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Waves and power generationFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was performed to investigate the relationship between wave cycles/amplitude and power generation output.

Hypothesis

The higher the frequency or the amplitude of a wave, the greater the voltage of electricity produced.

Scientific Terms

Wave power, pumps, desalination, friction, pressure

Background

Wave power

Wave power refers to the harnessing of energy from the waves in the ocean. The energy of waves can be harvested and used for electricity generation. Wave energy is one of the most environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources, just like solar and wind power.

The waves on water surfaces are created by passing wind. Energy will be transferred from the wind to the waves as long as the speed of the wind is faster than that of the waves. The size of the waves is determined by the amount of friction caused by the wind on the water surface and also the "pressure gradient" occurring along the crest of the wave.

The height of the wave will depend on its speed and the duration for which the wind blows. Other factors that contribute to the wave's height are sea or river bed conditions, the depth of the ocean or river and the distance across which the wind blows. Generally speaking, bigger waves have more energy, but ultimately, the power generated by a wave depends on a variety of factors including the speed of the wave, its wavelength and the density of the water.

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Complexity level:
9
Project cost ($):
180
Time required:
2 days to prepare, 1 hour for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Parts required for assembly of our experiment apparatus may be purchased at a hardware/hobby store.
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements