One of the great things about being an R&D Engineer is getting a first look at new and innovative ideas. And here at Centryco we not only get to look at them, but to be involved in the design and development. One such idea came disguised as a simple RFQ. It read, “Bellows to be exposed to salt water. Bellows must be resistant to UV as well as occasional impact from waves”. Never being one to let such an interesting set of requirements go un-noticed, we called the company immediately.
It seems that this particular company was on the forefront of the Green Energy movement. They were using a specially designed buoy that would be placed in the shallow waters of a bay. The constant movement of the waves would cause a cylinder rod to move up and down. Through a series of clever mechanical devices this movement was used in conjunction with a generator and in turn could produce electrical power. A series of buoys were all coupled together by undersea cabling and would act as an electrical power generation station! Basically, free energy from the sea.
Our part in this was to provide protective coverings for the cylinder rods for the prototype buoy. Otherwise these would be exposed to the direct impact of waves and salt water. These needed to be made from UV resistant material and be strong enough to endure constant exposure to a salt water environment. To retain the round shape of the bellows, we used a series of stainless steel wire welded rings on the inside of the bellows. These were akin to a “skeleton” and would also help the bellows resist impact from waves.
Our proposal was accepted and several weeks later we supplied the first set of these bellows to this company. They were installed on the prototype which has been operating ever since.