A Jolt Of Electric Juice From Choppy Seas

WAVE POWER ISN'T JUST FOR surfers anymore. Ocean Power Technologies Inc., a Princeton (N.J.) startup, is developing a system to convert the power of ocean waves into electricity through a so-called piezoelectric plastic. Such materials, already used in microsensors, generate electricity when physically strained. Ocean Power plans to laminate many sheets together and then hang them from rafts in the ocean. The sheets, which also will be anchored to the ocean floor, will stretch when a wave lifts the rafts. The strain will send electricity to attached electrodes. Customized gear will then convert the electricity into direct current.

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