Based on the concept of a unidirectional oscillating water column (OWC), WSE’s technology offers artificial blowholes that allow waves to enter a hollow chamber that is open underneath the waterline and drive a turbine, thereby generating electricity. WSE’s technology works on unidirectional air flow, which simplifies the associated air turbine. This is in contrast to conventional OWC technologies that are bidirectional, requiring air turbines to operate on reversing flow. A bidirectional system necessitates either an inefficient or a complex turbine with pitching blades, or a complicated system requiring the redirection of flow on each cycle. Being unidirectional, the WSE’s technology offers a robust, cheap, and efficient turbine over bidirectional systems.
In addition, unlike the existing deepwater applications with floating units that result in high maintenance costs, WSE's units involves no moving parts in the water. In fact, OWC devices are constructed from concrete, using simple molds and steel reinforcing. It sits on the shallow (5.75 m deep) sandy seabed under its own weight, requiring a small footprint and no anchoring. The devices can be re-floated and towed to another location, allowing ease of access for maintenance and operation, thereby greatly minimizing costs.
Our technology is now on the cusp of true commercial viability, thereby providing clients with a solution that is finally cost effective and environmental friendly
To demonstrate the commercial viability of the technology, WSE is developing a project on King Island, which will be operating by Q2 next year. The company is developing this 200 kW wave energy facility on King Island in conjunction with a local provider, Hydro Tasmania, which is Australia’s largest generator of renewable energy. WSE will deliver energy from the project and integrate operations with the existing high penetration renewable network of Hydro Tasmania, that will independently meter the energy produced and validate the efficacy of the project. “Our technology is now on the cusp of true commercial viability, thereby providing clients with a solution that is finally cost effective and environmental friendly,” notes Denniss.