Wave farm to be tested in Bunbury

Demonstration of a Single Protean Wave Energy Converter at Coogee Beach, Western Australia (image from Vimeo)
Demonstration of a Single Protean Wave Energy Converter at Coogee Beach, Western Australia (image from Vimeo)

Australian wave technology company Protean Wave Energy has been re-admitted to trading on the ASX after raising more than $2.5 million. The funds will support ongoing testing of a soon-to-be-deployed demonstration wave farm in Bunbury, Western Australia.

Supplying power to Bunbury Port will be project’s primary objective. However, Protean Wave Energy hopes the technology will ultimately be used to power small island nations – of which there are more than 60 globally – that rely on costly diesel generation.

The West Australian-based company said it will also invest in testing off the coast of California, US, along with the further development of a compressed air transfer, storage and generation system.

Formerly Stonehenge Metals, Protean attracted interest in early February with the acquisition of patented wave power technology designed to convert ocean waves to electricity. The design has been more than 10 years in development and comprises a small, durable ocean buoy that is tethered to a weight on the ocean floor.

The concept utilises a group of buoys, connected and packed closely together to form an array. Multiple arrays can then be combined to form a wave farm. The technology is designed to optimise the conversion of energy from waves through all six degrees of wave movement or motion.

Protean successfully tested the floating buoy technology 100m off the coast of Coogee Beach (south of Fremantle, WA). The one buoy used in the initial testing generated compressed air to drive a pneumatic motor that in turn droves an electrical generator.