Wave Swell Energy advances 200kW wave energy demo

The Australian company Wave Swell Energy has launched the substructure for its King Island wave energy demonstration project.

The substructure for the Wave Swell Energy’s device (Screenshot; Wave Swell Energy video)

The substructure is ready for its upcoming maiden voyage down the Tamar River, to Bell Bay, where the superstructure will be installed, Wave Swell Energy informed through social media.

It will form part of the 200kW wave energy device that is expected to be deployed on King Island in Tasmania by the end of 2020.

According to the company, the construction of the device is almost complete, with the unit commissioning expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

Wave Swell Energy’s technology is based on the well-established concept of the oscillating water column (OWC).

The OWC is an artificial blowhole consisting of a chamber that is open underneath the waterline. As waves pass the OWC, the water rises and falls inside, forcing the air to pass by a turbine at the top of the chamber. This turbine generates electricity.

Previous OWC technologies have all been bi-directional. The WSE technology, however, operates unidirectionally, according to the company.

Wave Energy Swell said earlier it would work with the island’s energy and network provider Hydro Tasmania to deliver energy from the project and integrate operations with the existing high penetration renewable network.

Hydro Tasmania will independently meter the energy produced and, therefore, validate the efficacy of the project.

The wave energy produced will complement Hydro Tasmania’s existing high penetration wind and solar grid, diversifying the renewable sources and further reducing diesel consumption on King Island.

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