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Wave Power

Anyone who has ever been scuba diving in a bull kelp forest will tell you - the stuff does not stand still. The marine aquatic plant consists of a long skinny-but-tough stem (or stipe) that is anchored to the sea floor and topped with a hollow float, from which a number of "leaves" (or blades) extend to the surface. The result is a seaweed that extends vertically up through the water column, continuously swaying back and forth with the surging waves. The researchers at Australia's BioPower Systems evidently looked at that kelp, and thought, "what if we could use that swaying action to generate power?" The result was their envisioned bioWAVE system, which could soon become a reality, thanks to a just-announced AUD$5 million (US$5.1 million) grant from the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources. Read More
Maritime surveillance and monitoring systems that require remote power at sea often rely on diesel generators that need frequent maintenance and fuel replenishment. Now New Jersey-based wave energy company Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has commenced sea trials of an autonomous wave energy device that provides clean energy for sea-based radar and communications systems in remote ocean locations and in all wave conditions. Read More
Why don’t we have stationary commercial fishing platforms that are anchored offshore, where they sweep the waters with their nets, sending the captured fish back to shore through a pipeline? Well, because it’s simpler and more efficient to send fishing boats out to catch the fish and bring them in. Thinking along those same lines, the Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation has proposed a ship-mounted renewable energy-harvesting system, that would be powered by the ocean’s waves. Read More
Solar power might be stealing the limelight when it comes to the subject of renewable energy, but ocean waves are also seen as a great, largely untapped source of clean power. The latest news surrounding attempts to mine this potentially limitless energy source comes from Scottish marine energy technology developer, AWS Ocean Energy, which has started testing its new wave energy device in Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. Read More
Rounding off a big week in renewable energy is news that the world’s largest working hydro-electric wave energy device has been officially launched in Scotland. Known as Oyster, the device, stationed at the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) Billia Croo site near Stromness, was installed this year and is, at present, the world’s only hydro-electric wave energy device which is producing power. Read More
A new milestone for marine energy was achieved recently when UK based Wave and Tidal Technologies company Aquamarine Power Ltd signed a 1,000 MW (1 GW) Development Agreement with the renewable energy development division of Scottish and Southern Energy, Airtricity. Aquamarimes's Wave Power device, called Oyster, is a near shore hydroelectric wave power system. Still at the full scale prototype stage, the Oyster is based around a large movable buoyant barrier structure that is mounted on the seabed in depths of 10 – 12 m (33 – 40 ft) and pivots like a gate. Read More
Renewable Energy Company Oceanlinx has re-deployed its full-scale wave energy conversion unit at Port Kembla in Australia. First deployed in 2005, the unit has been undergoing planned refurbishment and modifications for the past several months. The Oceanlinx wave generator, which is an Oscillating Water Column (OWC) device capable of generating peak power outputs of between 100 Kw and 1.5 MW, is one of six installations around the world currently being trialed. Read More
Bringing together the benefits of two eco-friendly forms of power generation, Scottish company Green Ocean Energy has developed a wave power machine that attaches to an offshore wind turbine. The system, known as the Wave Treader, comprises two 20 m (66ft) long floats molded from GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) at ocean level attached to a wind turbine tower by 50 m (165 ft) long pivoting beams. As the floats move up and down in response to constant wave action, the arms move hydraulic cylinders attached to the beams by levers, which in turn spins a hydraulic motor connected directly to an electric generator. Read More
The world’s first commercial wave farm in Portugal is now operational. Three 750kW Pelamis Wave Energy Converters (PWEC) have been installed in the first stage of a project which, when complete, will provide enough clean energy to meet the needs of 15,000 households. Read More
A giant rubber tube known as the “Anaconda” may present an viable solution to the challenge of generating electricity from the power of ocean waves. Under development in the UK, the simple design means it would be cheap to manufacture and maintain, resulting in clean electricity at a lower cost than other types of wave based energy production. Read More
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