During December, 2017, the Wave Swell Energy research team oversaw detailed testing of its technology at the Launceston-based Australian Maritime College (AMC), part of the University of Tasmania. The testing was conducted independently by AMC staff. The aim of the testing was to quantitatively validate the performance of (and wave loads on) the planned 200 kW peak demonstration unit proposed for King Island.
The 200 kW demonstration unit, being in shallower water (5.75 metres deep), was expected to exhibit a lower output per metre of device width than its deeper 10 metre counterpart. While this proved to be the case, the reduction in power production per unit width was less than expected. In fact, when the lower cost of constructing and deploying a shallower water device is factored into the cost-benefit equation, it is likely shallower water projects utilising the WSE technology may often turn out to be more cost effective than deeper installations.
These test results have far reaching implications for the economic viability of the WSE product. Prior to these tank tests, the expectation was the company would commence its commercial phase providing a Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) below 10 cents per kWh – a game changer in its own right. This expectation has now been enhanced.
And, these test results have ramifications that extend beyond just a lowering of the LCOE. The fact that a cost-effective version of the technology has now been validated in shallower waters opens up a much wider range of “real estate” in which the technology is commercially viable.
In summary, WSE is now able to confidently move into the future knowing it can produce energy from ocean waves at, not only a low price, but also across a much broader array of locations than originally envisaged.
NOBEL LAUREATE PRAISES WAVE SWELL TECHNOLOGY - Nov 2017
Validation of the Wave Swell Energy technology came from a somewhat unusual source after a recent news article about the company appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Melbourne. Nobel Prize winning scientist, Professor Peter Doherty, tweeted the following response to the article: "Wave Swell Energy looks to be a very interesting & robust new technology. It looks a lot more robust than anything I've seen before, and we have a hell of a lot of wave swells". WSE certainly appreciates the imprimatur of such an authority as Professor Doherty.
WSE TO INSTALL 200 kW UNIT AT KING ISLAND - Nov 2017
In keeping with the company's philosophy of minimising risk via a carefully staged approach to the development of its technology, Wave Swell Energy will install a 200 kW wave energy device in a more benign wave climate on the eastern side of King Island, prior to the installation of a full-sized 1 MW version on the west coast of the island. This initial smaller project will bridge the gap between the tank testing and commercial phases of the technology's development, consistent with the "best practice" methodology recommended for the marine renewable energy industry.
Many past failures in the sector have been attributed to transitioning too quickly from the R&D stage to the commercial phase. Doing so increases risk needlessly, as history has shown. WSE will use the 200 kW project to gain experience in deploying its devices in a safe and risk averse manner, conforming to the offshore industry's established protocols for the transport and installation of large structures in the open ocean. The project will also provide an opportunity to fine-tune the operation of the device in an easily accessible location.
It is anticipated that this 200 kW project will be installed and operating before the end of 2018, concurrent with the development of the subsequent 1 MW device. Data from the project will validate the technology's ability to produce electrical energy from ocean waves for under $100/MWh when 1 MW units are installed as part of a multi-device wave farm.
WSE TECHNOLOGY UNVEILED AT EWTEC - Sept 2017
Members of the Wave Swell Energy (WSE) executive team recently attended the 12th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC) in Cork, Ireland. Also in attendance were several from the Australian Maritime College (AMC) team that have been involved in the comprehensive testing of the WSE technology. Dr Alan Fleming from AMC presented a peer reviewed paper at the EWTEC, detailing the results of the WSE testing. This presentation was received very positively, with innumerable enquiries ensuing. Most of the interest focused on the exciting innovations and the consequent commercial cost of energy.
WSE WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE AT EWTEC - Sunday 27th August to Saturday 1st September 2017
Members of Wave Swell Energy's executive team will be attending the upcoming 12th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC) in Cork, Ireland, in late August. In addition, an independent academic paper, presented by the Australian Maritime College, will feature performance results for the Wave Swell Energy technology obtained in recent detailed wave tank tests in Launceston, Tasmania. This will be an important milestone for the technology, as the results are expected to reveal to an international audience of industry experts a 'game changing' improvement in the cost of production of energy from ocean waves.
“An Australian company is looking to turn the tide on wave power, developing a new device to harness the power of the ocean, set for commercial installation in 2018." View full size video here: here.
“The Australian-based wave energy developer said it expects the cost of wave power to be less than 10 cents per kilowatt hour when built at scale." Read the full article here.
TESTING BY THE AUSTRALIAN MARITIME COLLEGE SHOWS GREATER THAN ANTICIPATED EFFICIENCY - May 2017
“The results indicate the technology is ready to assume its place as part of the world's commercial energy generation mix, with a strong potential to be among the very lowest cost sources of power within a few years." - Dr. Tom Denniss. Read the full article here.
NEW ATLAS ARTICLE - May 2017
"Artificial blowhole"generates electricity from ocean waves. Read the full article here.
WAVE SWELL ENERGY FEATURED ON ABC TV - May 2017
Wave Swell Energy and it's technology has been featured on the ABC TV program The Business. The story highlighted the 1 MW King Island wave energy project the company is developing. The story can be viewed by clicking here.
WAVE SWELL ENERGY CEO ATTENDS IEA-OES EXCO MEETING IN MONTE CARLO - April 2017
Wave Swell Energy CEO, Dr Tom Denniss, has attended the bi-annual meeting of the International Energy Agency's Ocean Energy Systems Executive Committee in Monte Carlo. The IEA-OES is an intergovernmental collaboration between countries on ocean energy, operating under a framework established by the International Energy Agency in 2001. More on the IEA-OES can be found in an earlier news item below.
RECENT TESTING OF THE WSE TECHNOLOGY - March 2017
The Wave Swell Energy technology was recently tested comprehensively at the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania. The purpose was to quantify the effect of the company's innovative new features when combined as part of a single holistic device. Earlier testing indicated each of these individual innovations led to an improvement in performance, the sum of which resulted in a combined 60% increase in output compared to other OWCs. When each innovation is incorporated into a combined device, however, the "whole is greater than the sum of the parts". This was revealed during the latest testing, with a total increase in output of 97% over the previous best known OWC results. In other words, the WSE technology now produces more than double the electrical output of any other OWC device, when compared like for like. This result is fundamental to the cost competitiveness of the WSE technology.
DEVELOPMENT & CONSTRUCTION OF WSE TECHNOLOGY
Although Wave Swell Energy is a young company, having been registered with ASIC in October 2016, the risks associated with the technology are low and well understood. Twenty-five years of experience in developing both the oscillating water column (OWC) and turbine, including the benefit of several devices installed in the real ocean, has provided a vast depth of experience and information which minimises the risks and enhances the likelihood of the success of the WSE project on King Island.
The OWC is constructed from concrete using simple moulds and steel reinforcing. While the nominal life of a project is given as 25 years, this is more for accounting purposes to calculate the amortization of the unit. The OWC will actually survive for fifty or even a hundred years. Concrete caissons of a similar size and shape, used in the Normandy landing during World War II, are still in existence in the same location, with little evidence of structural wear and tear. Large concrete structures weighing thousands of tonnes (as is the case with the WSE OWC) are one of the few things that are highly resistant to the ravages of the ocean.
While the WSE turbine is not expected to exhibit the same immunity to ocean conditions as the OWC, it will readily survive the nominal device life of 25 years. Past wave energy turbines, including those developed by WSE personnel, have operated properly for many years without any unexpected issues. In addition, the WSE turbine is of a simpler deign and is more robust than any previous wave energy turbine deployed in the real ocean. Standard regular maintenance of components such as bearings will ensure the turbine’s operational ability throughout its life in the ocean.
Overall, the WSE technology has been fine-tuned over a quarter of a century. This fact, coupled with the company’s wealth of experience in construction of similar units, provides an unusually high level of confidence in the success of WSE projects planned for King Island and elsewhere. Many wave energy companies have embarked upon their first project with a complicated and untested technology, and no experience. Wave Swell Energy will be embarking on its first commercial demonstration project with a simple and independently tested and verified technology, along with unparalleled experience in the sector. The technology has essentially been de-risked.
Wave Swell Energy's CEO, Dr Tom Denniss, has been formally invited to attend the Executive Committee meeting of the International Energy Agency's Technology Programme on Ocean Energy Systems (OES) in Monte Carlo in April. The OES is an intergovernmental collaboration between countries on ocean energy, which operates under a framework established by the International Energy Agency in 2001. The OES Executive Committee meeting will be opened with a welcoming address by Price Albert II of Monaco.
The OES brings together countries to advance research, development and demonstration of conversion technologies to harness energy from all forms of ocean renewable resources, such as waves, tides, currents, temperature gradient (ocean thermal energy conversion and submarine geothermal energy) and salinity gradient for electricity generation, as well as for other uses, such as desalination, through international cooperation and information exchange.
Dr Denniss' attendance at the Executive Committee meeting will provide a meaningful opportunity to contribute to the global uptake of ocean renewable energy through the efforts of the OES.
About our company
Wave Swell Energy is a developer of world leading proprietary technology which works to convert the energy in ocean waves into clean and emissions free electricity.
In addition to the production of clean and sustainable electrical energy, the Wave Swell Energy technology does so without using any oil or other contaminants. It also employs no moving parts under water, thereby precluding injury to any marine life. Noise levels are equivalent to that of a household vacuum cleaner.
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Products developed by us
The technology of Wave Swell Energy is based on the well-established concept of the oscillating water column (OWC). An OWC is effectively an artificial blowhole. It is a large hollow concrete chamber, partially submerged and sitting on the seabed, and vented to the ocean through an underwater opening.
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Wave Swell Energy is currently involved in developing its first commercial scale unit. This unit will have a peak capacity of 1 MW and will transmit electricity via a high voltage cable to shore and into a grid from the waters of southern Australia.
Who we work with
Wave Swell Energy is excited to be working with market leading players expert in their chosen field of endeavour. Ongoing and ready access to high quality resources on both a domestic and international level establishes project success.
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Who we can help
There is an enormous market for wave energy, and a great potential for the industry to make a very meaningful contribution to the global provision of emissions-free sustainable energy.