Patented Nautical Torque Process Has Ups and Downs


I received an interesting press release about something called Nautical Torque technology, a process for generating energy from the rise and fall of ships and other large vessels with the tide. It was invented by the late Cahill Maloney; his son, Galen, is now carrying the torch.

The process is described and claimed in U.S. Patent No. 8,143,733, entitled “System and method for providing nautical torque technology” (’733 Patent).

The ’733 Patent is directed to a system for nautical torque tidal movement power generation (100) comprising an arrangement (110) of modular, electrically interconnected power generating devices (120) positioned to receive kinetic energy from the movement of water.

Accelerator gearboxes (130) are mechanically coupled to large masses (113). A torque conversion unit (160) includes an upper drive arm (161) coupled to one large mass (113), a lower drive arm (162 coupled to a second large mass (113), cotter pins (162), a circular sprocket (163), a guide sprocket (164), a reversible gear unit (165), pylons (166), and a circumference sprocket (167) coupled to the reversible gear unit (165).

According to the ’733 Patent, this assembly generates energy when the large masses move up and down with a tidal movement of about one foot per hour:

[The system comprises] at least one tidal movement wave 112 wherein said tidal movement wave 112 travels at a rate of substantially 1 foot per hour in a substantially vertical translation such that said large particles of mass 113 floating on a surface of said tidal movement wave 112 would travel a total of one foot per hour . . . wherein said large particles of mass 113 produce movement of 1 foot per hour in a substantially vertical direction and transmit energy output to one or more electrical transmission power generating devices 120.

According to the Nautical Torque web site, Mr. Maloney is working on a prototype to demonstrate the scalability of the technology. More info about the inventor and the project can be found here.

Eric Lane is a patent attorney at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP in San Diego and the author of Green Patent Blog. Mr. Lane can be reached at

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

Comments are closed.