Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Aug 23

Harnessing Tidal Wave Energy with Push Plates

Posted in Energy Inventions | Hydro Power | Tidal Power

Push Plates The Theme of Concept: Theme of concept is to harness the kinetic energy within the flow of water without using the conventional methods like water wheel or other types of turbines. With some changes this can be a source of producing clean energy from tidal waves.

Components of System:

  • Push Plates
  • Chain Channel
  • Push plates embedded and holded within the chain and chain channel
  • Holding structure
  • Generator shaft placing

Push Plates

How System Works:

Push Plates

The push plates are connected with a chain, the chain is gripped within an oval shaped channel. The water flow pushes the plate A and when Plate A reaches at the point X the plate B that is also connected with the same chain happens to reach at point Y so at this point the kinetic energy of the river flow works upon plate B to push it forward. Hence we expect to obtain a smooth run of system, the placement of appropriate gears can spin the shaft of a generator to produce clean energy.


  • Narrow Passage Rivers.
  • Narrow Shores having Rocky Geological Conditions.
  • Agricultural Canals.

Possibilities of improvement:

As the real problem issue in this design is huge friction, if I would have some good technical and financial assistance available, surely we can introduce the MAGLEV Technology (Magnetic Levitation) or Permanent Super Magnets within the chain and chain holding structure to reduce the friction and increase the output.

Help required in the fields of:

  • Finite Element Methods / Fluids Dynamics
  • Metallurgy
  • Mechanical and other relevant fields of engineering
  • Case study and project evaluation
  • Meglev or other mediums to reduce the friction
  • Finance for Proto-types
  • Help required from Google sketch-up designers
  • Help required from some good designers of 3D, working in Google sketchup to refine the outlook and components of model

Case Study Request:

I seek help and the comments of the professionals working in the fields of mechanical / Fluids engineering and energy economics sector to evaluate the concept, and also I will ask for the energy sector working within Pakistan / India or in other parts of the world to test the possibilities of harnessing the energy from rivers flow using above stated method. I believe that, especially Pakistan and India could be the major beneficial if this concept gains a refined level to make it a commercial product, because these two countries have the best system of Agricultural irrigation through canals.

I am open to your comments and calls:

Sarfraz Ahmad Khan.
109-West, Blue Area, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Phone: 0092-51-2206873
Cell: 0092-322-5106080
e-mail: sarfrazahmad2807[AT]

  • Stasulos

    How this design is better than the old fashioned wheel? I do not see any gains in productivity despite complex design.

  • Phil2nim

    It doesn’t seem to me the system works this way? You ought to rotate the plate 90° when returning, otherwise the resistance will avoid the system to move?

  • Ravi Soparkar

    I appreciate new concept. However lateral movements of plates would badly effect on efficiency.

  • George Schloetzer

    The complexity and cost would well out weigh the benefits gained. It’s not that I can not be done but at what cost. Look at what the Hollanders are doing with push plates. Do we have to reinvent the world every time someone has an issue. Lets be practical if cost is an issue or lets build on what we already have.

  • DavidS

    I agree with Stasulos. It seems like a very complex inefficient way to do what a water wheel already does.

  • Chuck

    I think this is great. Your going to have waves every day. Not like sun or wind that can go for days with little or no sun or wind. The only thing that is comparable would be geothermal.

  • Jimmy Loke

    Besides friction factor that can reduce efficiency drastically, you also need to overcome river pollutants.

    Need to factor in a filtration system that is self-cleaning to reduce accumulation of river debris that may reduce moving parts within or outside the systems. This contribution is added friction and even may malfunction the system.

    As a fundamental thought: since we are dealing with random water movement, isn’t it obvious to devise a system that works on random movements (>1-DOF) to help harness energy efficiently?

  • Sindre

    Is the unit a free flow tidal turbine or is the unit supposed to act as a closed turbine. I really can´t see the benefit of this unit instead of having a closed system with a turbine with 90 % efficiency. It seems when the plates are rotating you will still have quite a large cross-section working against the flow. I´m guessing you should reduce the size of the winglets, flip the plates 90 degrees for each turn and expand the model so you have three plates and thereby making the turbine asymmetrical. The asymmetry will ensure the turbine to flow smoothly in every plate position.

  • ken upton

    The drag factor would take most of reneable energy harvest . If the energy collector plates could turn 90o on the upstream stroke it would be better . If Ravi wants some good advice he should either come to us .As we are developing a number of proven REH systems for simple DIY for countries like his and our own . Also join a.y.r.s London ) The members are the some of the best in the world . If he wishes to see what we do and invent then search in Eureka ( Findlay media uk )REH articles by Dr Tom Sheely>> Ken Upton<>Tesla life and inventions .

  • Erik

    I like this concept. I am working on a similar project that wouldn’t require a dam. I think it would be easier to design if it had guides on both sides. I’m speaking of the stress on the connection where it connects to the chain. I agree with the 90 degree turn and 3 plates so 2 are always in the water. Also what purpose to the wings serve?

  • will

    It looks like the plates move backwards when upwards until they come out of the water, then return back to the starting position while out of the water. i would expect that because the plates have those horizontal flaps, each time the plates began to move upwards out of the water a huge body of water would be lifted up with the plates. loads of energy would be lost in this process.

  • Alan Kingsley

    If you would like simple, proven and cost effective method you could consider a paddle wheel running on and below the surface not to be confused with the gravity driven water wheels requiring larger steps in elevation.

  • Eric Hoare

    Some twenty years ago I came up with two systems, first of which was a half submerged paddle wheel attached to floating pontoons, two generators, one each side of the wheel with auto sprocket connectors via gearboxes. On a rising tide one generator would operate and on the ebbing tide the other would operate. The other idea was a vertical rotating wheel with curved fins, this system turned the same way whichever direction the tide was flowing. Directional flat plates were installed to increase the flow of water towards the fins thus producing huge torque ratios. it never got off the ground (or water) because of lack of funding. The main advantage of the second system is that it can be built to any size from a small 12 charger clipped onto the back of your boat to a 15MW system to feed a small town.

  • Sarfraz Ahmad

    Here is Sarfraz Ahmad… Author of this article.
    This concept drawing was made for the basic working of push plates at the stream or river. I have a design to work at… (having no drag factor at-all) suitable solely for the tidal waves energy harnessing. If any professional like to work in collaboration to prepare a lab model, or protoype model.. please write to me ( I will send the concept drawings and text outline.

  • Mark Vernon

    Innovation is appreciated but this system seems highly inefficient comparative to other energy conversion systems such as the tried & true paddle wheel format, propellers, turbine or submerged screw mechanisms. Take into account the maintenance issues, the invasiveness of these structures on the medium and visual impact and I couldn’t see a positive embracement of this concept. I’ll bet with some modifications this thought process has merit in the right situations.

  • styke

    How is this better than a common underflow water wheel? To my eye, it looks worse.

  • dougie

    It looks like it could be suited to chronically and near uniform slow speed waterflow. The force applied to the drive vanes could be maximized if they ran with the waterflow through an enclosed tube or venturi type enclosure. As noted previously, the edge vane will be inefficient because it is lifting water for part of the up stroke. A large radius curve section limited to nominally 30deg max arc instead of a flat plane at 90 deg to the main vane as shown might give better results in harnessing the water force in the exit/up stroke. It also occurs to me that an articulated, rather than fixed, leading edge mounted on a spring-loaded hinge would allow a variable angle of the vane on entry and exit from the water. Whether the whole thing will show any better mechanical advantage over a wheel I’m not sure. Just a couple of thoughts. Go for it!!

  • Roderick Read

    Has anyone ever developed a large bag puller device. similar to a hot air balloon on it’s side in the water … it Could pull an enormous friction due to it’s mass affected by the flow / gravitational attraction?

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