The AirSeeSaw is a device to harness WavePower. It's more or less entirely based around a ship. You need something in the middle of the sea for this to work. The great advantage of this, of course, is that there are many parts of the sea where there is a fairly consistent amount of wave motion.

The basic idea is shown in the following diagram.

Diagram of an Air See-Saw
Diagram of an Air See-Saw

Imagine two cylinders, connected by a pipe with water in them. If you tilt this whole construction to one side or the other, then the water will move out of one cylinder and into another. At the same time, it will force air out of the top of the cylinder filling up and draw air into the other.

If you take this basic construction, then add some simple air valves at the top of the cylinders, now when the water level raises, air gets forced out of one pipe and when it sinks it gets drawn in through another.

Detail of an Air See-Saw
Detail of an Air See-Saw

You can then conduit this air into a resevoir, from both of the two cylinders. Finally, you put a third conduit between the two resevoirs, through which air will flow, with a wind turbine in the way. Out of which comes the energy.

Of course, this basic systems will only extract energy from motion in one axis of motion. To get around this, you could add more cylinders at different angles. Alternatively, you might just a complete circle, with vertical sectors, maybe 8 of them, each forming a water piston. Each of these could be connected to the same set of high and low pressure resevoirs, sharing a single turbine.

Having all this water sloshing around in a ship is going to make a ship unstable, so in reality, you would want to have quite a few of these structures within the ship. This way although the water would be moving around, it won't be crossing the main axes of the ship. It not really any different from water in a ballast tank. Again, you could conduit the air, as appropriate to share only a few turbines. If you have a TankerGenerator ship, with WindTurbines on top, you'd want a lot of ballast anyway, as the ships are going to be top heavy. The addition of a WavePower generator would also have the advantage that it would work best when there are lots of waves (obviously!), which is probably the time when the WindTurbines would be least efficient anyway.

Updated: 06-05-08
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