Australian wave power technology wins UK grant

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UK grant helps Queensland-based wave power company set up office in Cornwall to test its breakthrough Wave Harvester technology.

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Queenland-based wave energy developer Perpetuwave Power has been awarded a UK government grant to put towards the development and testing of its Australian made wave power technology at a purpose built facility in Cornwall.

The grant, awarded by the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme, will help fund prototype testing of the company’s ‘Wave Harvester’ technology, which is considered to be among the most efficient in the world.

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 11.54.41 AM
Side view of waves moving through the Wave Harvester. The floats move up and down as the wave moves through. Source: Perpetuwave

The Wave Harvester uses an array of ‘hybrid floats’ to convert up to 40 per cent of the ocean’s energy into electricity – a breakthrough that could make it cost-competitive with wind and solar technology.

The floats operate over a wide capture area, similar to wind turbines, to increase its energy generation capacity. The design also offers 24/7 onsite servicing and maintenance to lower operational costs over other ‘in water’ designs.

Perpetuwave CEO and managing director Glen Dullaway welcomed the support of the UK government, describing it as “very objective” in developing viable wave powered technology.

“This confidence in the potential of our technology expressed from an overseas market is timely,” added Perpetuwave chairman Shaun Coffey. “We have a breakthrough technology and there is still an opportunity for other interested parties to join with us in marketing this new and exciting renewable energy technology to the world.”

Dullaway says the results of the testing will be used to forecast generation capacity, and revenue of commercial projects. The major goal of the project is to position the company for the development of a full scale pilot power plant as the final step in the technology authentication phase.

As a feature of the project, Perpetuwave Power will open an office in Cornwall and work closely with the University of Exeter, which has a specialist anchor and mooring division. The project also aims to conduct a series of tests on a scale prototype in world leading facilities to provide authentic performance data over a range of wave heights.

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