Eco Wave Power (EWP), an Israeli company, has developed a unique form of electricity generation using wave power. The EWP system utilises existing land structures as the attachment point which simplifies the installation and durability of the wave generation system.
Already, the company has two of its wave generation systems operating in Israel and now, the company has decided to install its wave generating systems in Gibraltar. This Gibraltar installation will be attached to the existing Ammunition Pier in the harbour which is exposed to waves from the open sea. But the generation and distribution part of the installation is on the dry land of the pier. It is claimed that it would be more reliable and durable.
- The EWP converters draw energy from wave power through uniquely shaped hinged floats.
- These are hinged to the breakwater wall and they will rise and fall with the up and down motion of the waves.
- The approaching waves are then deflected downwards by the curve of the float which is what generated via the telescopic cylinders that are attached to the top of the floats. which is then converted into hydraulic power.
- This hydraulic power is taken via piping to the hydraulic motor in the control station which in turn is used to turn the generator.
EWP revealed that the unique shape, curve L-shaped with the top of the float roughly level with the water surface, is the secret of its wave generator design.
EWP has designed two types of wave generator:
- The Wave Clapper comprises individual floats with space between them and this is the type that will be installed in Gibraltar.
- And the Power Wing comprises a longer series of floats which are hinged individually but which tend to work in unison because of the minimal gaps between the floats but which can adapt to the changing wave shapes.
The floats are fully equipped with sensors which continuously monitor the performance of the various subsystems and the surrounding ocean environment. This data is transmitted to shore in real time and in the event of upcoming storms, the system automatically recognizes the type of waves being generated and independently decides whether to raise the floats above the water level, or to create a process of float submersion into the water in order to protect the system from mechanical stress. When the wave heights return to normal, the system unlocks and recommences energy conversion and transmission of the electrical power ashore.
- Only the floats and pistons are located in the water with all the technical equipment operating on land, thereby improving reliability and providing easy access for maintenance and repair.
- The floats can be attached by robust arms to any type of structure, such as breakwaters, piers, poles and floating and fixed platforms.
The Gibraltar installation will comprise just four floats in the initial installation but more can be added later. For large scale commercial size wave power plants up to 100 floats can be installed.
Source: Eco Wave Power