China to build first wave power station
Chinese scientists are working on the world's first wave power station, which can supply a small coastal village with electricity.
During an interview Monday, You Yage, chief scientist for the Ocean Energy Division at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, said his research team recently completed a test for the most advanced wave power system.
With a patented technology on energy-storage manostat, the Chinese researchers are leading the world in developing a stable electricity flow generated by waves, You said.
You said the test met technical expectations and is shock resistant and stable. The generator produced about six kilowatts, better than diesel generators with similar capacity.
This equipment could be used for electricity for light, computers, air conditioners and sea water desalination, the scientist said.
He said the wave power is one of the most unstable powers in the world. British and Portuguese scientists are now researching on building effective wave power stations. But they have failed to reach technical expectations.
You estimated that by 2005, his team could build a complete wave power station with advanced technologies. But he was not upbeat on the large-scale commercialization of this equipment in near future.
The research done by the CAS Guangzhou institute is financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology under its state high technology research and development project as well as the CAS funds for strategic research.
Scientists worldwide have been considering using waves to generate power. They thought that the unending waves could provide humans with an endless power supply. However, the current technology for such wave power stations is expensive and hard to maintenance.
According to You's estimation, a small station with a total generation capacity of 50 kilowatts could produce 26,300 kwh in a year, which could sufficiently supply electricity for a seaside town with fewer than 240 families in residence.