Scientists are working on turning ocean waves into power.

Scientists are working on turning ocean waves into power.

Oscilla Power, Inc., created this floating science station to run on wave power. (Oscilla Power)

Oscilla Power, Inc., created this floating science station to run on wave power. (Oscilla Power)

Rods underneath the float wiggle in the water. Coils capture the energy. (Oscilla Power)

Rods underneath the float wiggle in the water. Coils capture the energy. (Oscilla Power)

This is another type of marine platform. The Saildrone was created for marine mammal, fish, and oceanographic research in the Bering Sea. (Mark Frydrych/NOAA Fisheries via AP)

This is another type of marine platform. The Saildrone was created for marine mammal, fish, and oceanographic research in the Bering Sea. (Mark Frydrych/NOAA Fisheries via AP)

This oil drilling rig is another platform. It is in the Santa Barbara Channel near Goleta, California. (State Lands Commission via AP)

This oil drilling rig is another platform. It is in the Santa Barbara Channel near Goleta, California. (State Lands Commission via AP)

Power Up! (With Waves)

Posted: November 1, 2021

Can you grab a wave and turn it into electricity? Oscilla Power, Inc., (OPI) knows that’s possible. For starters, the company is working on a wave-powered, floating science station.

These days, there are more than 8,000 marine platforms set up in oceans around the world. The platforms serve different purposes. Some are bases for underwater exploration. Others are connected to oil and gas drilling rigs. Still other floating platforms are science stations. Researchers use these marine platforms for all kinds of experiments. But to do so, they need energy to power lights, equipment, and communication devices.

Solar panels or batteries provide that power to many floating science stations. But solar panels require maintenance. So do batteries—which also need a source of recharging. Scientists at OPI don’t want to make service calls to their floating science stations. So they have a new plan. They will harness the energy in ocean waves and turn it into usable electricity.

Electricity from waves doesn’t produce waste, like dead batteries do. It won’t release dangerous gases into the air like some energy sources do either.

So how will OPI power up its floating science station? It starts with a large buoy that floats in water. That buoy is anchored to a heavy plate that hangs under it. A chain of iron-aluminum rods is tethered to both the buoy and plate. As the buoy floats, the ocean’s movement stretches and pulls the rods. They wiggle with energy from the waves. Coils on the rods capture the wave energy. The coils turn the wave energy into electricity. That electricity flows through a cable, where it can be put to work as a power source.

The United States government must think that OPI is on to something smart. The United States Department of Energy gave the company a grant. A grant is a gift of money. The government funds big, helpful ideas. Collecting energy from ocean waves and turning it into clean, constant electricity is definitely a BIG IDEA!

Why? “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things.” (Revelation 4:11) By studying the energy in moving water and using it to make electricity, people use God’s creation for good and recognize His power and provision.