A new idea in wave power technology has been put to the test by Israel’s Eco Wave Power and it is hoped that when it is brought to a point where it may be commissioned it will be able to produce energy that is cheaper than a coal-fired power plant. The project is a wave energy harvest and conversion system and involves two proprietary float designs called the Wave Clapper and the Power Wing.
The difference between these devices and many of the other wave power devices that are in the process of being tested and further developed is that these devices can be installed on existing stable structures. This means that they may be placed on existing breakwaters, piers and floating platforms which means the cost of installation will be greatly reduced and many of the environmental impact studies will have already largely been performed.
A small scale proof of concept system has already been completed in a wave pool at the Hydro-Mechanical National Institute in Kiev and the company is now moving forward to a medium scale version.
The two different devices have been designed for a couple of different scenarios.
The Wave Clapper is a device that might be used where space is limited and it can be deployed in series to maximize the use of the available space. It is proposed that this device be placed with the floaters having very small spaces between one another.
The larger Power Wing is able to operate in a more varying environment and is versatile enough to work efficiently at different wave heights. Not only that but it can also be adjusted so that the edge of the device is always parallel to the wave and this will ensure the maximum energy from each wave hits the float.
Part of the testing process for these devices involves working out the most effective configuration arrangements in which they might be deployed. This will change depending on the environment and surrounding wave conditions that are common to the area. Options such as straight or curved line configurations, staggered arrangements and placement of small floats behind larger ones are being assessed to take advantage of the different sea conditions.
To find out more about the storm protection mechanisms that have been built into these devices as well as the corrosion protection, shock-waves protection mechanism, lever regulation mechanism and other features you can visit the Eco Wave Power website.
Maintenance costs for the devices have been planned to be reduced to as low as possible by placing the oil tanks and pneumatic equipment on land. This means that not only will it be easier for repairs to be carried out but the risk of pollution will be reduced.
Testing of the medium sized Wave Clapper and Power Wing will begin within the next few months.
The Wave Clapper is designed with three different mechanisms that may be employed to protect the device during storms and rough conditions. These methods may either lift the device out of the water or submerge it until conditions improve.