Wave Snakes


2100 tons of steel were put in the ocean 3 miles off Portugal yesterday.  Don’t worry this is a good thing.  Three steel snakes,  each over 450ft long, will slither on the surface.  The articulation of the four sections of each snake by the waves will be converted into power, enough currently for 1,000 homes.  Plans are to add 25 more to the area to generate up to 21MW of power.  The idea and construction comes from Pelamis, a British-owned company. 


Dr. M (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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4 comments on “Wave Snakes
  1. Cool. I heard about this project some time ago on the Naked Scientists podcast. IIRC they interviewed one of the lead designers of the system. Glad to see it deployed.

  2. I enjoy keeping up with technologies such as these. I envision the wonders of seasteading; setting up shop in international waters with your needs met by solar cells, wind turbines, and the powers of tides and waves. Couple that with technologies, such as generating fresh drinking water by either pulling humidity from the air or using reverse osmosis on seawater, creating biofuel from maine algae, and farming captive schools of fish. While taking from the sea one could give something back, in the form of artificially generated “electric reefs”. Space is not the final frontier.

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