AWS Ocean Energy has devised an underwater bouy generator system that is mechanically simple and should be able to harness the power of waves without some of the potential negatives of undersea turbines. Bouys anchored to the ocean floor with their tops 6-50m below the surface would drive generators as they bob with the passing waves above.
A pressurized gas cylinder inside the bouy would cause the float to oscillate based on the pressure differential of the water depth above as the waves pass. By being mounted completely below the water surface the bouys are less susceptible to damage during heavy storms.

A one square kilometer area of ocean floor 100 bouys could power a town with 55,000 homes. A pilot test was successful conducted off the coast of Portugal in 2004 and engineering work for a larger scale test is ongoing right now.

[Source: AWS Ocean Energy via TreeHugger]

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