Sustainable and Innovative Wave Energy
Nov 2005 energetech.com.au
Port Kembla Trial Deployment Results
A full-scale ocean trial of the Energetech wave energy device took place at Port Kembla on October 26, and real power was generated into the on-board grid. A proportion of this power was used to produce desalinated water on-board the device.
The measured power indicates the device performs better than previously predicted from wave tank, wind tunnel, and CFD testing. For example, in moderate wave heights with periods of seven seconds, the results from the trial indicate the device will produce 20% more power than was estimated by earlier research.
Past laboratory studies and the analysis of an earlier trial deployment at Port Kembla had indicated the Energetech technology was capable of producing an annual energy output of at least 500 MWh at Port Kembla. However, this latest trial indicates the technology is capable of producing more power and fresh water than has previously been claimed. Based on the recent test results, a full scale project should power up to 1500 homes, or produce three million litres of water per day per production unit.
This is very encouraging, as the outcome of the trial ensures the economics of the design will be competitive not only with other renewable energy forms, but also with full cost fossil fuel sources.
The plant will be connected to the local power grid by an 11kV cable. After commissioning, the plant will supply useful power to up to 500 homes and serve as a valuable test facility for further technology development. The plant is expected to produce at least 500 MWh of energy per annum. 100% of the energy produced is "clean" energy.
The energy will be purchased by local power utility, Integral Energy, and sold to residents in the local community.
Construction is now complete. Most of the system components were manufactured and assembled off-site. They were then transported to the site and installed. The scheduled installation date of the Port Kembla Wave Energy Plant in to the ocean is April or May 2005, depending on weather conditions.
Energetech has worked collaboratively with JP Kenny Pty Ltd to successfully design a moored structure made of structural steel. The device and accompanying structure is designed to withstand a 1 in 100 year storm. Click here to see an image (located at the bottom of this page) which will give you an idea of what the plant will look like at the Port Kembla Site.
In brief, the system employs a parabolic wall to focus wave energy on to an Oscillating Water Column (OWC) chamber. The rising and falling motion of the waves causes an oscillatory water motion within the chamber, which in turn forces a high-speed airflow past a unique controllable turbine. The turbine drives an induction generator to produce electrical power. System components are computer controlled to optimize energy conversion in a range of conditions and to automatically protect system components and ensure safety
The plant will also include a small desalination unit. This unit will produce nearly 2000 litres of fresh drinkable water per day using nothing but water and power directly from the ocean itself. This will be a world first, and will demonstrate what is expected to become a very important component of the technology. Wave energy is considered to have the potential to eventually supply a meaningful proportion of the world's fresh water.
We wish to acknowledge the support of project partners. Each has provided invaluable assistance to the development and success of the Energetech project.