01 Sep 2012

WAVEPORT Project 2010-2012

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The PowerBuoy has undergone ocean testing in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

The PowerBuoy has undergone ocean
testing in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

A consortium of European companies was awarded in 2010 a European Commission grant of €4.5m to develop enhanced wave energy technology as part of a project off the coast of Spain.

The project, known as WavePort, brought number of leading European wave energy specialists, including Ocean Power Technologies (OPT), Portugal's Wave Energy Centre, Fugro Oceanor from Norway, Spanish engineering firm DeGima, the University of Exeter, and the UK's Intelligent Systems Research Institute.

In July 2006, OPT formed a joint venture with Iberdrola, oil company Total, the Spanish government's IDAE (Institute of Energy Savings and Efficiency), and the local regional development agency SODERCAN, for the construction of a wave farm off the north coast of Spain.

A team of researchers from Israel and the United Kingdom has discovered that energy produced from the planet's oceans can increase twofold when novel methods for predicting wave power are used. Presented in the journal Renewable Energy, the results could help scientists drive and make marine renewable energy research an optimal source of power. The study was funded in part by the WAVEPORT ('Demonstration and deployment of a commercial scale wave energy converter with an innovative real time wave by wave tuning system') project, which received a grant from the Energy Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 2007-2013).

The researchers from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and Tel Aviv University in Israel extracted energy that was more than double what is generated today by developing a way to accurately predict the power of the next wave. The outcome is much more efficient technology.

Experts postulate that while marine energy could provide twice the amount of power to the United Kingdom, the actual extraction and conversion of such energy is not up to par with solar or wind power. Marine energy is also not commercially competitive without subsidy. And while significant advances have been made in this area of research, scientists have been unable to ensure that devices are not damaged by the hostile marine environment. They have also been unable to enhance the efficiency of energy capture from waves. For more information, please visit:

University of Exeter: www.exeter.ac.uk

Renewable Energy: www.journals.elsevier.com/renewable-energy

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Juan Castanedo

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