considers barnacle and seaweed encrustation that engender habitat change and marine life redistribution, upper layers thermal turnover, aerohydration, and other considerable factors. Yet, more viable opportunity for minimized perturbation lies in deeper ocean frontiers critical for continued sustentation.