Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wave Power Gets Creative

The wave power industry is a world full of creative ideas and strange-looking machines, each more innovative (or crazy) than the other. There's no doubt the ocean holds a lot of power. The question is how to convert it to electricity. As many others in greentech, wave power companies and developers have recently seen increasing public interest for wave power (see Surf’s Up: Ocean Power Ascendant).

For example, media interest suddenly became more intense when companies like Apple and Google discussed using wave power and currents to power their facilities.

What follows is a look at some of the many solutions out there, some with huge investments at stake, others still in small-scale testing with only a few investors. The technologies are about capturing the power from waves, currents or tidal currents.

The wave energy converter from Aquamarine is called The Oyster. It consists of an oscillator that is fixed to the bottom of the sea. The passing waves run through the Oyster and deliver high-pressure water to the shore where hydro-electric generators convert it into electrical power. Aquamarine says ten Oyster energy converters could provide energy to a town of 3,000 homes. Each Oyster delivers 300 kilowatts to 600 kilowatts.

For more and deeper information about the ocean power industry, read the
GTM Research Report: Wave and Tidal Power Markets and Opportunities

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