Thursday, September 25, 2008

The race is ON!

This exciting! A technology race on harnessing wave energy is on!
Not to be outdone by its Iberian neighbour Portugal, Spain has also deployed a commercial wave energy project.
As reported in Greenbang by Petah Marian today:

The project is being led by Spanish utility Iberdrola and the pilot consists of a bouy 10 metres in diameter with a shaft that contains the energy transformation system and a stabiliser. As the bouy bobs up and down in the waves a piston moves and generates the electricity, which is transferred onshore by an underwater cable. It is also fixed to three semi-submerged bouys anchored to the seabed at a depth of 50 metres.

The PB40 ‘PowerBouy’ is being supplied by Ocean Power Technologies and Iberdrola plans to ramp the project up to include 10 bouys in the plant, located four kilometres from the coast at SantoƱa.

The other nine buoys, which will be launched in a later phase, will have an initial installed power of 150 kW and, when operational, the annual electricity production of this installation will be approximately equivalent to the domestic consumption of some 2,500 homes.

Here are some explanations OPT provided for their technology:
A 10-Megawatt OPT power station would occupy only approximately 30 acres
(0.125 square kilometers) of ocean space.

Sensors on the PowerBuoy® continuously monitor the performance of the various subsystems and surrounding ocean environment. Data is transmitted to shore in real time. In the event of very large oncoming waves, the system automatically locks-up and ceases power production. When the wave heights return to normal, the system unlocks and recommences energy conversion and transmission of the electrical power ashore.
• Buoys are spaced to maximize energy capture.

• Rugged, simple steel construction.

• Utilizes conventional mooring systems.

• Simple installation using existing marine vessels and infrastructure.

• Scalable to large power stations (100+ MW)

How refreshing to see this kind of competitive technology innovations instead of competing innuendos on temperature increase and to blame it on human.

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