Atmocean to deploy wave system off Canada

Atmocean’s demo wave energy system (Photo: Atmocean)

US-based wave energy developer Atmocean plans to install its wave energy system off Newfoundland in Canada for a third round of ocean testing.

Atmocean informed it will collaborate with the College of the North Atlantic to deploy its next generation point absorbing pump in September 2017 off the town of Lord’s Cove.

The scheduled deployment follows five rounds of wave tank testing at Texas A&M in 2016, and ocean tests carried out in Peru a year earlier, as well as the additional modeling conducted by Sandia National Labs this year.

The system will send pressurized seawater into a pilot land-based salmon and mollusk farm run by the College of the North Atlantic, Atmocean said.

Chris White, Atmocean’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “While we are still focused on sending pressurized seawater to shore to be desalinated without grid-tied electricity, this specific test will send pressurized seawater to shore to feed a land based multi-trophic aquaculture system. As the world quickly moves towards aquaculture, there is a quickly emerging market to realize sustainable land based aquaculture.”

The deployment represents another step forward towards the commercialization of the system as this third round of testing is expected to bring it to a technology readiness level, or TRL, of seven, Sandia National Labs said.

There are nine levels in the TRL method of estimating technology maturity. Level seven means the prototype has been demonstrated in an operational environment.

Atmocean is developing a system that consists of buoys and pressurized pumps that uses wave power to send pressurized seawater onto shore where it is desalinated without the use of external energy.

The system operates by capturing the rising and falling motion of ocean waves to drive a piston in a cylinder which pressurizes the seawater. By connecting several seawater pumps together as an array, this pressurized seawater can be sent to the onshore converters.

Water arrives onshore at about 180 psi, or pounds per square inch of pressure. Atmocean uses energy recovery devices, which are essentially spinning mechanical wheels, to boost 14% of the arriving seawater to 900 psi, the pressure needed to run reverse osmosis.

The reverse osmosis system is the size of a shipping container and is manufactured by Atmocean industry partners, according to Sandia National Labs.