Wavelight Concept Uses Wave Energy To Power Warning Lights At Sea

Safety in the water, for both swimmers and mariners, often dependents on remaining aware of hidden dangers, such as rip-tides and reefs. A new concept design from Zhang Yakun, He Siqian, Zhu Ningning, Chen Chen and Mu Zhiwei aims to offer a visual warning of such conditions with a light that powered by the motion of the water itself – the Wavelight.

According to Yanko Design, the Wavelight design coverts mechanical energy into electrical energy to illuminate a series of LED lamps. Each lamp is tethered to its neighbor with a weight anchored to the sea floor; they capture kinetic energy by rolling with the ocean’s waves, apparently, like a hamster wheel. These lights were designed to attract attention for rescue operations, to warn passing ships to steer clear, or to delineate areas off-limits to swimmers

Wavelight_Marine_Light

image via Yanko Design

While it’s clear that these lights would have many useful applications–surrounding off-shore drilling operations, for example, or even taking the place of buoys in harbors–LED lights are not known for their overwhelming intensity. Would they manage to penetrate dense fog and driving rain? And what would happen if a string of Wavelights broke free from their anchor and drifted out to sea? These are concerns that may need to be addressed before the Wavelight becomes a reality.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.