Electric Boat Generates Energy from the Power of the Waves

The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 inhabited islands.

The country is therefore dependent on functioning shipping for the transport of people and goods. So-called bangkas are often used for this. These are relatively normal looking boats, but they still have a boom on the right and left. These provide the necessary stability and turn the boat into a trimaran.

At some point, the marine engineer Jonathan Salvador noticed that strong waves regularly set the booms in motion. From this, in turn, he developed a very interesting project: He constructed a trimaran in which the kinetic energy released by the waves is captured and made usable. In open water, the boat should even be able to be propelled by the force of the waves alone.

The diesel engine should only take over when the sea is calm
To do this, the engineer has integrated a wave energy converter into each of the two arms. In simple terms, these are pipes that are connected to one another by joints. The movement of the shafts then pushes oil through hydraulic motors. These in turn drive a generator, which ultimately turns it into usable electricity. The boat is ultimately powered by a classic electric motor. In addition, there will also be a diesel engine on board, which should always be used when there are not enough shafts. Wave energy converters in themselves are not a new invention. Rather, these have already been successfully tested off the coast of Scotland. Google has also already shown interest in the technology behind it – for example a data cent.

The trimaran is scheduled to swim for the first time at the end of the year
But Salvador is now the first to use the approach directly on a ship. To prove that his idea was actually feasible, he started building a suitable trimaran himself in 2018. However, a typhoon and the corona pandemic delayed the work. The engineer is nevertheless optimistic that he will be able to present a first floating object by the end of the year. In principle, this would be good news for the Philippines. Because the country’s many ships cause not inconsiderable CO2 emissions. Should the concept of the self-generating ship catch on, the fleets could be electrified without having to invest a lot of money in charging infrastructure. It is therefore hardly surprising that the state’s Ministry of Science is funding the construction of the prototype

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The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 inhabited islands.

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