Photos: BioPower Systems
BioPower Systems, an Australian wave energy developer, completed the installation of its bioWAVE unit this week as part of Port Fairy Wave Energy Project.
The 250 kW pilot bioWAVE unit design was inspired by undersea plants.
It is a 26 m tall oscillating structure designed to sway back-and-forth beneath the ocean swell through an arc of up to 40 degrees.
This oscillating motion activates opposing hydraulic cylinders, and the pressurised hydraulic fluid spins a 250kW generator to produce electricity.
The electricity is then fed into the grid via an undersea cable. bioWAVE was installed off Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia.
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 Au$21 million (~$15 million) 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.