bioWAVE ready to catch the wave

BioPower Systems has completed the final preparations of its bioWAVE wave energy device ahead of the planned installation off Victoria, Australia.

According to BioPower, the device will be loaded onto the transport vessel and moved to the deployment site near Port Fairy for the installation scheduled to take place early in December.

BioPower has already installed two cardinal buoys to set out the 300 m exclusion zone and to identify the planned location for the bioWAVE device.

The subsea cable that will connect bioWAVE to shore has been prepared on the beach at Taylors Bay, and will be deployed as soon as the weather permits.

The device is expected to operate for a 12-month period before being decommissioned. According to BioPower, periodic maintenance and testing will be carried out during the operating period, resulting in an independent assessment of the bioWAVE performance.

The project is expected to provide key data for the design of a larger 1 MW commercial-scale bioWAVE unit, which is planned as the next phase of development of the technology.

The Port Fairy wave energy project involves installation and ocean-testing of a pilot bioWAVE unit, which consists of a 26 m high steel structure that sways back and forth, largely below the surface of the ocean, through an arc of up to 40 degrees.

This oscillating motion activates opposing hydraulic cylinders enabling the pressurised hydraulic fluid to spin a 250 kW generator to produce electricity. The electricity is then transported to the grid via a subsea cable.

The Au$21 million (~$15 million) project is designed to test this patented technology in the high wave energy environment of the Southern Ocean. It has received funding from both the Victorian and Commonwealth governments.

BioPower Systems is an Australian renewable energy technology company which is developing systems for both wave and tidal power conversion.

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Image: BioPower Systems

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