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I'm currently building a small solar powered robot boat. I expect it to work fine (because why not.. :-) ), but I'm already looking for other ways than only solar panels to generate electrical power. Since the sea has waves that will move my boat a lot I was thinking of the possibility to harness this power to generate some more energy. So isn't it possible to create a bigger and heavier version of the things they have in certain watches:

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What if I made one which weights a kilo or so. I understand it won't give an enormous amount of energy, but it will be moved 24/7 and every extra watt is welcome to power the motors.

Are there any reasons why this currently isn't used (as far as I know)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you think the energy generated by the device will overcome the extra energy required by the motors due to having to move this additional mass ... ? \$\endgroup\$ – brhans Apr 3 at 15:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @brhans It's not a plane so you can stop indefinitely to charge. You could "anchor" until you accumulated more energy than is required to lift the anchor. I'd look at wind power and auto sailing first though. Cool stuff. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen Apr 3 at 15:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ One problem is a bigger device for more power is heavier with more inertia which means bigger waves, which are rarer, are needed. A bigger boat needs bigger waves to be rocked the same amount too so it can become a spiral of weight. Auto-sails would be more efficient and effective. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen Apr 3 at 15:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could maybe use some hinged styrofoam pontoons a ways out from the boat and harness the relative motion between the pontoons and the hull. It could be very lightweight and would add stability. Just a thought, not sure how much energy you could get that way. \$\endgroup\$ – John D Apr 3 at 15:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JohnD That's a good way around the weight spiral. Might want them raisable so less drag while moving and not recharging. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen Apr 3 at 15:23

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