Wave & Tidal Energy: 8 Knot Current Produces More Energy Than 236 MPH Wind

By: | December 1st, 2014

Harnessing Wave & Tidal Energy

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), ocean wave and tidal energy could provide 10% of the world’s energy needs within the next two decades. Unlike wind and solar power, tidal and wave energy equipment are installed beneath the water’s surface, being virtually invisible. Wave and tidal energy also have unique applications, such as for desalination as both processes require ocean water.

IndustryTap has reported on Sea Snakes and interviewed Dyson Award Winner Sam Etherington. Like most technologies these days, wave and tidal power are picking up steam, with new ventures sprouting up from Israel to Australia and everywhere in between.

Part of the reason for wave & tidal power’s growth is their patterns are considered more predictable than sun and wind. In addition, seawater is 832 times denser than air, meaning an 8 knot (9.2 mph) tidal current has more energy than 236 mph (380 km/h) wind.

Eco Wave Power, developer of an EWP wave energy, and winner of a number of startup awards, has entered into an agreement to provide wave generated electricity to Gibraltar and is in talks over a 12.5 MW plant in the UK and a 50 MW plant in China. The following video shows Eco Wave Power’s technology:

Wave Power Down Under

Another company, Bombora Wave Power from South Perth, Australia, has patented wave energy technology that converts wave energy into electricity more effectively than any current technology. The company won the GE Ecomagination ANZ Challenge in 2013 and has been teaming with GE since then.

Bombora’s wave energy units are comprised of a long flat pillow of air surrounded by a flexible membrane and weighted down to the ocean floor. As waves pass over the device the membrane is compressed, creating high pressure which drives through a series of ducts back to an air turbine generating electricity.

Each unit generate 1.5 MW of electricity, enough to power 500 homes.

The following video shows the Bombora team after winning the GE competition and includes an explanation of the technology.

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys research and writing about cutting edge technologies that hold the promise of improving conditions for all life on planet earth.

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