3 Examples of Wave Energy Sources Explained

Examples of wave energy sources are; solar and wind, shear stress, and electromagnetism. This article discusses examples of wave energy sources as follows;






1a). Solar Heating (as one of the Examples of Wave Energy Sources)

Solar heating as an example of wave energy sources, is fully described by the concept of solar wave energy.

Solar wave energy works by the propagation of waves as a result of convective mechanisms generated through imbalances in regional and material temperature due to solar radiation.

It can be argued that solar energy is responsible for waves of all types, since it is the primary source of energy on Earth, and has direct influence on all energetic processes such as those which cause wave propagation.

Solar energy affects waves by determining their intensity and direction through its influence on temperature dynamics.

However, it must be understood that the role of solar energy in producing wave energy is only possible through a series of energy conversions that occur in nature.

The most obvious example of such conversions is that which occurs when thermal solar energy transforms to kinetic wind energy, as differential heating causes wind currents to travel in circular patterns due to convection.

Such mobilized wind currents produce wave energy as they come in contact with the surface of the ocean [4].

It must also be noted that direct solar heating of oceans also plays a role in wave energy propagation, because this heating causes convection due to temperature gradient; so that warmer water masses rise while colder masses descend.






1b). Wind Energy

Wind energy is the direct cause of water waves.

This is because the greater portion of wave energy in oceans comes from direct contact of the water surface with wind currents.

Wind affects wave energy by transferring its kinetic energy into water, so that potential hydro energy becomes kinetic wave energy when wind blows over water surfaces.

The effect of wind on oceans can be seen in the form of moving crests and troughs, which represent zones of maximum potential and kinetic energy. What this implies is that water retains some of its original potential energy even after it gains wave kinetic energy from wind; so that wave energy naturally occurs as a combination and potential and kinetic forms.

The energy that causes wind and waves comes from the Sun, since solar heating is responsible for air mass-mobilization and convection currents in both air and water.

Wind energy's prominent role in wave energy production is exploited in hybrid renewable energy systems that combine wave energy converters with wind turbines or wind farms [5].

Examples of Wave Energy Sources: Wind (Credit: Rad Dougall 2015 .CC BY 3.0.)
Examples of Wave Energy Sources: Wind (Credit: Rad Dougall 2015 .CC BY 3.0.)






2). Shear Stress (as one of the Examples of Wave Energy Sources)

Shear stress is a type or component of stress that acts along the same plane as the cross section of a material [2]. It is often denoted by τ (pronounced 'tau' in Greek).

Shear stress is caused by shear force, which is often bifocal, and acts along opposite directions on either side of a given plane.

Wave energy results from shear stress when the stress leads to failure or rupture of a brittle material; or deformation of an elastic material.

The most measurable example of wave energy from shear stress is earthquakes; which are tremors caused by the propagation of wave energy through the Earth's crust, due to seismic shear stresses acting beneath the surface [1].

Wave energy from shear stress can be very energetic, and poses the risk of severe natural hazards that can cause life and property losses.






3). Electromagnetism

Electromagnetic waves are waves produced by the acceleration of electric charges under the influence of a changing magnetic field [3].

They usually occur as oscillating charge streams whose flow pattern can be altered using electric systems like power inverters, to make the resulting current more usable.

The cause of electromagnetic waves is the influence of magnetic forces on electrons. This type of wave propagation is unique in that it comprises of charges, rather than forces; meaning that electromagnetic waves possess current, rather than energy.

The production and flow of electromagnetic wave current is what is used in electric generators, large power plants, and other power generation systems.

Examples of Wave Energy Sources: Electromagnetism (Credit: DECHAMMAKL 2018 .CC BY-SA 4.0.)
Examples of Wave Energy Sources: Electromagnetism (Credit: DECHAMMAKL 2018 .CC BY-SA 4.0.)





Examples of wave energy sources are;

1. Solar and Wind

2. Shear Stress

3. Electromagnetism







1). Caputo, M. (2013). "The Shear Stress of Deep Earthquakes." Selected Papers From Volume 32 of Vychislitel'naya Seysmologiya (pp.28-31). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1029/CS007p0028. (Accessed 26 January 2023).

2). De Paor, D. G. (1990). "The theory of shear stress and shear strain on planes inclined to the principal directions." Journal of Structural Geology 12(7):923-927. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8141(90)90065-7. (Accessed 26 January 2023).

3). Dolya, S. N. (2017). "Acceleration of Electrically Charged Bodies and Dipoles." Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320034144_Acceleration_of_Electrically_Charged_Bodies_and_Dipoles. (Accessed 26 January 2023).

4). Nik, W. S. W.; Muzathik, A. M.; Samo, K.; Ibrahim, M. Z.; Senin, H. B. (2008). "Study on the Use of Ocean Wave as Renewable Energy." 3RD BRUNEI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, Brunei. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259990805_Study_on_the_Use_of_Ocean_Wave_as_Renewable_Energy. (Accessed 26 January 2023).

5). Pérez-Collazo, C.; Iglesias, G. (2012). "Integration of Wave Energy Converters and Offshore Windmills." 4th international conference on ocean energy (ICOE), Dublin, Rreland. Available at: https://pearl.plymouth.ac.uk/handle/10026.1/3178. (Accessed 26 January 2023).

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