Innovation That Matters

SWEL's technology can convert wave energy into electricity | Photo source SWEL

A wave energy converter produces clean electricity

Agriculture & Energy

The technology could produce large amounts of energy very cheaply

Spotted: Ocean tides, waves, and currents are a vast, little-tapped renewable resource for generating electricity. According to the US Department of Energy, ocean waves could theoretically produce more than 2 million megwatts of power. While several projects are working on ways to efficiently tap this resource, the UK’s Sea Wave Energy Limited (SWEL) has a new project – a wave energy converter that is just about ready to go online.

The company’s technology is based on a ‘Wave Line Magnet (WLM),’ made up of an array of flexible assemblies that are linked together and float on the surface of the ocean. The system allows waves to pass along the entire assemblage, generating power as the wave (and the system) rises and falls.

The SWEL wave energy converter offers several advantages over other systems. These include low cost and easy deployability, as well as the ability to both generate power and desalinate water on board. The technology is even made using recycled materials. The company further claims that the system can reduce coastal erosion by dampening the force of waves near the shore. Finally, the device can be scaled up or down as needed.

Adam Zakheos, CTO of SWEL, describes how this technology could be a game-changer for the industry. “Wave and tidal experts must re-evaluate their thought process and understanding of the wave. Our technology challenges the current understanding, delivering significantly greater results than competing WECs [wave energy converters]. We can demonstrate to both the believers and non-believers how the Waveline Magnet is set to change the world.”

For areas with a coastline, wave energy promises a cheap and efficient source of renewable energy. But the ocean surface is not the only option. Springwise has covered innovations that include a power generator that uses deep sea ocean currents and a seaborne nuclear power plant. 

Written By: Lisa Magloff


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