My idea of a device for harvesting energy from wind

If used in reality, this device will harvest significant amounts of energy from wind, waves and storms. This not only solved the problem of energy scarcity but also mitigated the devastation of the storm to humans.

Because this is an engineering approach, I am very interested in your answers on two issues:

1, Is the operating principle of the model in this manuscript correct?

2, Can this model work in reality (under heavy storm conditions)?

  • Very interesting, seems to have potential. What are the materials that it's constructed of? I'd like to see the materials' mechanical performance analysis for each part. What are it's operational parameters? Can you get a prototype up and running maybe to establish it's performance in real world situations? How about a paddle below, like a keel for stability. There's a very great deal of work to be done. In terms of sustainable living it has potential. What you need to know about is the engineering. We can't answer without more information, can you help us help you? Dec 18, 2018 at 0:28
  • Slowing down a hurricane: vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/9/8/16264376/…
    – FreeText
    Jan 11, 2019 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


Your idea is interesting but would fail in the real world for a number of reasons:

  1. The energy embodied in even a moderate storm is staggering. No amount of "Stormbuoys" could make even a dent on a severe storm. Their density would need to be so high that shipping and navigation would be impossible. You will never "mitigate the devastation of storms" with floating buoys on open water.
  2. Due to the high amount of 'contaminants' in sea water, small-scale electrolysis would involve such a high level of maintenance that it would not be economically viable.
  3. Tethered wave generators — explicitly designed to withstand storms — break their moorings and anchors on a regular basis. Yours would be no different. The ocean is a harsh environment at the best of times, but rogue waves and storms send man-made structures to the ocean floor (or into shipping lanes) on a regular basis. The cost of a cable strong enough to keep a buoy from breaking free due to a 30m rogue wave is likely to easily exceed the value of any energy it may generate during its entire lifespan.
  4. Mechanical flexing of power transmission cables — due to wave action — ultimately induce micro-fractures and cause them to fail.
  5. The transfer of compressed hydrogen is a safety nightmare even under ideal conditions. The ocean surface is far, far from ideal. The difficulty and expense in complying with safety regulations alone would likely make hydrogen harvesting non-profitable.
  6. etc., etc...

My suggestions:

  1. Forget about trying to subdue storms — the physics just doesn't work.
  2. Focus on one type of generation, not two. Split the two into different products, if you wish. Simplify and optimise.
  3. Minimise physical movement. A structure completely submerged all the time (for example) will last far, far longer than one bobbing around on the surface.
  4. Reduce the number and complexity of moving parts.
  5. Eliminate or heavily streamline elements that require maintenance.
  6. Reduce the need for human involvement once the structure has been deployed.
  7. Engineer the safety risks out of everything you possibly can.
  8. Take a boat out in a storm (heck, even in 'slightly rough' weather) and experience, first-hand, what you are up against. I think you seriously need to recalibrate your opinion of the natural forces involved.
  9. Keep economic viability at the front of your mind. If there's inadequate ROI then it won't happen — regardless of how clever it is or how well it works.

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