Wave Device Could Deliver Clean Energy to Thousands of Homes

Engineers from the University of Edinburgh and from several universities in Italy have designed, developed, and tested a device that costs less than conventional designs and that can be incorporated into existing ocean systems. Small-scale experiments in an ocean simulator have indicated a single full-sized device could generate the equivalent of 500kW of electricity - described as about enough to power 100 homes.

https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2019/02/cheap-wave-energy-machine-promises-low-cost-electricity-for-100-households-per-unit/

 

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2 hours ago, Brian W said:

Engineers from the University of Edinburgh and from several universities in Italy have designed, developed, and tested a device that costs less than conventional designs and that can be incorporated into existing ocean systems. Small-scale experiments in an ocean simulator have indicated a single full-sized device could generate the equivalent of 500kW of electricity - described as about enough to power 100 homes.

Brian W - the article is of interest but a few reality checks. Engineers have been working on wave power devices for decades and, at the moment, without looking at the levelized cost tables, I think they come in well behind the other technologies such as wind, and PVs in cost. Why? My recollection is that the installations have to be made big to generate anything much and also have to be sturdy enough to ride out major storms and the like, which adds up to substantial installation costs. Your article says these flexible membrane devices cost less than conventional designs, but what does that mean? Also, note, that these are micro-generators - 500kW ain't much. A large wind farm might have a rated capacity of 1000 MW, with a capacity factor (sort of average output) of 33 per cent. What's the capacity factor of these micro wave generators, what's the variation in output, and are they going to blow away in the first storm?   

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