Energy is not in short supply. We may be working our way through fossil fuels pretty briskly, but our entire world is one big, bright bunch of energy.
Getting that energy to do things we want — like power machines and keep our buildings lit — is the challenge.
One of the most interesting possibilities for harnessing energy for our own use is wave power. Ocean waves have a lot of power, and the potential for using that power to create electricity is excellent.
Rexroth has been working with Aquamarine Power, Carnegie Wave Energy, and Wave Energy Scotland to create standardized subsea power stations. The new marine hydrokinetic (MHK) Wave Power Offtake Device (WavePOD) has just received a further $3.1 million in funding.
Rexroth has a prototype working in Germany at the Institute for Fluid Power Drives and Controls at RWTH Aachen University. It is using data from the Oyster 800 at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.
Oyster 800 has been in operation and producing power since 2012, and is anticipated to grow into undersea wave farms producing energy and sending it back to shore for use.
Wave power doesn’t yet have much traction in the U.S., but the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that there is a potential for 2,195 terrawatt-hours per year. A handful of likely sites for wave farms have been identified off both Atlantic and Pacific coasts. One significant benefit of wave energy in the U.S. is that the top locations are close to population centers, so the transmission distance is minimal.
Rexroth is involved in exciting projects like these because Rexroth is the best. If you’re using Rexroth motion control, congratulate yourself. We specialize in service for both legacy and new Rexroth electric motion control. We have the largest inventory of factory-rebuilt emergency replacement units in the nation. Call us first when you need Rexroth support.