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GENERATING ELECTRICITY USING OCEAN WAVES

A RENEWABLE SOURCE OF ENERGY

REPORT FOR THE HONG KONG ELECTRIC COMPANY LIMITED

Dr L F Yeung Mr Paul Hodgson Dr Robin Bradbeer July 2007

Ocean Waves - Renewable Energy

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In 2007 the Hong Kong Electric Company (HEC) initiated a green energy fund on promotion and application of renewable energy. A sum of HK$119,000 was allocated from this fund to this project. The final result of this project is the installation of a prototype demonstration unit at the Word Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Education Centre at Hoi Ha Wan. It is expected that thousands of secondary school students will view this equipment. The concept is to promote renewable sources of energy. Part of this project also involved the design and construction of equipment that could measure and log wave conditions and tide levels at Hoi Ha Wan. Prototypes 1 and 2 were respectively produced between October 2006 and March 2007. Prototype 1 being officially inspected by HEC in February 2007. The final unit was installed at the City University Laboratory at the centre pending the completion of the renovation works at the centre. The unit will then be relocated in the main auditorium at a suitable time in the future. The electricity generated by this unit will be used to power the DataBuoy Project currently being installed in the Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY BACKGROUND ............................................................................................................................................. 1 A SHORT NOTE ABOUT THE DATABUOY PROJECT .......................................................................................... 2 THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES............................................................................................................ 3 OCEAN WAVE THEORY.................................................................................................................................. 3 MEASURING WAVES AND TIDES. ................................................................................................................... 4 The Concept of Ultrasonic Sensor Wave Height Measurement ................................................................ 5 The Concept of Capacitive Sensor Wave Height Measurement................................................................ 6 The Concept of Pressure Sensor Wave Height Measurement ................................................................... 6 METHODS OF WAVE ENERGY COLLECTION ................................................................................................... 7 METHODS OF ELECTRICAL ENERGY GENERATION FROM WAVE ENERGY ...................................................... 8 THE FINAL VERSION ................................................................................................................................. 9 WAVE HEIGHT MEASUREMENT ..................................................................................................................... 9 Ultrasonic Sensor Wave Height Measurement ......................................................................................... 9 Capacitive Sensor Wave Height Measurement ....................................................................................... 10 Pressure Sensor Wave Height Measurement .......................................................................................... 15 THE WATER PISTON .................................................................................................................................... 18 GENERATOR UNIT 1 LABORATORY PROTOTYPE ....................................................................................... 19 GENERATOR UNIT 2 DEMONSTRATION UNIT FOR THE CENTRE ................................................................. 22 STATISTICS AND EFFICIENCY.............................................................................................................. 25 POWER OF A 35CM WAVE (1SEC PERIOD) ..................................................................................................... 25 PROTOTYPE 1............................................................................................................................................... 25 DEMONSTRATION UNIT ............................................................................................................................... 25 CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................................. 26 RECOMMENDATIONS.............................................................................................................................. 27 REFERENCES.............................................................................................................................................. 28 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ......................................................................................................................... 29 APPENDIX A LOCATION OF THE MARINE CENTRE ................................................................... 30 APPENDIX B THE ULTRASONIC BASED WAVE SENSOR DETAILS. ........................................ 37 Circuit description of the Ultrasonic Wave-Height Unit ........................................................................ 38 APPENDIX C THE CAPACITIVE BASED WAVE SENSOR DETAILS........................................... 42 Circuit Description of the Capacitive Wave-height Unit ........................................................................ 43 APPENDIX D THE PRESSURE BASED WAVE SENSOR DETAILS ............................................... 45 Circuit description of the Pressure Wave-height unit ............................................................................. 46 APPENDIX E1 PROTOTYPE DETAIL 1. ............................................................................................. 48 APPENDIX E2 PROTOTYPE DETAIL 2. ............................................................................................. 49 APPENDIX E3 PROTOTYPE DETAIL 3. ............................................................................................. 50 APPENDIX E4 PROTOTYPE DETAIL 4. ............................................................................................. 51 APPENDIX E5 PROTOTYPE DETAIL 5. ............................................................................................. 52 APPENDIX F1 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 1. ............................................................................... 53 APPENDIX F2 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 2. ............................................................................... 54 APPENDIX F3 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 3. ............................................................................... 55 APPENDIX F4 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 4. ............................................................................... 56

Ocean Waves - Renewable Energy APPENDIX F5 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 5. ............................................................................... 57 APPENDIX F6 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 6. ............................................................................... 58 APPENDIX F7 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 7. ............................................................................... 59 APPENDIX F8 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 8 ................................................................................ 60 APPENDIX G PHOTOGRAPHS............................................................................................................. 61

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BACKGROUND
The worldwide concerns regarding the depletion of fossil fuels have been a hot topic for many years. This, the increasing demand for energy by developing and expanding economies and the recognized impacts of the emission from fossil fuels on the environment, particularly Global Warming, has led to a rethink of methods of useful energy production. Currently only a small percentage of the power being used by nations is from renewable sources. It is becoming a well understood fact that this has to be changed. Renewable sources of energy are also becoming more attractive, especially as the prices of traditional sources of energy become more expensive. More effort is being placed on developing these technologies and to tap into more natural renewable energy sources especially for electrical power generation. The most common useful technologies are based upon the natural energy sources of water, wind, solar and heat, the latter usually being geothermal energy sources. Each energy source has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example water based commercial generating systems are known as hydro-electric and involve the damming of suitable rivers. This in itself can cause a large amount of natural damage defeating the ecological benefits of using them. Wind based systems generating electricity are reliable and can produce a significant amount of power, however wind farm RADAR invisibility and the fact that the large rotating blades can kill birds and bats causes concern. They can also be noisy. One fact that few people realize is that wind farms have to be shut down during extremely windy weather conditions. Solar based systems have to be large and can only operate during the hours of daylight. The key issues for geothermal is the availability, safety (usually installed in areas with volcanic activity) and access in areas where power is needed. A viable offshoot of wind energy is wave energy. Waves occurring in ocean water can contain considerable power. For example a ~ 2m high ocean wave with a period of ~10sec has an energy flux of between 50 to 70 kW per metre of width. Actual efforts to harness this energy have been on going for many years. Records of successfully installed wave power generating systems include a system in California commissioned in 1909 (Twidell and Weir 2006). There are many designs available to extract energy from waves. Deciding on a locally viable configuration would first involve the collection of wave height and wave period data over time. A statistical model could then be built up and theoretical values determined. Local wave height data is only available from one area around Lamma Island and this data suggests that a wave piston design would be a sensible design for Hong Kong. Since there is no wave data available for Hoi Ha Wan, the area where this experimental wave generator is to be installed, it was therefore considered prudent to design and build a device to collect wave data as part of this project. Both tide and wave height data would need to be measured and collected in order to establish any sort of wave model for electricity generation in this area. This was the first phase of the project. The second was to build a prototype and then final wave piston design wave generator suitable for display at the WWF Hoi Ha Wan Visitors

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centre (location of the centre is in Appendix A). Permission to install the unit was already granted by WWF. The power generated by the unit would be used to power another project currently being installed there, the DataBuoy Project.

A shor t note about the DataBuoy Project


One of the key design factors was to design a power generating system that could provide power for a marine area monitoring project. The DataBuoy Project is a bold initiative by the City University and the Oceanway Corporation Limited to install a real time 3-Dimensional data logging system into the Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park. The first phase, a single buoy, has been running for over one year. The second phase expands this by adding two more buoys, making it the first 3-D system installed in Hong Kong. In the second phase the system will also be connected to the internet allowing the Authority, students and other interested people to access the data. This will allow information about salinity, light intensity and temperature to become available for reference and research. It is very appropriate that the in-field equipment be as stand alone as possible and it should run on renewable energy sources. Apart form the conservation message this illustrates, the wave energy generator of this project also provide opportunities to investigate the feasibility of using waves to power future equipment installed in remote places as the DataBuoy project expands further.

Figure 1. A photograph of the DataBuoy I installed in the Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park.

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THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES


Ocean Wave Theor y
The idea to somehow extract useful electrical power from the energy of ocean waves has been a challenge for many years. There have been a myriad of designs and contraptions made, based upon different technologies. All have operated with different degree of success and failure. Marine waves can be categorized into two main types; deep water waves and shallow water waves. The difference is determined by two main characteristics, the mean depth of seabed where the wave is currently travelling and the wave length of the wave. A deep water wave represents wave in water which the depth exceeds six times its wave length and shallow water wave when wave is in water depth of less than six times of the length of wave. This can present an interesting situation, in that a deep water wave will become a shallow water wave as the water depth decreases, and a shallow water wave can become a deep water wave as the water depth increases. It is also possible for the nature of a wave set to change as the wavelength of that set changes. This means that at relatively shallow water depths (10~15m) it is possible for deep water waves to become shallow water waves and vice versa as the wavelength of the waves changes. The system designed as part of this project will be installed in ~6metre of water depth. Therefore it will be working as a deep water unit for all waves less then 1m high and as a shallow water unit in wave heights more than that. This in itself presents an interesting situation and means that the energy collector needs to be able to cater for both situations. The main difference, in terms of energy between the two wave types is with the movement of the water particles in each case. Deep water waves maintain a circular motion of the water particles and there is less energy dissipation of energy at unit depth. Shallow water waves have an elliptical motion of the water particles. This effectively has higher energy dissipation per unit depth than the deep water waves. Figure 2. shows the water particle movement in each case.

2 D D Sea-bed (a) Sea-bed (b)

Figure 2. The water particle movement of deep and shallow water ocean waves.

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Considering normal ocean waves, the amplitude is only governed by the wind above the water surface. Therefore, the wave amplitude is independent of wave velocity, wavelength or period. Ocean waves are also capable of travelling great distances. This means that local conditions may not necessarily reflect the state of the ocean waves in an area. It is possible, and actually is quite normal, for an area with no wind to be experiencing large (>4m) waves. The variable nature of waves makes them a force to be reckoned with. The energy contained in ocean waves has been responsible for the shaping of the coastlines of this planet and a lot of death and destruction. Strong storms occurring in marine areas are best avoided, if possible. The sudden release of energy at the shore or coastline is a testament to the energy contained in this renewable energy source. Power hidden in an ocean wave can be determined by the following theoretical equations:

P=

q 2 a 2T 8

(1)

Where P is power per unit length of wave front (W/m)

is density of water (kg/m3)


q is gravity (m/s2)
a is amplitude of water wave (m)

T is the period of wave (s)

Measuring Waves and Tides.


There are three methods considered suitable for measuring tides and waves in local waters; ultrasonic, capacitive sensor and pressure sensor. All methods involve the relatively quick determination of water height at fixed intervals in time. Ocean wave frequencies are normally in the order of 1~2 Hertz, so any height determination needs to operate at a minimum frequency of ~10Hz in order to give a reasonable resolution. Accepted current technology includes water pressure measurement, ultrasonic distance measurement and changes in capacitance of a sensor as water height rises and falls. All of these technologies are easily operated at read frequencies of 10Hz, so it was decided to construct three units based upon each of these technologies. In order to remove external influences, the heights were measured inside vertical tubes placed alongside the pillars that support the laboratory building. The setup was designed so that at least one third (1.5m) of the tube remained above the surface of the water during the high tide mark. The difference between the system required to measure wave height and that required to measure tide height is only that the value for tide is an average of integration of the water height data collected, over the time period of either 6 or 11 minutes. Instead of using mathematical algorithms to determine this, it is possible to use a flow restriction in a vertical tube to mechanically integrate the water height for the tide measurement sensor. This

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simplifies the design in that the wave height measuring unit can be duplicated to measure tide. The only difference is that the tide height unit has a small hole in the submerged end of the measuring tube, whereas the wave height unit has an open submerged end of the submerged tube. Details of the basic design are shown in Figure 3.

Open tube end

Open tube end Tide height (from reference)

Wave height

(a)

Open tube end

(b)

Sealed end with small hole

Figure 3. The wave and tide height details. Note the small constriction in the tide unit.

The Concept of Ultrasonic Sensor Wave Height Measurement


The ultrasonic wave height measuring unit is very similar to the ultrasonic rule or distance measuring device available for measuring the distance between two points in the air. The theory is straightforward. An ultrasonic signal (usually between 30 and 40KHz) is emitted from a transmitter and sent towards an object, in this case the surface of the water. If the object has a surface roughly parallel to transmitted wave front, there will be a reflected wave sent back towards the transmitter. A receiver unit is positioned near the transmitter and oriented to receive this reflected wave. The time interval between when the signal is sent and when it is received is proportional to the distance. Given that the speed of an ultrasonic sound in air is 330ms-1, it is possible to calculate the actual distance from the transmitter to the surface and then to receiver by the time taken for the signal to travel this distance. The relationship is linear with a small processing time error that can be measured. Distances of between 0.2m and 4m can be measured this way. There will also be some small variation due to the temperature of the air and the resulting change in air density, but this will not be great. Also, the whole unit was designed to be mounted under the Hoi Ha Wan Laboratory. This area does not experience a large temperature swing, so this error is expected to be ~1cm. It is possible that the unit could be up-graded to include temperature compensation in the future so that a more accurate measurement can be taken. The electronics used to generate, receive and time the signal is based upon a Programmable Intelligent Computer (PIC) integrated circuit. A 16F628 PIC unit running at 4MHz was eventually selected. The ultrasonic transmitter and receiver were mounted in the top of a 10cm diameter tube that extended into the water by 2m at low tide. The signal was fired down the inside of this tube. The drive and timing sections were positioned directly on top

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of the tube. An RS-232C signal was then cabled to a location inside the laboratory to allow the storage and distribution of the signal. The actual circuit used for the wave height measuring instrument installed at the centre is discussed in the next section and details are shown in Appendix B.

The Concept of Capacitive Sensor Wave Height Measurement


The basic structure of a capacitor; two parallel conductors with a dielectric in-between them, lends itself to accurate liquid height measurement. A totally sealed encapsulated parallel conductor twin-lead wire is placed into the liquid. The capacitance of this wire is measured at one end with the other end left open. The surrounding liquid forms the dielectric. As the liquid rises and falls the capacitance of the cable changes correspondingly. The relationship between capacitance and the height of the liquid is hyperbolic so can be a bit difficult. This method of liquid height measurement is surprisingly accurate provided the surrounding conditions are very stable. There is, however, a lot of care required when measuring the capacitance especially if there is any distance between the sensor and the actual measuring electronics. It is strongly recommended that the capacitive measuring circuit is connected to the measured end of the sensor. A novel way to improve the accuracy is to loop the conductor set into the liquid. This construction actually doubles the effect of the liquid and solves the issue of trying to seal the open end of the cable underwater. This unit was tested in the laboratory and deemed to be two unpredictable for use as a wave height measuring system for the centre. The issues seemed to be that changes in water salinity also changed the capacitance. The sea water at Hoi Ha Wan has salinity that varies from 5ppm to 35ppm. Some form of compensation would be required if the measurement was to be accurate. Another consideration was the proximity of other metals. Unfortunately the pillar that the unit was to be installed on still has the remains of the mild-steel caisson jacket on it. It is obvious that as this rusts away the influence of this metal object, on the sensor, will change over time. High quality speaker cable twin-lead was used for the primary in water sensor. A Programmable intelligent Computer (PIC) was used for the capacitive measurement. For the test unit a 16F84A PIC was used as the main controller. The circuit used for testing in the laboratory at CityU is contained in Appendix C. This unit was not built for installation at the centre due to the inherent influences that the surroundings would have on the accuracy of the readings, especially the changes over time.

The Concept of Pressure Sensor Wave Height Measurement


Water is relatively heavy, especially when compared to the weight of air. Pressure at any point of a water column is equal to the weight of the water above that point. As a wave passes over a point, the height of the water above that point increases and decreases. The relative change of water pressure is proportional to the height change caused by the wave. Piezo pressure sensors are relatively cheap, have a very linear response to pressure and have a very fast response to changes in pressure. The result is resistive making the interface circuitry quite straightforward.
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The only real issue with them is that they measure a pressure differential so do need a physical pressure connection to atmospheric pressure in order to ensure that they are only measuring the water pressure. This can be a bit tricky especially since the sensor needed to be submerged. This application required an analog to digital converter in order to function so it was necessary to use a Programmable Intelligent Computer (PIC) that had this feature. The 16F88 was deemed suitable. The actual circuit used for the wave height measuring instrument installed at the centre is discussed in the next section and details are shown in Appendix D.

Methods of Wave Energ y Collection


The first obstacle is to determine a suitable method to collect the physical wave energy in a suitable form that can be eventually converted to electrical energy. The simplest method is to use a Water Piston. This is basically an open tube placed vertically in the sea. The top end is connected to a series of air hoses; the lower end is placed no deeper than 2m down below the surface of the sea. As waves passes the tube, their kinetic energy makes the water inside the tube rise and fall in sympathy with them. The net result is that the air inside the tube will undergo compression as the wave crest passes and will undergo decompression as the trough of the wave passes. Figure 4 shows the process.

+ P

-P

(a)

(b)

Figure 4. The compression and decompression phases of the air column during a wave.

Obviously the amount of energy obtained from the water piston depends upon the height and period of the waves travelling past it. This method of wave energy collection is not the most efficient but it is the most flexible allowing for a multitude of changing pressure to mechanical energy converters to be connected to the single water piston to demonstrate different methods. It also allows for a piped air connection rather than a fluid or mechanical connection, allowing for location flexibility. Part of the design criteria was demonstration for secondary school students. The emphasis had to be on safety. High pressure air or hydraulics was not a consideration for safety reasons, nor was mechanical linkages to heavy floating structures under the centre. This combined with the low power requirements of the DataBuoy load allowed for a safe, low power solution to be used.

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Methods of Electrical Energ y Generation from Wave Energ y


There were several methods of electrical power generation considered. A linear generator is the easiest solution, but the least efficient. The DataBuoy load was calculated to be about 10W. Ideally the amount of power generated should be about 3~5 times this amount (i.e. 30~50W) in order to charge up the necessary storage to enable the system to ride through periods of little or no wave activity. The prototype unit assembled in the CityU laboratory revealed that only a rotating generating system connected to a small turbine could generate anything like the power required. The difficulty that this presented was to design a series of air flow valves that enabled an oscillating air column to always flow through a turbine in the same direction, ensuring that a turbine could be used. The block diagram for the basic design is shown in Figure 5.

DC generator

Air valves

Oscillating air flow Turbine

Water piston

Figure 5. The simplified diagram of the wave prototype generator design.

the principal of operation is quite straightforward. The bi-directional oscillating air flow from the water piston is switched by a series of valves to provide a unidirectional air flow through a turbine. The turbine is connected to a small DC generator to provide electrical power output. For the prototype unit, the valves and the turbine were mounted directly above the water piston.

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THE FINAL VERSION


Three units for measuring wave height were constructed; one unit for each of the main technologies currently used for this purpose. Only two were found to be suitable for the actual installation at the centre. Two wave units were constructed, each based upon a water piston for power. One unit was built for laboratory testing, the other for installation in the WWF Centre for demonstration. The first part of this section describes all of the units built and tested to measure the waves and tides. The second part describes both the prototype and the final units built to extract the wave energy and produce power.

Wave Height Measurement


Three units were built for testing in the laboratory and two units were built for the field. The latter two were fitted under the centre on the opposite side to the water piston on a pillar under the centre. This section briefly describes the three systems tested and explains the reasons for the selection of the units actually installed in the field.

Ultrasonic Sensor Wave Height Measurement


The unit description
The unit consisted of four main components: a. A transmitter; responsible for transmitting a very directional particular frequency ultrasonic wave form. b. A receiver; able to receive the reflected that bounced off the surface of the water. c. A microcontroller; able to count the time interval between the moment the ultrasonic signal left the transmitter and when it was received by the receiver, to coordinate the sending of the pulses, resetting the counter, converting the result to a unit if distance (metres), and subtracting an offset that makes the result accurate (ignores tides etc.) and finally outputs the result. d. A power supply; able to safely keep the electronics working. The transmitter and receiver units were located on top of a 10cm diameter PVC pipe. The ultrasonic signal was sent down the tube. The difference between signal receiving times could then be calculated as difference between high and low waves as a result satisfying the purpose to estimate the wave height. The working principle of the unit is basically the same as radar; the circuit measures the interval between the transmission and reception times of a signal in order to calculate distance. Maxima and minima values are selected by software sifting and the difference represents the height of a wave. Averages are calculated over a period of 5 minutes with the largest and smallest wave data also being sent out from the unit. The transmitter circuit generated a very short burst of 38 KHz ultrasonic signal. The actual signal was produced by a piezo transducer driven by two pairs of inverters in parallel.

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The receiver circuit consisted of a piezo transducer connected to an amplifier and a logic signal detector. Signals received were amplified by 1000 times and then fed into the detector. The output of the detector was converted to a digital-level signal through the logic signal detector prior to be processed by the Programmable Intelligent Computer (PIC) of the unit. The PIC used for this unit was the 16F88. The firmware in the PIC determines the timing, calculates the wave height and accumulates individual wave data in order to calculate the maximum, minimum and average wave height. The detailed circuit diagram, description and printed circuit board layout is included in Appendix B.

Comments
The ultrasonic method of measuring wave height is fast and accurate. There is no actual contact between the electronics and the water either. This makes this technology very appropriate for both wave height and tide height measurement.

Capacitive Sensor Wave Height Measurement


The use of a capacitive sensor is one of the technically feasible methods of measuring water height using solid state components, i.e. no moving parts.

Description
The principle is simple. Two close, parallel insulated conductors are inserted into the liquid. The liquid essentially acts as a dielectric. This results in different capacitance as the liquid changes height. It should be appreciated that the measured values of capacitance ate small (in the order of picofarads) and the changes are even smaller. It is possible to loop the conductors in the liquid to effectively double the result. The basic design is shown in Figure 6.
Connection to logger Capacitive measuring unit

Insulated parallel conductor

Liquid

Figure 6. The basic layout of the Capacitive Wave Height Measuring Device.

The U shaped in water sensor solves several difficulties other than just doubling the value of capacitance. These included removing the difficulty associated with sealing the free end of

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the sensor, as well as offering a very secure way of mounting it; down one side of a rod and up the other side. The prototype sensor tested had a length of one metre. The value of capacitance varied between 8pF (no water around it) to 140pf (one metre immersed in the water). The graph of the change of water height as compared to the capacitance measured is shown in Figure 7. Even though the result is not actually linear, it can be seen that there is an approximate change of 1.5pF per 1cm change of water height. These values, including the change is measurable.
160 140 Capacitance (pF) 120 100 80 60 40 20 0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

Length Submerged (m)

Figure 7. Capacitance of the sensor at different water depths.

One of the simple microcomputer based methods to measure capacitance is to use Charge Transfer. This method can also be tailored to reliably measure very small values of capacitance. A 16F84A Programmable Intelligent Computer (PIC) was used as the microcontroller for this application. The measuring circuit was located at one end of the sensor to minimize noise and stray capacitance. The concept of Charge Transfer capacitance measurement is simple. A fixed voltage is applied to the sensor capacitor for a time that will ensure it is fully charged. This small charge is then transferred to a reference capacitor. The voltage of this reference capacitor is monitored. If the reference capacitor voltage is below a fixed threshold, then the process of charging the sensor capacitor and transferring the charges is repeated until the reference capacitor voltage reaches the threshold value. The reference capacitor is discharged so that the process can be repeated for another reading. The microcontroller counts the number of transfers that were required. This value will be proportional to the capacitance of the sensor. Since the accumulator capacitor can also be small, the method is very useful in measuring very small capacitance and small changes in capacitance. This makes it suitable for measuring values of and changes in values of humidity, liquid levels and human touch. Figure 8 shows the physical connection. Figures 9a,b and c describe how to achieve charge transfer capacitance measurement using a microcomputer.

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Ocean Waves - Renewable Energy +5v Sensor (RB3) Pin 8 (RB4) Pin 9 Sense Acap Storage

Figure 8. The physical connection to the two digital ports.

The connection is shown in Figure 8. It requires two digital I/O ports that can be reconfigured as either or both digital inputs during the capacitance read cycle. In this example the actual ports used in the prototype are shown; RB3 and RB4.

1. Make both the Acap and the Sensor pins high. This shorts out both the storage and sensor capacitor by connecting both ends to +5v it. The counter is also reset at this time. Electrically this is shown in Figure 9a.
+5v +5v
Sense

Sensor Storage
Acap

Figure 9a. First phase is to electrically short out both capacitors.

2. Leave the Acap pin high and check the Sense pin to see if it is at logical 0 (~0v). This involves making the Sense pin to an input, effectively making its impedance very high. If the lower end of the sense capacitor is lower than 5v the charge will be transferred to the storage. If the voltage on the Sense pin is 0v, then the storage is full. If the storage is not full then advance the counter. Once the value of 0v is reached, then the value of the counter is proportional to the value of the sensor capacitance. The electrical representation is shown in Figure 9b.
+5v Sensor 0v? Sense Acap +5v Storage

Figure 9b. The second phase is to see if the Sense pin is logical 0 (~0v).

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3. The sense pin is grounded to allow the sensor capacitor to charge. The Acap pin is made an input effectively disconnecting it. Electrically this is shown in Figure 9c.
+5v Sensor Gnd Sense Acap Storage

Figure 9c. The third phase is to ground the Sense pin in order to charge the sensor.

4. Both pins are changed to inputs (disconnected).


+5v Sensor Sense Acap Storage

Figure 9d. The fourth phase is to electrically disconnect the capacitor circuit.

5. Then the reading process repeats starting at Step 2 until the Sense pin is measured at a logical 0. Then the number of counts is read. This represents the capacitance of the sensor. The next reading is taken by starting at Step 1 with a counter set to zero. The graph in Figure 10. shows the results obtained for the number of counts and the measured capacitance of a 1m sensor in 35% salt solution. The value for the reference capacitor is 0.1uF.
Capacitance vs Counts
5000 Capacitance 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 0 4 8 12 18 33 51 66 99 132 Counts

Figure 10. The number of counts compared to the capacitance of the sensor (salinity 35ppm).

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Whilst the principal of Charge Transfer may seem slow, under the control a PIC running at 4MHz it is possible to obtain 10 readings per second. The circuit diagram, source code and circuit diagram for the prototype used for the testing is in Appendix C.

Comments
The prototype unit constructed for wave height measurement was fast enough to be suitable and the result was reliable provided several external parameters remain stable. Changes in the salinity of the water surrounding the sensor caused the most problematic change the value of capacitance when there had been no change in the water height. Combined with this, any changes in any surrounding metal structure also produced changes in the value of sensor capacitance even though there had not been any change in water level. It was also possible to cause a small change (~1pF) if a medium sized (~3cm long) marine gastropod (sea snail) was allowed to crawl up one side of the sensor. It should also be noted that this measurement was carried out in controlled conditions. The sensor was immersed into a tube containing 35ppm salt water solution. When the salinity of the water in the tube was varied, the capacitance also changed. Another measurement was carried out with 45ppm and a 5ppm salt solution. The result is shown in Figure 11. Note that the result is a slightly higher capacitance, but the basic shape of the graph is the same. This was an important finding.
4500 4000 3500 3000 Counts 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 0 4 8 12 18 33 51 66 99 132 Value of pF
Figure 11. The measured result of a 1m sensor inserted in a salt solution.

45% 5%

With the unit tested, it was estimated that the values that would need to be measured would need to be in the order of 10pF to about 500pF for a 2.5m sensor. The resolution of the measuring instrument would have to be in the order of 0.5pF if the unit was to have any sort of accuracy. The effect of the changing salinity would also have to be incorporated somehow. It was decided not to use this unit in the field, mainly because of the variation caused by changing values of salinity. The DataBuoy project had already identified that Hong Kong has

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shallow water haloclines (stratified changes in salinity) especially during times when there is a lot of fresh water run-off after heavy rain. This would mean that it was possible that there would be a gradient of salinity in the water surrounding the sensor. Under such circumstances it would be almost impossible to determine a suitable value for salinity to use in a salinity compensated algorithm calculating water height. Some photographs of the unit built and the testing carried out is included in Appendix G, Plates 01, 02 and 03.

Pressure Sensor Wave Height Measurement


The use of water pressure to measure water height has been a normal practice for many years now. Two main technologies are used, one very simple technology involving in water pressure sensors located at a fixed water depth and another, the more common method, uses a tube filled with compressed air that extends into the sea. With the latter design, the sea end is open so the pressure in the tube indicates the height of water above the sea end of the tube. A solution that involved no moving parts was required so a submersible pressure sensor system was constructed.

The unit description


The technology of submersible pressure sensors has improved to the stage that they are no longer the very expensive sensors of the past. The resolution of these sensors is also very impressive at 0.01% of full scale measurement. They do however, measure gauge pressure meaning that there needs to be a connection to the surface air pressure is also required if the unit is to be compensated for changes in atmospheric pressure. This was done by using a hose as the protective layer for the cabling to the submerged sensor. The basic layout of the unit is shown in Figure12.

Resistive measuring unit

Cable inside tube

Liquid

Sensor

Figure 12. Typical pressure based wave height sensor.

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The sensor is a power active Piezoresistive Bridge. An Op-Amp amplifier is required to adjust the output allowing for a scaled voltage to be generated for analogue to digital conversion in a PIC. The resistance output of the sensor is very linear over pressure. This allowed for a very simple calculation to be required in order to convert the sensor value to actual depth. Figure 13 shows the test result of the circuit under test and calibration. Note that the sensor voltage is in millivolts.

Depth vs Sensor reading


1000 Sensor value 800 600 400 200 0
10
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Depth (m)

Figure 13. The depth of Sensor against the A/D result.

The Piezo-resistive Bridge outputs a positive coefficient and a negative co-efficient both at the same time. Each is proportional to the pressure applied to it. Both outputs were connected to the inputs of an Op-Amp. The Op-Amp is configured as an inventing amplifier with a gain of 51x. The output of the Op-amp feeds directly into a 10bits A/D connection of a 16F88 PIC. The PIC is programmed to repeatedly read the A/D converter. A conversion algorithm converts the sensor value measured to metres. The unit was reliably accurate to centimeters. The conversion algorithm is linear following the equation: Height (m) = ( a x value ) + constant, a = 30 value = sensor reading constant = 15,250 The circuit diagram, detailed description, printed circuit board layout and PIC firmware is in Appendix D.

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Comments
This method of wave height detection is very accurate and constructing a circuit that could measure 10 values per second was not difficult. This meant that this method was suitable for wave height and tide height. Since the sensor is installed below the surface of the water and the device has an opening that fills with seawater, it was decided to use this technology for the determination of tide height. It would be possible for a marine animal or marine fouling to interfere with the water flow in and out of the sensor opening. This would not change the accuracy of the sensor, but would retard the response time. Since tides change very slowly (<10cm/hr) then any obstruction of the sensor input port would not have an effect.

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The Water Piston


A short form water piston was built for installation in the test pool located inside the Underwater Robotics Laboratory at the City University. A simple manometer was connected to the unit to record pressures inside the unit during some basic tests. The results were variable depending upon the size and period of the waves. At this time this was done the wave recording machinery was not yet built so it was not possible to measure the actual performance. The primary goal was to test the principal of the water piston and to confirm that compression and decompression was possible. The manometer was indicating absolute pressures of ~+0.5 bar and ~-0.5 bar on a 35cm (peak to trough) water wave. Using the power equation (Equation 1 on page 4), it is possible to calculate the amount of power in a 35cm wave with a period of ~1s. The value is 481W per metre of wave front. The tube has a 40cm diameter. So effectively there is a 192W potential in the wave to be extracted by the unit.

The unit description


The water piston used consisted of 10mm thick PVC pipe. The unit tested in the laboratory on the prototype was only 0.75m high. The one fitted under the centre was 3m tall. The diameter of both tubes was 40cm. It was decided to use a tall tube under the centre mainly to add air storage and to buffer the airflow during very rough conditions.

How it works
The water piston is a very simple way to collect the energy of an ocean wave by transferring the waves kinetic energy to a force that will move the water inside the tube up and down. The rise and fall of the water inside the tube will compress and decompress the air inside the tube.

Comments
The water piston is simple and easy to maintain. There are only two moving parts; the water and the air inside the tube. It suits itself very well for this application. The principal is also very easy to understand, making it an obvious choice for demonstration purposes.

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Generator Unit 1 Laborator y Prototype


This unit was constructed for installation in the test pool located inside the Underwater Robotics Laboratory at the City University. The main reason for building this unit was to test the practicality of the equipment and to carry out some efficiency tests on the unit and method of operation. This unit also offered the possibility to modify and refine some of the sections used in the final unit.

The unit description


The prototype unit that was built was a combination water piston and generator unit. The lower section consisted of a partially submerged water piston; the top consisted of a series of valves routing air into a turbine.

How it works
A cross section image is shown in Figure 14. The key design feature is the air valve arrangement that allows the oscillating bidirectional airflow generated in the water piston to be converted into a unidirectional flow through the turbine. Electrical power is generated by a small DC generator fitted inside the turbine. The detailed design drawings are in Appendix E1 through E5.

Figure 14. General Arrangement of Prototype 1

Two tubes connect the top of the water piston to the housing containing the valves and the turbine. The tubes also act as a buffer storage for the air in the tube, smoothing out the energy flow between the waves and the airflow. Details of valves construction is shown in Appendix E2. Simple flapper non-return valves were used. A soft flexible plastic sheet was used for the moving section of the valve. This

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sheet covered holes in the acrylic housing. There are two main types; horizontal and vertical valves. They are located in four places on the device as can be seen in Appendix E1 & E4. The main function of each is identical; to allow only one way of flow and at the same time allowing the equalization of pressure inside the chamber. The details of the turbine arrangement can be found in Appendix E3. It is located along the horizontal tube of the device, perpendicular to the induced air flow. This turbine contained the electrical generating unit. With the prototype, the electricity generated was used to power a bank of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Ideally this power supply would be connected to a rechargeable battery. The prototype water piston was fitted with brackets to allow it to be attached to the side of a gantry fitted above the surface of the water in the testing tank. These brackets are detailed in Appendix E5.

How It Works
The water piston pushes air up into and sucks down from the generator unit as the water rises and falls inside the tube. This oscillating bi-directional airflow is directed into the top of the unit via the two tubes that connect the water piston to the turbine chamber. There are three air conditions that can occur in the area above the water piston. a. No movement. This would occur if there was no wave activity or very small waves around the base of the water piston. b. Compression. This would be the result of water moving up in the water piston. c. De-compression. This would be the result of water moving down in the water piston.

The air flow, as directed by the 4 valves during the wave piston compression cycle, is shown in Figure 15a.
Ambient atmosphere
Turbine Horizontal valve

Vertical Sloping valve

Sloping valve

Horizontal valve

Opening for 6 0 mm Perpsex tube

Opening for 6 0 mm Perpsex tube

Side V iew

Wave height rises

Air-flow induced by rising wave height

Figure 15a. Air-flow in rising wave height.

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The air flow, as directed by the 4 valves during the wave piston de-compression cycle, is shown in Figure 15b.
Turbine Horizontal valve

Sloping valve

Sloping valve Vertical

Horizontal valve

Ambient atmosphere
Opening for 60mm Perpsex tube Opening for 60mm Perpsex tube

Side View Wave height falls

Air-suction due to falling wave height

Figure 15b. Air-flow in falling wave height.

In either case the air flow through the turbine is in the same direction irregardless of whether the water piston is in a compression or de compression phase.

Comments
The unit was simple and worked very well immediately after construction. The power output was impressive output of 23 watts with a 35cm wave. The key losses were identified as the compression of the air. It would be interesting to fill the whole unit with a fluid to see the difference. The unit was also noisy. This issue was not identified during the design phase. Whilst the amount of noise generated does not pose a threat of any kind, it was an interesting result observed during testing.

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Generator Unit 2 Demonstration Unit for the Centre


With the first prototype built and tested, the unit was studied with two objectives in mind; one to improve the efficiency. The second was to make the unit interesting to look at. If this unit was to be an effective Demonstration Unit, it had to be simple and the internal workings had to be obvious.

The unit description


The final unit had a separate water piston and generator unit. The water piston had to be installed underneath the WWF Centre platform. The two sections were connected together by a 10cm diameter air hose. The generator unit was originally to be installed in the main auditorium, however due to delays in the redecoration schedule of the area, the generator was installed into the CityU Laboratory Facility, at the centre, with the idea to relocate it after the renovation was complete.

How it works
The layout of the whole system is shown in Figure 16. The water piston is located underneath the centre. The generator unit is located in a separate location in the centre. There is an air pipe that connects the two together.

Figure 16. General Arrangement of the Demonstration Unit.

The principal of operation is very similar to the first unit built. The key difference was the modifications to the turbine to increase efficiency and to the valves to try and make their action more obvious. The water piston was just scaled up and separated from the generator system. The system buffer was also increased. In the original design tanks had been incorporated in the design to buffer the forces anticipated. It was discovered that the dead air spaces in the piston and the generator could perform this function. The final unit was designed to have a large airspace above the water piston for this purpose. This feature also

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offered the advantage of allowing the unit to operate at extreme high tides as well as very large waves. A novelty of the final design was the use of ping pong balls as part of the valves. This was in line with the overall concept of making the equipment interesting to watch especially for secondary school students. This change of design of the valves necessitated the redesigning of the top section. Clear Perspex was used so that the internal workings of the equipment could be clearly seen. The valve arrangement and air flow during the compression and decompression is shown in Figures 17a and b respectively. Note that the air connection to the water piston is below valves B1 and C1 and above the valves B2 and C2.

Rising Wave Height

Opened valve Air flow direction

Figure 17a. Air flow during the compression cycle.

Falling Wave Height

Opened valve Air flow direction

Figure 17b. Air flow during the de-compression cycle.

With this new design, the number of valves was increased from 4 to 8. This was to allow a little less restriction of the air flow through the unit. The turbine system was also improved, with a longer, worm screw like, rotor being used. The detail arrangement and construction drawings are in Appendix F1 through F5.

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Comments
The power output of this unit was quite impressive. The first trials were carried out at the CityU Laboratory using the same water piston that was used for the first prototype. The output power was 35W with a 35cm wave. This 52% increase was a significant improvement over the prototype. Since this testing a new DC generator has been fitted that should further improve the energy output even further. These tests will have to be carried out after the unit is installed at the centre. The noise issue presents an interesting problem. The new valve arrangement works well, but the noise generated by the air flowing through them sound much like a person breathing. This adds to the impact that the machine makes when it is working. The only additional feature required is a series of valves that will allow for the maintenance of the unit during times the water piston is operating. At the moment maintenance can only be carried out when the sea is calm. It is expected that this modification will be added after the final installation at the centre.

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STATISTICS AND EFFICIENCY


Power of a 35cm wave (1sec period)
(Mean values) Period1s Amplitude0.35m Density of water1025kg/m3 Power of Wave per unit wavefront (theoretical)480.793W/m (by utilizing Equ 1) The theoretical power available to the Wave Generator =Power per length X Diameter = 480.793 X 0.29 = 139.430W This represents the maximum possible power that can be collected by the water piston in 35cm high waves.

Prototype 1
Electrical power generated23W Efficiency is therefore16.5%

Demonstration Unit
Electrical power generated35W Efficiency is therefore25.1%

Comments:
The 35cm wave provided enough energy to start the equipment. It was observed that a 25cm wave did not have sufficient energy to start the turbine. It is therefore logical to assume that the unit is running around the minimum power levels, so most of the energy generated is being given up to losses. Unfortunately it was not possible to test the unit in the laboratory with larger wave heights. It is expected that the efficiency will improve as the wave height increases and the system has more energy to operate. The figure should taper off as the maximum output values for the electrical generator are reached.

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CONCLUSION
The project constructed was relatively straight forward. It should provide ideas and incentive for other projects. The connection to the DataBuoy system is also an added bonus. The final system does generate enough electricity to power the buoys. Whether or not sufficient waves occur to charge up the storage and to provide a reliable continuous supply of electricity needs to be confirmed over time. The final wave generator unit produced met the design criteria. It showed that it is possible to generate useful power from marine waves. It also offers the chance to promote the concept and offer an incentive for other projects to follow this one. There are a lot of options possible when it comes to the collection of the kinetic energy of ocean waves. There are also a multitude of methods to obtain useful electrical energy from collected wave kinetic energy. This project will also provide a lot of information on the marine waves at Hoi Ha Wan. This data on the size, period and frequency of the waves in this area will help decide the best technology to extract the energy. This will be useful for other designs that should follow this project. As well as the kinetic energy of waves, the ocean can have a large thermal difference between the surface and depths as shallow as 10m depth. It has been estimated that only a small amount of this trapped thermal energy could supply all of the power requirements of the world. The DataBuoy system will provide information on these thermal differences and allow for the relevant energy calculations to be carried out. This opens up another set of possibilities involving marine driven heat engines. From the observations made during this project and information from the diving community in the area, a series of Osprey Turbines placed in the Tolo Channel will probably be the most efficient method of extracting large amounts of energy without just using wind turbines.

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RECOMMENDATIONS
Wave generated power is a new concept in Hong Kong. Whether or not it is a viable method of generating a useful amount of power needs to be determined. It is a very effective way of tapping into wind power without all of the ecological consequences of using wind turbines. Wave generators do not kill birds (or fish), they do not make a lot of noise, and they can be self regulating during inclement weather so do not need to be taken off line during typhoons. They can be built as part of a marine structure, rather then standing out. They can also require less maintenance. The first key recommendation is to monitor the result of this generator. A weather station has already been installed at the centre to monitor the wind speed and direction. This data will be valuable in determining the connection of wind speed with wave height. This offers a whole new area of research. The design employed in this project is by no means the best possible one for the area the unit was installed. It was the most suitable to show that a result was possible, in that useful power can be generated from ocean waves. It is therefore a very suitable choice as a demonstration unit for educational purposes. There are other technologies that should also be tested and compared with this design. Other technologies like the floating hydraulic pump units and the bobbers should form future projects also built at the centre. The investment is not that great, and the investment would create a lot of positive ecological exposure at a time when climate change is pushing mankind to seriously explore renewable sources of energy that do not emit greenhouse gasses. It is recommended that HEC consider investing in a further demonstration machine at the WWF Centre to complement this unit. The second machine should be of sufficient size to generate enough power to provide a significant amount of lighting for a section of the centre. This would bring the whole concept of HECs effort of exploring renewable energy into the international market place via the auspices of WWF. In terms of expanding on the concept of generating ideas for the younger generation of engineers to develop, it is recommended that the current HEC Green Fund be expanded to include a competition involving the most efficient method of extracting wave energy from the sea. This competition should be something like the current Underwater Robotics Competition with a series of prizes that promote alternative energy. A prize suggestion being a visit to an overseas wave generator. The competition should be open to secondary school students and run in conjunction with WWF and the CityU. Basically, the worlds oldest power company supporting the education of our young potential engineers in the practical applications of useful renewable energy sources. The publicity potential is enormous.

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REFERENCES
Blake K., Bible S., (2005) Measuring Small Changes in Capacitive Sensors. AN1014 Microchip Technologies Inc. 2355 West Chandler Blvd Chandler AZ 85224-6199 USA. Edwards S. (2001) Programming and Customizing the Basic Stamp Computer. McGraw-Hill, 11 West 19th Street New York, NY 10011 USA. Kane M. (2005). California Small Hydropower and Ocean Wave Energy Resources. PIER Renewables, Energy Research and Development Division, California Energy Commission. Sacramento, California, U.S.A. Minerals Management Service (2006). Technology White Paper on Wave Energy Potential on the U.S. Outer Shelf. Renewable Energy and Alternate Use Program. U.S. Department of the Interior. United States Government. NOAA (1991). Next Generation Water Level Measurement System (NGWLMS). Site Design, Preparation and Installation Manual. U.S. Department of Commerce. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. National Ocean Service. Office of Oceanography and Marine Assessment, Rockville, M.D., U.S.A. Sjoding, D., (2003). Solar Plan for the state of Washington Ocean Wave Energy. A report to the Solar Planning Office West, Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy Program, 925 Plum Street SE. P.O. Box 43165 Olympia, WA 98504-3165, U.S.A. Twidell, J., and Weir, T., (2006). Renewable Energy Resources. Second Edition. Publisher, Taylor & Francis, 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN, Canada. Vining., J. (2005). Ocean Wave Energy Conversion. ECE 699; Advanced Independent Study Report, Unpublished report submitted to Dr. Annette Muetze. Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Wisconsin Madison, Canada.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This project was funded by the Hong Kong Electric Co Ltd Clean Energy Fund. The idea would have remained as a concept without this generous help. There were many contributors towards the final design. In particular I would like to thank Mr W H Mak who provided a solid platform of ideas for the shape of the final unit, designed a more efficient turbine system and added splash of colour to what could have become a totally boring design (by adding bright orange valves). Thanks to Mr Kenneth K K Ku who solved the wave height measuring unit difficulties and many other problems with the wave and tide instrumentation. And thank also to Chow Hoi Wai worked out how to mount the wave piston on the pillars. The unit was installed by Chow Hoi Wai, Kenneth Ku, Marcus Yip & Keven Pang. This brave team worked around the shark sightings at Hoi Ha Wan to get the unit installed as quickly as possible. A special thanks to Dr. Robin Bradbeer, who gave us unlimited access to and use of the Underwater Systems Laboratory. She even let us turn the test tank into a wave tank. To Dr. L F Yeung, thank you for your guidance and help. And yes, the double-bellows design was part of Ancient Chinese Technology. (The water piston used in this generator uses the same principle). Thank also to Marcus Yip and Lobo Chow who worked hard on the maps, figures and drawing included in this report. To all of you, your effort, ideas and advices were much appreciated.

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APPENDIX A LOCATION OF THE MARINE CENTRE

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APPENDIX B THE ULTRASONIC BASED WAVE SENSOR DETAILS.

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PCB Layout

Photo

Circuit description of the Ultrasonic Wave-Height Unit

Transmitter circuit:
Using the PIC Microcontroller 16F88 Hardware PWM to Generate 38KHz pulses

Figure 18. Hardware PWM Generation on a PIC

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Figures 18and 19 shows the PortB.0 on the PIC16F88 functioning as the hardware PWM output pin (CCP1) when not being used for normal I/O operations. Several registers were configured to use the PWM feature.
Ultrasonic Transducer Driving Circuit with Power Amplification

Figure 19. Driving Circuit with Power Amplifier

The inverter is used for the drive of the ultrasonic sensor. The two pairs of inverter (IC1B and IC1E, IC1C and IC1D) are connected in parallel so as to increase the transmission power. The inverter (ICE) is used to produce 180 degree phase shift pulses applying between two terminals of the ultrasonic transducer. The capacitor provides AC coupling so that about twice of voltage of the inverter output is applied to the sensor. The power supply voltage of this drive circuit is +12V. It is converting voltage with the transistor to make control at the operating voltage of PIC(+5V). Because C-MOS inverters are used, it is possible to do ON/OFF at high speed comparatively.

Receiver circuit
Signal Amplification Circuit

Figure 20. Signal Amplifier Circuit

As shown in Figure 20, the ultrasonic signal received on the sensor is amplified by 1000 times of voltage through two operational amplifiers (IC2A, IC2B) on the LM833 IC with 100 times amplification at the first stage and 10 times at the next stage. This circuit acts as a two-stage op-amp inverting amplifier circuit.

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Detection Circuit

Figure 21. Signal Detection Circuit

Figure 21 shows the detection circuit which is a half-wave rectification circuit with Shottky barrier diodes, to detect the received ultrasonic signal. The figure also shows the waveform before and after the circuit. The Shottky barrier diodes are used due to better high frequency characteristic.

Logic signal detector

Figure 22 Logic signal detector

This circuit is to convert the output signals from the detection circuit in Figure 22 to a digitallevel signal prepared to be processed by MCU. The input signal Vi is being compared to the preset voltage level Vrf so as to indicate the when the signal is detected. Vrf can be calculated by the following formula:
Vrf = RA x Vcc RA + RB

Power supply circuit


Most of the IC is powered by 12V except the microcontroller PIC16F88 requires 5V. For this reason a regulating circuit is designed to step-down the 12V to 5V.

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Figure 23 Power supply circuit

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APPENDIX C THE CAPACITIVE BASED WAVE SENSOR DETAILS.

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PCB Layout

Photo.

Circuit Description of the Capacitive Wave-height Unit

The Capacitor ar rangement:


+5v Sensor (RB3) Pin 8 (RB4) Pin 9 Sense Acap Storage

Figure 24. The Capacitor arrangement.

The capacitors are directly connected to the PIC. In the prototype circuit another standard capacitor was added with a switch allowing it to replace the sensor capacitance. The value was 0.01uF. This was done to check the circuit over time and to offer a standard value for the sensor for component calibration. The circuit diagram for this section is in Figure 24.

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The PIC Circuit


RB7

RS232C out

Sense Acap

16F84A
RB3 RB4

Figure 25. The PIC Circuit.

The circuit that handles all of the processing for this unit is the PIC 16F84A. connections to this device are shown in Figure 25.

The

The power supply


12v C1 780J 5v C2

GND

Figure 26 The power supply for the unit.

The whole circuit was powered from a 5v supply. A standard LM780J linear voltage regulator circuit was used. The circuit is in Figure 26.

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APPENDIX D THE PRESSURE BASED WAVE SENSOR DETAILS

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PCB Layout

Photo.

Circuit description of the Pressure Wave-height unit

The Pressure Sensor Interface

Figure 27. The Pressure Sensor Interface Circuit.

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The circuit required to amplify the differential voltage produced by the piezoelectric sensor was a simple inverting op-amp. The gain was set at 52 times by the input and feedback resistors. The capacitor at the output limits the noise. The op-amp used was the single voltage LM741. Note that the sensor was connected to a 5v supply. This was done to ensure that the output could never overload the A/D converter in the PIC.

The PIC Circuit


Sensor Input RS232C Output

RA4

RB5

PIC 16F88

Figure 28 The PIC Circuit.

The circuit that handles all of the processing for this unit is the PIC 16F88. The connections to this device are shown in Figure 28. The circuit is quite simple.

The power supply


12v C1 780J 5v C2

GND

Figure 29. The power supply for the unit.

The whole circuit was powered from 5v. A standard LM780J linear voltage regulator circuit was used.

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APPENDIX E1 PROTOTYPE DETAIL 1.

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APPENDIX E2 PROTOTYPE DETAIL 2.

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APPENDIX E3 PROTOTYPE DETAIL 3.

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APPENDIX E4 PROTOTYPE DETAIL 4.

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APPENDIX E5 PROTOTYPE DETAIL 5.

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APPENDIX F1 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 1.

5.5cm

11.5cm

5.5cm

10

cm

10cm

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5.5cm 22cm

3cm

36cm

5.5cm 5cm 11cm

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APPENDIX F2 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 2.


20.5cm

11.5cm

3cm

8cm 6.5cm

6cm

10cm

36cm

3cm

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6cm

8cm

40.5cm 6.5cm

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APPENDIX F3 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 3.

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APPENDIX F4 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 4.

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APPENDIX F5 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 5.

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APPENDIX F6 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 6.

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APPENDIX F7 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 7.

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APPENDIX F8 FINAL GENERATOR DETAIL 8

17

12

9000

VC1

X
16 11 4 15 10 3 14 9 7 1 2 13 8 6 9000 9000

9000

9000

9000

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9000

9000

9000

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APPENDIX G PHOTOGRAPHS

Plate 1. Final unit under test at the CityU Laboratory. (May 2007)

Plate 2. The modified air turbine block. (May 2007)

Plate 3. LEDs.

The test load Eight

(May 2007)

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Plate 4. Installing the bands under the WWF centre. The bands hold the Water Piston. (August 2007)

Plate 5. Another photograph showing the installation of the bands. (August 2007)

Plate 6. Placing the last of the three bands in place. (August 2007)

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Plate 7. The Water Piston before installation. (August 2007)

Plate 8. Preparing to install the Water Piston onto the bands under the centre. (August 2007)

Plate 9. Attaching the Water Piston to the positioning ropes. (August 2007)

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Plate 10. Moving the 3m Water Piston into position. (August 2007)

Plate 11. Almost there. (August 2007)

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Plate 12. Fixing the Water Piston to the bands under the centre. (August 2007)

Plate 13. installed.

The Water Piston

(August 2007)

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Plate 14. The top of the Piston showing the air hose connection. (August 2007)

Plate 15. A photograph of the installed Water Piston. The white strings are underwater cables. (August 2007)

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