Wave Energy

Sustainable global energy requires an ever-increasing method of collecting power from renewable sources combined with efficiency projects. Seabased has developed new generator technology at Uppsala University that allows for energy production using only the natural movement of the ocean waves.

A major challenge with wave energy technology is how to produce equipment that can withstand extreme storms. Seabased's equipment is designed to be installed on the ocean floor. The only thing weathering the violent waves of the surface is a marker buoy. This keeps the more expensive power plant protected and reduces maintenance costs and time needed. This machine is strong and can handle a high capacity of energy production with great efficiency. Not only does this make wave energy production easier, but it also greatly reduces the overall cost of a renewable energy project. Seabased looks at the entire picture of power production from the plants on the ocean floor to the electrical system that connects them to the power grid.

The ocean wave's kinetic energy is ultimately renewable and sustainable as the tides will continue. Because of its ready availability and free origin, the global energy production needs would be greatly assisted if this technology was adopted in more places. Not only is it technologically wise, but economically sound and ecologically responsible.

Benefits
  • 70% of the Earth's surface is covered with ocean waves that can be used to generate electric power.
  • Estimates put wave energy production around 10-15,000 TWh each year globally. This is as great as hydropower estimates made by energy experts.
  • Swedish wave crests are 20 times greater per meter than wind power production, and Sweden is not a country known for large waves along its coasts.
  • Wave power is easily utilized. Generated power is expected to be 50% (4,380 h/year) compared to a power plant's installed power.

CM Introduces Wave Power for $0.02 per kWh

CM Heavy Industries offers Sea Wave Power Plants designed and built to produce energy by using sea wave kinetics in a manner that does not negatively impact the environment. The system is claimed to produce electricity for just 2 cents per kilowatt hour.

The Sea Wave Power Plants are described as a mechanism that converts the natural motion of sea waves into hydraulic pressure that is then used to power turbines or converters and generate electric power. All powerful aspects of each wave is utilized: speed, height, rise and fall and the undercurrent flow, which makes creating the electricity much more efficient. A worldwide average of 38kWh per meter of beachfront is estimated and the cost of a 1MW system would be only $650K US. When compared to traditional coal plants ($1.5million US) and natural gas plants ($900k US), the wave system is more economical. Other alternative energy generation methods like solar farms ($1.5 million US) and wind energy ($3 million US) are even more expensive when compared to ocean wave technology. This translates into 2 center per kWH for S.D.E. energy generation as opposed to 3 cents coal energy, 3.5 natural gas, 12 cents from solar and 3.6 cents from wind power generation.

As stated on the company website: "If we receive a letter of order from your government to purchase electricity for 20 years, we will raise all the necessary funds to build the power plant. Our power plants produce electricity at a cost of 2 cents per kW and cost from $650000/MW to build."

"Our system is built on one side of wave gatherers, which can also serve as breakers. It is composed of a system of channels of hydraulic oil, whereby the rise of the pistons creates pressure on the hydraulic oil. The hydraulic oil is accumulated in a pressurized container and is then directed toward a hydraulic motor. This energy turns an electrical generator, which produces electricity."

A concrete seawall holds buoyant metal plates which are pressed upward by the motion of the waves, thus moving a hydraulic ram. This system connects to a hydroelectric mechanism.

This system has been tested extensively and works well. The most extensive test was a full-scale operation in Israel that worked for 8 months successfully. It produced 40 kW/h on average for that duration. The supposed next steps in development of this system come from an undated presentation:

  • Fully operational power station in Ashdod, Israel within 3 years
  • 90% output from operation for ¾ of the year
  • 5.25 cent per kW/h energy costs as agreed upon with the national electric company
  • Expectations of $3.1 million revenue and $1.6 million profit from a 10MW power plant
  • $6 million initial investment expected to return within 3 years

The Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade has licensed CM to begin a 20 year operational power plant with an output of 50MW.

CM's development of wave energy technology takes into account negative effects of wave and wake forces on beaches and private property. Not only do they generate a lot of power for less, but they can also help lessen the damage done to land because of wave action, such as erosion. The Sea Wave Power Plants have benefits beyond the usual breakwater constructions in that they also generate power.

Ocean energy production has caught the interest of the World Energy Council that estimates 2TW of energy could be generated in this way. That would double the current energy production of the entire world.

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