WITT Energy have engineered a renewable energy recovery system to generate electricity from the oceans ebb and flow. It is capable of harvesting energy from all six degrees of motion by using a pendulum system and a complex gearing set up! The gearing converts all of the pendulum movements into a single rotation of a shaft which drives a flywheel (as seen here) and in turn an alternator/generator device.
They boast a scalable design too, they claim to be able to scale the design from buoys and boats to backpacks and hand held devices!
At the time of writing they have completed their crowdfunding and are in the process of making it useable in more applications, including military style backpacks, handheld devices, including an 'egg' shaped micro generator, wave buoys and eventually see grid power potential in their product, they appear to have the market well covered!
Cost: as always with a great idea the cost may well be a factor. In order to efficiently generate energy the complex system of gearing to harvest the pendulums energy will have to be of the highest quality, losses of just a few percent in the gearing will hurt the payback time and output severely.
Longevity: The initial market for these systems is a seafaring one, the things will be floating in the sea... In my experience finely tuned mechanics and saltwater generally ends in disaster eventually, but hey, I'm not a nautical engineer. Luckily (or not, it was designed that way!) the parts that would be sensitive to seawater and oxidisation can be sealed within a unit, with only a power cable needing to exit the pod, that should be easy to seal up right?
We wish WITT energy the best of luck in the crucial next stages of the development of their renewable tech, and hope every seafaring yacht is recovering energy from a Witt energy product soon! With an innovative design and good, old fashioned, British engineering I have a good feeling these guys will create something special! What do you think?