November 30, 2009 | 0 Comments
Queen's University Belfast earlier this month launched the Oyster wave energy converter, the world's largest working wave-energy system, in Scotland's Orkney Islands.
Since the launch, the university said the device, a 194-ton converter bolted to the ocean floor at the European Marine Energy Center, is now producing power by pumping high-pressure water to its onshore hydroelectric turbine.
Developed by Aquamarine Power Ltd., the Oyster unit is designed to capture energy from near-shore waves. The system includes an oscillating pump fitted with double-acting water pistons. Each wave activates the pump, delivering high-pressure water by pipeline to an onshore turbine that generates electricity.
All electrical components of Oyster are onshore, making it durable enough to withstand rough seas.
A farm of 20 Oysters would provide enough energy to power 9,000 three-bedroom family homes, said Trevor Whittaker, a professor at Queen’s School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering.
“The concept of Oyster came about through research in our wave-tank facility at Queen’s,” Whittaker said. “The launch of Oyster is both a major landmark in terms of carbon-free sustainable energy production and a proud day for Queen’s University Belfast.”
Aquamarine said it recently raised 10 million pounds (US$16.2 million) for further development of its Oyster technology. (HydroWorld 9/23/09)
“Devices such as these have the power to revolutionize the world’s energy industry and help combat climate change,” Whittaker said. (From HydroWorld.com)
"Devices such as these have the power to revolutionize the world's energy industry and help combat climate change." -- Trevor Whittaker, professor at Queen's School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering