Oceanlinx launches 1MW wave converter

Sydney-based wave technology developer Oceanlinx has officially presented its 1MW wave energy converter device off the coast of South Australia.

With the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the $8 million greenWAVE energy project is now preparing to commission and test how well it can feed this into the national electricity grid for 12 months.

The unit, which will be connected to the grid in late 2013, will be located off the coast of Port MacDonnell.

According to Oceanlinx, the 3000 tonne reinforced concrete wave device sits beneath the seawater level at around a depth of 10-15m, lying on the ocean floor. Without requirement for a foundation, it firmly positions itself under its own weight.

ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said the investment would help take a new home-grown wave energy technology that has zero emissions closer to commercialisation.

“Our investment aims to demonstrate the technology and share lessons learnt to catalyse future projects,” Mr Frischknecht said, as reported by Business Spectator.

“The project has improved collaboration between the research, government and industry sectors to deliver wave energy projects including coordination on regulatory matters, which will make the next project easier.”

The converter unit is set to undergo testing and be scaled up later next year, potentially to 10MW.

The unit has no moving parts under the water and is designed to withstand harsh sea conditions. According to the company, easy access to the weather-tight powerhouse has been placed above the sea level, so the life management costs are kept to a minimum, as reported by Business Spectator.