Irish University Introduces World’s Largest Wave Energy Converter

Yale Environment 360 links to an interesting wave energy experiment. Scotland has a big chunk of the wave energy resource in the EU region, perhaps 10% — so I hope this proves to be economically competitive. There is more on the ‘Oyster’ here.

An Irish university has launched the world’s largest hydro-electric wave energy converter off the coast of northern Scotland. The so-called Oyster is a mechanically-hinged flap that is embedded into the sea floor — at a depth of about 32 feet (10 meters) — and moves with the motions of the waves. That wave energy pumps high-pressure water to a shore-based electric turbine. Power will be fed into the national grid and provide electricity to homes in the Orkney islands. Researchers say a farm of 20 Oysters could eventually provide enough electricity to power 9,000 three-bedroom homes. The technology was developed by

Queen’s University Belfast and Scotland-based Aquamarine Power Ltd. “Devices such as these have the power to revolutionize the world’s energy industry and help combat climate change,” said Trevor Whittaker, professor in the Queen’s School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering and lead investigator for the project. School officials say wave and tidal power could one day provide 20 percent of the UK’s energy needs. [From Irish University Introduces World’s Largest Wave Energy Converter]

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