Basque Startup Takes On The Waves with Tech Patent

Wave energy developer Arrecife Energy Systems has patented a system that absorbs the energy of the waves.

We have developed a new concept to extract energy from the waves of the sea,” explains Iñigo Doria, CEO of Arrecife Energy Systems .

The company was created in 2016 and was born from the research carried out by José Javier Doria, professor at the School of Engineering of Bilbao and expert in hydrodynamics.

The team has patented the developed technology at European level, which is an innovation in the field of marine-based renewable energies.

The project consists of a floating system similar to a catamaran, whose origin is inspired by the functioning of coral reefs. The device is equipped with turbines capable of absorbing the horizontal and vertical movement of the waves, designed to take advantage of small waves. When there are temporary or large waves, the device is submerged to avoid damage. “This allows us to make a more efficient system because we work with the most common waves, from 1 to 5 meters, which account for 98% of the total,” explains Iñigo Doria.

The systems that are currently used consist of much larger and heavier buoys, designed to withstand high-altitude waves. “That implies that they only produce energy with waves of more than 6 or 8 meters, which is 2%, and only take advantage of vertical movement,” continues the CEO of the startup.

Arrecife Energy Systems received an investment round last July from Grupo JIS, and they are currently working on the manufacture of a 75 kW device.

The intention of the startup is to test its operation in summer of 2019.

We have tested with smaller equipment,” says Doria, “but this device can have an outlet because it would allow energy to be taken to isolated places.”

To carry out this process, the young company will have the support of the Basque Energy Agency in the installation work, and if the team proves to be efficient, in 2020 they hope to connect it to BIMEP, the initials of Biscay Marine Energy Platform.