Cold, hard, raw engineering as far as the eye can see. Compliments of New Yorker, Marlon Vizhnay. Enjoy.
Scientists have known for decades that muddy coastal sediments absorb the power of waves as they roll toward beaches. The result is a free service courtesy of soft ocean bottoms that diminishes the sea’s energy before it reaches the communities living beyond them.
Now an engineering team is working to expand the muddy seafloor’s portfolio of services to include power generation. They are building a “carpet” system meant to be installed underwater on coastlines that would harvest power from waves.
"Mud basically moves up and down under the action of the waves and small-scale motions called turbulence occurs within the mud layer and that converts the wave energy into heat," says Reza Alam, a University of California, Berkeley assistant mechanical engineering professor who is leading the effort. "Our idea was to design a carpet that sits on the seafloor and acts like a mud layer to extract energy from ocean waves and convert it into useful energy."
See a video of the project below.
Whether you’re taking Thermodynamics, Multivariable Calculus, or even your very first intro to physics course, study hard and get that A! The world needs engineers, lets make our future brighter and safer for everyone!