Marine energy doubled by predicting wave power

  • New methods for predicting wave power could double the energy generated from oceans, according to new research led by the University of Exeter, which could potentially make marine renewables more viable.
  • The research team devised a method for accurately predicting the power of the next wave, to make technology more efficient and extract far more energy than currently possible.
  • The UK has a huge potential capacity for marine energy to supply electricity, however current technologies are not as developed as those capturing wind and solar energy, are not yet efficient at extracting wave energy and are susceptible to damage from the hostile marine environment. The new research addresses this by enabling the response of the point absorbers (commonly used floating devices with components that move in response to waves) to closely match the force of the wave, making them much more efficient.
  • The system devised enables the device to extract the maximum amount of energy by predicting the incoming wave and controlling the response of the device, which minimises damage and avoids the current need to switch off systems in stormy conditions.

This development could bring significant advances in wave technology and mean that wave energy could potentially play a much greater role in the UK energy supply.

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About Julia Chatterton

Systems modeller with a particular expertise in food, farming and agricultural systems. Working with life cycle assessment methods for over 4 years to assess and analyse the environmental burdens associated with food and other production systems.
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