How can we measure how much energy is in a single wave?



  1. 0 Votes

    Get the mass of the water and the speed of the wave — using an equation from physics:

     Kinetic Energy = one half the mass times the velocity squared  —- KE = .5 * m * v^2 

    you will get how much energy is in the wave.

    Measuring the volume / mass / speed of water is the difficult part

    And remember, that’s how much potential energy is in the wave — it would have to be converted to another form for it to be captured (like it would have to spin an axle hooked to a shaft hooked to an AC generator) — so there would be some significant loss in energy (you can never get 100% efficiency).

    Good question, now you use the formula and an estimated efficiency (go with a round 10 percent) to figure out how many 2 meter waves would have to crash to power a lightbulb!

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