Blue Energy

Title: Harvesting Wave energy
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Yingchen Yang

Blue energy research focuses on energy harvesting from ocean waves. Compared to wind, ocean waves offer more power density (about 25 times greater) and more consistent flux (that is, they produce power at all times and in all weather). Due to the complex nature of water flow in waves, however, energy extraction from waves is much more challenging than from winds. While various wave energy converter (WEC) technologies have been proposed or even tested, economically competitive means are yet to be demonstrated. The ongoing blue energy research at UTRGV aims to realize a new WEC technology that is expected to produce electricity at a low cost. The current efforts combine fundamental research with prototype development. The blue energy lab is very close to the Gulf coast, and has a large indoor wave tank.