Wave Energy 

Laboratorio de Oceanografía Física

Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología

UNAM

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Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México



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Introduction


 

A wave energy driven seawater pump (SIBEO, Sistema de Bombeo por Energía de Oleaje) has been developed at the LOF-ICML of the National University of Mexico by Dr. Steven Czitrom and his group of collaborators. The seawater pump is an oscillating water column (OWC) device which has potential for various coastal management purposes such as aquaculture, flushing out of contaminated areas or the recovery of isolated coastal lagoons as breeding grounds.

A schematic diagram of the seawater pump can be seen in the figure. The wave-induced pressure signal at the mouth of the resonant duct drives an oscillating flow that spills water into the compression chamber, and through the exhaust duct to the receiving body of water, with each passing wave. Air in the chamber behaves like a spring against which water in the resonant and exhaust ducts oscillates. Maximum efficiency is attained at resonance when the system natural frequency of oscillation coincides with the frequency of the driving waves. Performance of the pump is optimised by a novel tuning mechanism (Czitrom, Patent pending) that keeps the system at resonance with the driving waves by means of a variable volume compression chamber that adjusts the hardness of the air spring.

The study of this device has lead us to approach various problems, theoretical and experimental, in different areas such as fluid mechanics, numerical modelling and engineering design (see Research). On the application of this new technology, a multidisciplinary team is working on a project to implement the SIBEO as a fisheries management tool in rural communities (see Proyecto SIBEO).



Laboratorio de Oceanografía Física.
Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología. UNAM
Circuito Exterior s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Coyoacán, México D.F.
Tel: +(52) 56 22 57 92 or 93  Fax: +(52) 56 16 07 48 
e-mail: czitrom@mar.icmyl.unam.mx