Ordinarily, when a ship is heading into waves, those waves cause it to
work harder. An experimental new setup known as a "whale tail," however,
utilizes wave action to actually help ships move forward, allowing them
to use less fuel when tackling rough seas.
Although wave energy-harvesting systems are often just presented as
concepts that may someday see actual use, one was recently deployed in
Hawaii to provide power to the municipal grid. Built by Northwest Energy
Innovations, the Azura device will remain in operation for a 12-month
assessment period, with an eye toward eventual commercialization.