- Durable - Make sure the floats cannot pull apart in bad weather
- Degrade - They should not degrade in the water and sun
- Visible - They should be visible so boats don't crash into them
- Material - Try to use recycled material where possible. Consider old bottles and retired ships.
- Size - Make sure that the float is an optimal size
Design Option 1 - Recyclables
Construct the floats out of bottles (milk, juice etc.). Tie the bottles together to change the size of the float as needed. Use a net over the completed structure.
- Simple to construct and maintain
- Readily available materials in 3rd world countries
- Size of floats can easily be changed
- Environmental issues - The bottles might degrade in the sea overtime.
- Strength - would this construction hold out in rough seas?
- Small - Large scale floats will be more vulnerable
Due to the size limit of these floats more will need to be deployed. This is not a disadvantage as it allows more of the waves power to be captured. I would also recommend that due to the fact that these bottles might not last very long in the open sea, they should be replaced periodically. This might increase maintenance costs but lessen the chances of environmental damage.
Design Option 2 - Large scaleIn order to go large it would be a good idea to use recycled boats and ships and get them anchored to the generators. They would still harvest the waves but their main advantage is their superior lifting power. This means they work ideally for tidal power as they can lift massive structures on the shore. The images of a 200 ton luxury cruiser on top of a 2 story building after the Japanese Tsunami springs to mind. If we could get a 200 ton lifting force on the shore we could use it to generate massive amounts of energy.
So use retired ship and boats. Their cargo holds could be filled with foam to give them extra strength and make them sea worthy. Alternatively construct large floats and deploy those.
- Bigger lift
- Ideal for Tidal generators which would be able to able to work in still waters
- Larger anchors would be required
- Stronger pulleys and cables would be needed which could be pricey
- More expensive to get the floats
- Due to the size and weight of these floats it might be bad at wave power capturing