The search is on for new ways to harness renewable resources to supply our rising energy needs. The key enigma is why ocean and sea waves haven’t been used in carbon emission reduction strategies yet.
To do so, several methods have been tried. All attempts to produce a system that can be scaled up, from floating buoys to underwater generators that look into tap into pressure variations, have failed. Recently, there has, however, been some success. We wrote earlier this month about how an Australian business has been using its special wave energy converter to power homes for more than a year.
Now, a floating spine-like device has also demonstrated promise.
The Waveline Magnet Sea Wave Energy Limited (SWEL), a company based in Cyprus, has been developing technology to harness wave energy for more than ten years. The Waveline Magnet prototype, which the business revealed earlier this year, is made up of numerous floating platforms connected to resemble a floating spine.
The flexible and modular system is made to allow the energy generator to smoothly follow the motion of the waves. This gives the gadget control over how much energy is collected from the wave in a controlled and disruptive way, according to the business.
Additionally, the cost of manufacturing the device can be decreased by using plastic and reinforced polymers that do not need specialist production lines. The device not only has a rapid manufacturing and deployment time but also has affordable repair and maintenance costs.
According to the company, a single wave energy converter can produce up to 100 MW of electricity under the correct circumstances, and because of its low cost of energy generation, it is already competitive with fossil fuels.
direction of commercialisation
Most of the prototype’s testing has taken place in restricted settings. The device’s open-sea tests were only conducted in Larnaca Bay in Cyprus last year.
Further testing is necessary, and the technology can yet be made better.
The company is convinced that the device’s spine-like movement will enable it to move with the waves rather than against them, extending the device’s life in terms of its capacity to survive at sea.
The device won’t harm the environment like solar panels or wind turbines are proving to be because it can also be created from repurposed materials. The device’s plastic is also reinforced plastic, which not only gives wasted plastic a second chance at life but also enables the use of a less well-known renewable energy source.
If everything works out as planned, the Waveline Magnet may very well be the most economical and effective wave energy generator in existence.