In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the southern coast of the U.S., causing catastrophic damage to life and property. However, while most survivors of the Category 5 hurricane were left with a feeling of dread and distress, Chris Olson, an avid surfer from Houston, TX, had a much different after-effect. After being knocked off his surfboard and almost drowning due to gargantuan waves created by the hurricane, Olson had an epiphany that made him realise the significance of developing a system that could harness the energy of waves. Driven by this idea, he built and tested several small-scale wave energy prototypes before patenting the most promising technology. In 2010, Per Resen Steenstrup, a seasoned veteran of the energy industry in Denmark, recognised the value of the patented prototype and acquired it to offer a commercial wave energy solution to businesses around the world. After reengineering the technology into small scale, affordable wave energy buoys, Steenstrup founded Resen Waves.

Having witnessed the growth of wind energy in Denmark, Steenstrup has a thorough understanding of commercialising renewable energy solutions from small-scale products to large-scale installations. Similarly, Steenstrup aims to find real commercial markets for his company’s wave energy product. Further, with the unmatched power-to-weight ratio of Resen Waves’ wave energy buoy, Steenstrup elaborates, “Unlike traditional wave energy solutions that require constant maintenance after storms, our simple, low-weight, and robust product can function effectively even in full ocean exposure.”

The company’s wave energy product consists of a battery pack on the seabed, which is connected to the buoy through a mooring line that is wrapped around the cylinder. When the buoy is placed in the sea, the waves pushed the buoy for the and back and up and down which makes the mooring line to wind and unwind, thereby generating energy. This power is then fed to the battery pack to power instruments and machinery, unmanned remote operations, offshore oil and gas installations, among others.
On the other hand, Resen Waves’ product has a fiber optic Ethernet connection in its mooring line that enables data transmission between the buoy and the connected nautical devices on the seabed. “Our product functions like a spring-loaded yo-yo that not only generates energy every time it winds and unwinds but also creates an internet connection with all the marine equipment it powers,” explains Steenstrup.

One of Resen Waves’ business objectives is to offer a viable and low-cost alternative for powering sea equipment that requires periodic battery pack replacements or diesel generators. To this end, the company’s wave energy product produces 300 Watts continuously, peaking 600 Watts. Additionally, the product’s data transmission capabilities facilitate real-time monitoring of devices on the seabed regardless of their location as the first company in the World .

At the same time, the data transmission functionality of the wave energy buoys can also be used to track natural calamities such as Tsunamis and monitor the health of the ocean. In the case of a Tsunami, Resen Waves’ product can measure the earthquake activity on the seabed by powering and connecting with marine geophones that can measure the strength of the quake. According to Steenstrup, if three wave energy buoys are placed in a triangular position far apart from each other, they can monitor when the earthquake passes under them and pinpoint the direction to the epicentre of the quake. Once this is done, the buoys can notify the coastal authorities on the direction, speed, and magnitude of the upcoming Tsunami.

To further bolster its capabilities, the company is geared toward scaling its wave energy product for the mitigation of major energy challenges. Over the next few years, Resen Waves plans to serve customers in Southeast Asian islands and coastal regions on the American continent. To achieve this, Steenstrup has planned out development phases that will allow his company to transition from offering small-scale wave energy products to large scale systems that can effectively replace diesel-generated power in coastal areas around the world.