• Kim Burke

13/ Harnessing renewables

Updated: May 6, 2020

Directing my attention towards the visibility of the buoy I have been researching and making, generating ideas on how I may do so. My primary idea is the addition of light to the buoy to draw attention to the object in the water. My main areas of focus are towards doing so are developing the lights power source. Renewable energy sources are of current interest; including wind, wave and solar. With wave being the most reliable however un-utilised energy source, I am interested in focusing my attention towards the source of energy Scotland has unlimited access to.


I am currently working on a prototype of a buoy with an LED light impeded inside, to light up and attract attention. The current power source for this will be solar.

This concept requires the technology inside the buoy, however I also have considerations for a device to be attached to current buoys, meaning fishermen will not need to purchase a new buoy to use the technology. Although this may be challenging, it may be a vital element to give fishermen another incentive to use the product, as well as locating their buoys easier.


Researching into wind energy I first stumbled upon 'Polamis', a buoy in the the form of a snake, able to generate enough energy to power a village.

With the ability to have the sea snake generated into

off-shore wave energy farms, the potential to power

cities and even countries is made possible from a

sustainable, zero waste solution.

To put it into perspective, experts believe when wave

energy is fully harnessed, using the 70% of the worlds surface covered by oceans, we could generate approximately two Terrawatts of power, currently double than harnessed today. With a growing technological world this is something this strikes me as an energy source that is going to be harnessed in the future, in a big way.

How does it work?

The rise and fall of the swell in the ocean drive hydraulic pumps within a device which generates kinetic energy which can be stored and used across cars, homes and ideally in my case; LED lights.

CORPOWER Ocean from the Netherlands are another company tapping into our seas to generate energy for Orkney, using a Point Absorber method, similar to Polamis which uses a floating buoy to be the object for the energy to be generated from.


A point absorber is a floating structure which absorbs

energy from all directions through its movements

at/near the water surface. It converts the motion of

the buoyant top relative to the base into electrical


They aim to have products in the market by 2023-2024, allowing our customers to build wave farms using conventional project financing, showcased in the image below:

I have recently been in contact with both of these companies, but still await reply.

Check out my next blog post to view my progress with exploring wave energy.

My next step is to establish a small cost efficient wave energy device that can power an LED light!

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