The Australian company Wave Swell Energy has launched the substructure for its King Island wave energy demonstration project.

The substructure for the Wave Swell Energy’s device (Screenshot; Wave Swell Energy video)

The substructure is ready for its upcoming
maiden voyage, Wave Swell Energy informed through social media.

It will form part of the 200kW wave energy
device that is expected to be deployed on King Island in Tasmania by the end of
2020.

According to the company, the construction
of the device is almost complete, with the unit commissioning expected to begin
in the first quarter of 2021.

Wave Swell Energy’s technology is based on
the well-established concept of the oscillating water column (OWC).

The OWC is an artificial blowhole
consisting of a chamber that is open underneath the waterline. As waves pass
the OWC, the water rises and falls inside, forcing the air to pass by a turbine
at the top of the chamber. This turbine generates electricity.

Previous OWC technologies have all been
bidirectional. The WSE technology, however, operates unidirectionally,
according to the company.

Wave Energy Swell said earlier it would work with the island’s energy and network provider Hydro Tasmania, to deliver energy from the project and integrate operations with the existing high penetration renewable network.

Hydro Tasmania will independently meter the
energy produced and, therefore, validate the efficacy of the project.

The wave energy produced will complement
Hydro Tasmania’s existing high penetration wind and solar grid, diversifying
the renewable sources and further reducing diesel consumption on King Island.

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