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Lilypad - Wave Energy Conversion

The Lilypad Wave Energy Converter, WEC, consists of a floating flexible membrane which follows the motions of the seas, which is connected by ties to a submerged membrane which is weighted and valved.

As a wave goes past, its high point will cause the upper membrane to pull on the ties, the lower membrane being designed to resist the upward forces. An extensible hose pump can be used to create hydraulic pressure, that can then activate a Pelton turbogenerator.

The hose pump’s extension being very limited, tough elastic tie elements are also used to extend sufficiently to allow the rise and fall of the upper membrane. These elements can be designed to resist extension at a constant force, which can be transferred to a rotary system encapsulated in a surface mounted sphere, where electricity is generated.

Because of its geometry, the Lilypad WEC can act not only as an energy producer, but can also fulfil an important role as a breakwater. It will reduce the force and height of waves, and can so be used to protect marine installations, or marine intervention activities. It can be used to form temporary harbours. It can also form an oil containing structure around oil spills, more effective than oil booms. It can be towed in sections to required locations.

Where land is menaced by rising sea levels and rougher seas, the Lilypad WEC can offer protection and simultaneously produce energy to pump back sand or earth to eroded coastlines. In this capacity, it can play an important role in erosion control. Because of its flexible nature, it offers little danger to navigation.

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© Energy Island Ltd. 2009