Oscillating Water Column

An oscillating water column uses the same principle as a piston in an engine. It is a partially-submerged, hollow structure positioned, either vertically or at an angle, either in shallow water or onshore (such as attached to a harbour wall).

Above sea level it is closed off but is open to the sea below the water line, which means a column of air is held over a column of water.

Waves cause the water column to rise and fall, which in turn pushes and pulls the air over a Wells turbine, which rotates in the same direction regardless of the direction of the airflow.

The rotation of the turbine is used to generate electricity using the same principles as wind and hydroelectric turbines.

The Limpet is an example of an oscillating water column.

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