Mon February 28, 2011 By: Radha Gupta

how can we determine the energy of a wave?

Expert Reply
Tue March 01, 2011
Dear student,
To determine the amount of wave energy, use an equation to calculate the amount of energy based on the height of a wave.  First, determine the amount of energy for every square meter of wave, the energy (joules) is equal to 1260.6 times the square of the wave height.

Wave Energy = 1260.6 (Wave Height)2

2.  To determine the Total Energy in a wave, calculate the total surface area of the wave and multiply that by the wave energy.

Total Energy = Wave Energy (surface area of wave)

For example, calculate the energy for an average open water wave that is 2 meters high, 7 meters wide and 500 meters long:

Wave Energy = 1260.6 (Wave Height)2
Wave Energy = 1260.6 (2)m2
Wave Energy = 1260.6 (4)m2
Wave Energy =  5042.4 Joules/m2
Hope this helps.
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