Atmocean to retry wave energy system deployment next week

  • Environment

Atmocean, a US wave energy developer, plans to retry the deployment of its wave energy system off Peru later next week. The demonstration system will produce fresh water from salt water without producing electricity due to inexpensive Peruvian energy market.

Following the unsuccessful deployment attempt on June 10, Atmocean has confirmed to Tidal Energy Today that the company will retry to deploy the wave energy system later next week.

The company stated that deploying the system during the winter conditions is challenging, but it is confident it would prove the system’s viability.

The operation is expected to be completed in two days.

The demonstration system to be deployed consists of 5 pumps and 5 buoys, representing 1/3 of the complete commercial system. Atmocean stated that since a commercial system is comprised of 3 parallel strings of 5 pumps in series, this single string will in essence, demonstrate company’s complete technology and system functionality.

A complete system of 15 pumps covering an area of 120×180 m has a rate production of 25 kW, and aside from producing electricity, it is capable of producing fresh water from sea water through the desalination process.

Atmocean said that for the time being, the company will focus only on fresh water production, since the production of electricity is not a viable option due to the cheap Peruvian energy market.

“Given the current energy price here in Peru of roughly 6 cents/kWh, this (electricity production) is not economical for us at this time and place. If there are meaningful steps at Cop21 in Paris and the true cost without subsidies of Oil and Gas can be realized or priced, power production might be a viable option for us in the future. This is why we are currently focusing on fresh water production and seawater delivery to shore,” Atmocean said in a statement to Tidal Energy Today.

Atmocean's wave energy system
Atmocean’s wave energy system


Considering Peru’s annual wave action, a compete 15 pump system will deliver roughly 1.4 million cubic meters of seawater to shore each year at a PSI of 180, Atmocean said.

Atmocean estimates that delivering this amount of seawater to a traditional reverse osmosis (RO) desalination unit would result in 20-25 percent in energy savings, while at the same time lowering the costs of membrane maintenance as the water comes from the location 1-3 km offshore – meaning it would contain little or no sand particles.

The company estimates that 1.4 million cubic meters of salt water would yield roughly 560.000 cubic meters of fresh water annually per commercial system.

“We are more excited to work with our specific industry desalination partners who are able to use the pressurized seawater to generate fresh water using the pressure of our system alone. We call this ZER/O as it uses zero electricity to drive RO desalination. This is an attractive option for securing coastal fresh water and staying committed to zero emissions in an industry traditionally known to be energy intensive,” Atmocean said.

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Image: Atmocean

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