A final note in closing; after building this site I decided to go check the competition in the wave energy field . My assumptions were proven correct; THERE IS NO COMPETITION !! I researched every other current online attempt at extracting electricity from the ocean, (see links) and found each of them to be sorely handicapped and puny in comparison to the Area A and Area B OSMEGS Ram concepts.
The one largest single flaw they all share is that it appears as if the designers have all gotten into the water to play with their toys in the bathtub and have produced items that would make great gifts if Mattel ever went into production, but as seagoing vessels many of them won't last out their first year. Lesson Number One; The Sea is a cruel mistress. Lesson number two; repeat as needed !
A person does NOT design an item to go into the water that will be impossible to maintain, keep clean, move, and keep working, against the massive elemental actions working against it; END OF STORY !!
Salt and sun will dissolve even high grade marine components such as rubber seals and protective coatings. Electrolysis will attack and eat almost all metals, and combinations of metals give the trickle charge battery that exists on man made vessels a real smorgasbord of items to feast on. If there's a TURBINE connected to the vessel to boot, an Environmental Impact study may be in order. A non-conductive mounting would obviate a certain amount of the by-charge, but it will be impossible to isolate entirely. The electrolytic action will be fierce and the unwary, non believer, will find himself swimming before he knows it, and well before he's ready. Seaweed will grow all over it and performance will become non existent. An unfortunate castaway who attempted to secure a sanctuary wouldn't find anything whatsoever to assist him in that end, and coming upon one during a survival at sea situation would more than likely prove to be a danger than a salvation !
What good is that ? What good is having man-made structures with maintenance schedules and budgets, and co-ordinates at sea, that offer nothing to the survival of life in that inhospitable location ?!! .
That pendulum built from tubular steel;- want to try hanging onto that for survival ? .....nothing but a massive heartache! The next time they haul it out it'll snap in two if it hasn't done so already by virtue of the incredible sum total of wetted area resistance in the water and no worthy structure to sustain it, carrying the accumulated growth which will thrive on the numerous arms and weigh the poor little bouy under where the fractures in the plastic will crack open under the impact and compression of wave abuse and fill the bouy beyond it's ability to maintain it's shape or integrity. I've seen structures like that twisted like pretzels just from the wind blowing through the harbor. The wave eater ; "Mighty Whale".....what a Nightmare !! That thing will choke itself and go to the bottom when a stray log or shipping container gets in it's maw, and it's unseaworthy lines will make it impossible to manouver in any kind of weather. Getting it ashore would be very difficult even on a calm day. Getting ONBOARD would be difficult on a calm day ! Would some poor crewmember be expected to get onboard with a bilge pump and a handful of splashzone in the event that one of the pontoons took a puncture ? Because it's awash all the time, green slime will grow all over the decks making boarding IMPOSSIBLE ! In 20' seas ??!! And what would the rescue crew do with it ? Tie it alongside !?!! In a storm that chunk of sinking steel becomes a death trap and would destroy itself and anything else it smashed into as it came down the face of any wave. Seaweed and barnacles will choke any openings and it's mooring cables shackles and thimbles will chafe through and if it comes adrift and gets into the shipping lanes, floating; just under the surface; lives could be lost. Growth will seal up all moveable parts and rust will eat it's way through any chipped or worn area and spread like cancer inside and out. When the kelp gets to be twenty feet long the sheer weight of it will pull it under the surface and short out the wiring. Then it gets serious. Either crewmen are electrocuted trying to disable the circuit, or a constant disharge will; dissolve the mooring chain and / or kill any living thing in a measurable area, or create more loss of power due to drainoff over night than it ever created in the six months that it lasted as a productive device; and eventually it will sink under it's own weight . Or then there's the wave eater model that's placed on the beach "Wave Mill " in the surf line about waist deep?! The surf sucks the sand from around your feet, and in matter of minutes, your feet will be or eight inches deeper in the ground, after blasting them with a hydro-jet sandblaster. Any device placed neatly in the soup will be gone by dawn !! The surf can wash a ship to the highwatermark ! And we're going to go rushing down in our Humvees in the middle of the night during a storm and drag this sucker to higher ground before it either gets sucked out of sight into the sand; gets sucked out of sight into some crevasse off the edge of the continental shelf; or ends up smashed to pieces on the neighbours front lawn ??! The next series;- Turbines in the wave path, "Wave Power Station" , Doomed ! Understand that my flagrant use of literary device is by no means without warrant. Now how long REALLY do you think a complex turbine device such as has been installed on the rocks, in the surfline; can face the pounding ocean day in, day out, constant -eternal -abuse,... storm after storm after storm; and you can't move it !
Are they using re-bar in the concrete ?? Rusting re-bar ?? And their mortar, would that be regular city council brand or the other kind ? The marine grade stuff ! Would that be the brittle or the flexi mix ? Anyway, when the seas start breaking it apart, all the crew will be able to do is run !
"Oh you wait for low tide to fix it ? " Then it's out of commission every 6 hours ? For 12 hours in 24?!
What good is THAT ?
Then there are the cylinders linked together; "Pelamis"- connected at the joint with neoprene flexi flanges; floating in the water, well for the first year anyway; with 2 degrees of motion activating a pump, .........why bother ??!!
NO one I've seen yet is getting any POWER out of the Ocean , they just seem to want to exercise their drafting tables and create fancy complicated little gizmos to play with in their swimming pools. And further more you just can't put so many moveable parts into the ocean. They WILL NOT HOLD UP !!
The most complicated thing we as sailors, put into the water, is the drive leg on an outboard or an inboard / outboard motor, and that only part time; and then there is still only one opening; the phlange around the shaft that the propeller goes onto. Consistently throughout the rest of the maritime, a propeller shaft is the only item on a boat that's expected to function in communion with a dry system somewhere else onboard. ( countng out through-hull fittings since they are passive channels that allow fluids to pass through them and thereby are not actually mechanical devices ) In any case, along the entire underside of the vessel the weakest points are the through hull fittings and the shaft gland. They're the only places the hull is perforated. Modern ship building has created a working solution to that ONE shaft and the inherent union of wet and dry systems; the packing gland. The grease seal that envelopes the drive shaft as it penetrates into the sea to drive the prop. You do not build any complicated piece of machinery and just stick it into the ocean and expect it to last ! Any wet to dry union that doesn't engage the shaft gland technique will be short lived. Anything more complicated than that exposes itself to an ever increasing compound of handicaps. Rubber cracks and hardens, Teflon wears and shrinks, Steel rusts, Copper dissolves, Bronze pits, Aluminum disappears :- Salt wins . . . .
The tried and true rule of thumb for any sailor is "KEEP IT SIMPLE; STUPID "
With all due respect I'm afraid that in their zealousness, other inventors have left out one major unknown ingredient in their postulations; the SEA ! And I shall not be too merciful with them for it, because the sea will show them none at all. Seamen know the sea, and marine maintenance technicians know the effect of the sea upon vessels and other floating objects placed in the sea. I am both, to greater or lesser degree and can tell you with all certainty that a 150,000 lb OSMEGS Ram in the hold of a ship, or an armory of rams positioned crossways in the hold aboard a vessel moored broadside to weather; will develop so much torque that an automatic transmission from a truck may be needed to transfer the thrust, and that sailors onboard shall be required to wear rubber soled shoes and rubber gloves to prevent them from grounding off the static bycharge of turbines below decks. I promise you that any system that's designed to utilize the swell movements AND is out of the water, will outlast and outproduce anything in the water 100 times over !!
In their simplest installation, the OSMEGS Rams can be installed below decks in the bilge of a ferro cement barge of marine grade materials of course and only require system maintenance and chafe watch, while allowing any usage of the topsides as desired; but an energy ship such as a CAT O.G.E.A.S.E.R. , as described herein, incurs no more maintenance than the ship did in the first place,....a bottom job every year...at least. The bottom of a ship is smooth and easy to clean. It's kept uncomplicated for a reason. The installation of freshwater cooling to an onboard motor aboard any vessel is a curse that any captain will avoid at any cost, because of the incredible difficulty of maintaning the cooling pipes that project outward from the under surface of hull, and the extra liability they cause by potentially hooking a line or a net and being ripped right out of the hull, and worse yet, taking some of the hull with it.
In short, any complicated device that's stuck in the Ocean will catch unimaginable things. In any case a vessel that's kept functioning can move itself, and provides enough working area for ' self-service ' . This CATOGEASER may in fact be powered to propel itself using the same hydraulic system that's attached to everything else. The beauty of the hydraulic drive is that it's a sealed system, and but for rare changing of hydraulic fluid, requires no maintenance whatsoever. If a suitable enough method was devised to store the electricity, the ship could maintain it's regular shipping route minus the space required for OSMEGS equipment. A single or a system of Rams could be encased within protective walls that would contain them in a danger free environment that could go aboard any vessel. A variation of the fore and aft type would be the swivel mount for the beam to weather technique. A gymballed crew station would be included for that application, but in light conditions a massive amount of product can come from a ' hog in a trough '. The electricity generating turbines can be installed in an insulated, rubber mounted lead shielded room to prevent EMF spillage onto the crewmen. The windfarm additive still leaves the entire deck in servicable condition, and regular maintenance schedules, technicians and resources are ALREADY in place. Who the hell is going to get into a turbine in a wetsuit and risk getting sliced up by passing swells, just to clean the barnacles out of the debris screen so as to restore water flow into it,...if it's still turning; if a stray piling hasn't found a way to smash it's way through the opening and decimate the innards. Not all that washes up on the beach is seaweed you know ! In some places a forest of drifting seaweed could envelope a floating bouy and take it to the bottom, AND in most all places, growth will do that eventually anyway. Any system moored to the sea floor needs ground tackle. That tackle will need to be raised and replaced regularly. The wear factor on a swivel in a mooring chain is accumulative, and even an SS 14 type will need annual inspection and replacement every four or five years. Also, somewhere along the line, some very serious inline zincs are going to need to be installed somewhere to prevent electrolysis from just eating the raft up over the weekend. A seperate service fleet is required to maintain bouys. They must be hauled aboard and serviced on location, or taken back to shore then brought back . . . . that puppy better be putting out to warrant that kind of payroll, and the cost of the ship that needs to be kept to do the maintenance . There , you have a ship . Just use IT ! ......put some Rams in it.
It would be pretty easy to imagine the first time that man saw the ocean, and sense his thrill and fear and awe, and watch him as he came to enjoy it and run into it and play and splash around and eventually learn to not drown, and then, further more, to swim. As he became more sophisticated he got himself OUT of the water onto a log and then gradually developed craft with the particular and specific task of staying out of the water in mind. He discovered that he didn't get cold as quickly and that he could travel further with much greater speed. Now just because a guy wants to engage the Oceanic Forces doesn't mean he has to get in there with them ! After resisting that first impulse, it becomes clear that systems will last longer when installed out of the water. The torque produced by an airborn OSMEGS Ram, swinging freely and unencumbered by the resistence that water would offer; will be much much greater and infinitely easier to control and maintain than a hundred of any emmersed wave powered devices in tests today. It took milleniae to get US out of the water, . . . . . but now we don't have that kind of time at our disposal. These CATOGEASERS need to be deployed NOW !!!
I would like to suggest to all designers mentioned on the 'Other Guy's' page; that they take a print out of their rig down to the docks and ask the REAL men of the sea what they think. Ask the tradesmen and the oil riggers, the fishermen and the captains. Ask the people who spend their lives on the ocean to scrutinize your designs; it is my firm belief and knowledge that you will recieve an overwhelming acquiescence with this evaluation I'm postulating. Take a copy of this with you. Until you verify my complaints and humble opinions, I will be easily dismissed and you won't have learned anything. I've recieved several complaints about my 'strong' words from gentlemen who've spent all their money, all of everyone else's money, and spent decades perfecting a product that is not designed with REALITY in mind. To them I say; if your ideas are so well founded, why are they still in planning stages, no buyers and no actual installations after decades of investment ??!!
A word of caution. Should you venture to the docks and seek counsel with the salty ones; be warned; they will not be as gentle as I, and may well laugh themselves all the way into tommorrow !