An Irish university has launched the world’s largest hydro-electric wave energy converter off the coast of northern Scotland.
The so-called Oyster is a mechanically-hinged flap that is embedded into the sea floor — at a depth of about 32 feet (10 meters) — and moves with the motions of the waves. That wave energy pumps high-pressure water to a shore-based electric turbine.
Power will be fed into the national grid and provide electricity to homes in the Orkney islands. Researchers say a farm of 20 Oysters could eventually provide enough electricity to power 9,000 three-bedroom homes.
The technology was developed by Queen’s University Belfast and Scotland-based Aquamarine Power Ltd.
“Devices such as these have the power to revolutionize the world’s energy industry and help combat climate change,” said Trevor Whittaker, professor in the Queen’s School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering and lead investigator for the project.
School officials say wave and tidal power could one day provide 20 percent of the UK’s energy needs.
VIDEO: The mechanically-hinged flap, which is embedded into the sea floor at a depth
of about 32 feet (10 meters), moves with the motions of the waves. That wave energy pumps
high-pressure water to a shore-based electric turbine.
Article appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360