Wave Power Generation System Ready for Commercialization
Wave Energy Technology Inc announced the overview and results of a verification test of a wave power generation system in Shinkou, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Japan, and revealed a plan for commercialization.
A wave power generation system uses the vertical movement of waves to generate electricity. Though wave power generation technologies have been researched and developed around the world for many years, problems such as the safety and reliability of power generation facilities, costs and environmental pollution caused by installation have not been solved. And no large-scale wave power generation system has started commercial operation.
This time, Wave Energy Technology which deals with wave power generation, developed a technology to solve such problems and tested it at sea off the coast of Kobe City. As a result, the company concluded that it can be commercialized from the viewpoints of performance, safety and reliability.
Wave Energy Technology plans to help launch a wave power generation project in Japan within 2017, and a practical system might start operations within a few years, it said. The company is considering a business model that profits mainly from royalties.
Therefore, Wave Energy Technology will support wave power generation projects that are run mainly by local governments and businesses. However, the company may lead the launch of the first project because it can take long to commercialize the project.
The wave power generation system developed by Wave Energy Technology is a floating type and does not use an installation method that damages marine environments like a method of driving an anchor into the sea bed. As a result, it becomes possible to prevent environmental pollution, the company said. Also, at the time of removing the system, it leaves nothing behind because it is towed by a ship while floating.
Wave Energy Technology introduced a mechanism that prevents the system from being carried away by waves and keeps its location at sea. The company applied a ship propulsion system called “thruster” to it. It detects the location of the wave power generation system in real time by using a GPS (global positioning system). Even when the system is moved by waves, it automatically comes back to the original location.