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Sunday, May 01, 2005

New Norwegian Wave Energy Concept for Island Development


From the Malta Times, (5/5/05) comes this report,Wave Energy - New Concept from Norway on a new wave energy device from Norway. The article reports:

According to Rolf Almklov, commercial counsellor at the Embassy of Norway with offices in Rome and Milan, who was in Malta recently, the European Commission has just confirmed a €1 million grant to WAVEenergy AS, a Stavanger (Norway-based company set up a year ago to develop the Seawave Slot Cone Generator (SSG) concept. This company is using this grant for a pilot project on the island of Kvitsoy, Norway, where it is developing a full-scale technical prototype of the SSG breakwater structure and install this on the west coast of this island in an estimated 15 kW/m wave climate.

Meanwhile Wave Energy AS is performing wave data recordings on the west side of this island to determine the wave climate on the site. Real-time wave data can even be viewed on WE's Website www.waveenergy.no

Split in four parts, this project will focus on data collection and design; the manufacture and installation of the SSG civil structure; the installation of a multi-level water turbine with approximately 150 kW installed capacity and the installation of an electricity generator and grid connection.

This energy concept is based on storing potential energy of the incoming waves in several reservoirs placed one above the other. The incoming wave will run up a slope, and on its return it will flow into the reservoirs. After the wave is captured inside the reservoirs, the water will run through the multi stage turbine.

Holding two patents, WAVEenergy AS gives the advantage to harness wave energy in several reservoirs placed one above the other - which will in effect increase the hydraulic efficiency. The multi-stage turbine has the advantage of using different heights of waterfall on a common turbine wheel.

This technology will prevent any start/stop sequence on the turbine even if only one reservoir is supplying water to the turbine. From tests carried out by this company, a 500m long full scale SSG construction along a coastline with a 15kW/m wave climate will be able to produce 18 GWh/year. And this without any plume of smoke in sight.

With Malta being an island as well, there is nothing to stop the local authorities or private companies from co-operating with this company for tests to be made locally to establish whether such a concept can be imported.

This wave energy concept can be integrated in three modes, all three being very low-profile installations. It can be adapted in a breakwater construction. Here the SSG will be produced in sections onshore and then towed on site. This will be a cost effective wave converter, utilising the foundation of the breakwater. The SSG will provide the breakwater with infrastructure, including electricity and may be combined even with fresh water production!

An interesting development worth watching for potential applications both in Malta and other islands.

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