Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A more efficient, lighter device that generates up to three times more electricity from waves

20.05.2003


The world’s oceans hold the key to our future electricity needs. And their potential for producing power has yet to be fully exploited in terms of sustainable energy. The EUREKA WWEC project team hopes to bring exploitation of this renewable energy source a big step forward.



“We’ve developed a device that generates energy from the sea as easily as a wind turbine would do on land,” explains William Dick, managing director of the Irish company Wavebob that led the project. “There’s an awful lot of electricity to be had in the North Atlantic.”

Flouting convention, the EUREKA WWEC project team looked to develop a commercially licensable technology that could be deployed far out at sea in large arrays. “There’s much more power available offshore because waves lose energy as they come into shallower water,” explains Dick.


Floating largely below the water surface, self-reacting and loosely moored, the Wavebob developed by the WWEC project converts the energy of ocean waves into electricity.

Along with partners from Norway and the UK, Wavebob developed technology based on a heaving buoy. Unlike a familiar floating buoy, this pulls against a reaction mass, typically a massive plate or the sea bed, as it rises and falls. Up to now such devices have serious problems, there are practical limits to the reaction mass that may be carried, and they may oscillate too violently in big seas, “In the Wavebob, we have found effective and low cost solutions to these problems, - it is a significant technical breakthrough,” claims Dick.

The breakthrough is based on several innovations - an ability to recover power from big waves and to tune the buoy to varying sea-states.

“To date devices are built to match the most common wave frequency (the ’’spectral frequency’’) of the chosen site and then be less efficient when the wave climate changes. If the wave differs a lot from the design frequency, the device will sometimes be left just wallowing in the waves,” explains Dick. “The Wavebob is the first device that may be easily and rapidly tuned across a range of frequencies using on-board intelligence or remotely – making it much more efficient.”

It can also be quickly de-tuned, vitally important for survival in the North Atlantic where the 100-year extreme seas may reach 35 metres in height. Much of the R&D and design criteria have been focussed on the matter of survival, - ocean storms are hard taskmasters.

A lighter system means an impressive watts per tonne ratio and lower costs in offshore installation and mooring systems. The size depends on the local wave climate, as a device built for the North Atlantic would weigh several times more than one sized for the Eastern Mediterranean.

Dick found the additional status that comes with being part of a EUREKA project of particular value. “EUREKA has been important because it’s a sort of rubber stamp. It says look, the Ministerial Conference has looked at this, they like what you’re doing. It’s an endorsement,” he says.

Nicola Vatthauer | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eureka.be/wwec

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Beyond the limits of conventional electronics: stable organic molecular nanowires
24.05.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices
24.05.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Beyond the limits of conventional electronics: stable organic molecular nanowires

24.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

These could revolutionize the world

24.05.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>