If you’re on a vacation next to Perth in Australia, you’ll surely see amazing 11 meter and 5 meter high buoys below the surface of the Indian Ocean. These buoys are attached to submerged pumping units and belong to start-up Carnegie Wave Energy , a local start-up.
CO2-free electricity with tidal power generators to capture wave energy
Make an island autonomous
These buoys called CETO 5 alone represent 240 kW and supply electricity and fresh water to the largest naval base in Australia, HMAS Stirling, located on Garden Island. Taking its name from a Greek goddess of the sea, CETO 5 is the result of 13 years of work, which cost 70 million euros. In all, 5% of the electricity from this base is produced by wave energy. This device could produce enough electricity to power between 1500 and 2000 Australian homes.
Since the beginning of its activity, CETO 5 has been shooting for more than ten thousand hours and has survived waves exceeding six meters high. Each buoy is equipped with more than 500 sensors that record the pressure, the flow, the temperature of the water. This represents more than two gigabytes of data per day, which helps to better understand how the system works.
video wave energy;Here is a short video that explains the system’s process, consisting of a 240kW buoy attached to a water pump, which converts the ocean’s movements into a high-power water jet, which is then used to create hydroelectricity.
A gauche, Michael Ottaviano
This technology can therefore make an island autonomous in energy, according to its manufacturers. “An island needs electricity, and water,” insists Michael Ottaviano. “Where does the energy of an island come from? It does not usually have coal or gas, so the majority comes by boat in the form of fuel oil. It’s expensive, dirty from an ecological point of view and unreliable. If the boat does not arrive, the island is left without electricity, “he says.
“And if other renewable energies such as wind or solar can be part of the solution, you can not cover an entire island of wind turbines or solar panels. Our plant has the advantage of being underwater and therefore invisible. A considerable asset for tourism, “ he says.
Increase production to lower prices
In France, Carnegie signed a partnership with EDF Energies Nouvelles and the DCNS project manager to install a Ceto unit off Réunion. Probably a Ceto 6 buoy, according to Michael Ottaviano.
Even if the cost of electricity produced by CETO 5 is identical to that of fuel oil, between 20 and 28 eurocents per kWh, it remains more expensive than nuclear or coal. Increasing the scale of production to reduce the price is therefore the main objective of the company. In the next ten years, the CEO would like his cost of production to drop to ten cents per kWh.
A technology in perpetual evolution
The Australian company plans to scale up this project on a larger scale, which will reduce the cost of electricity generated. This installation could thus be deployed to supply cities with stable and perpetual renewable energy that, unlike wind turbines, will not be dependent on weather conditions.
CETO 6 parts are currently being shipped. The structure will consist of buoys twenty meters in diameter with a power of 1000 kW against 240 currently. This time, there will be no power plant on the ground: the electricity will be directly generated inside each of these huge buoys, which will be confronted with waves much more powerful. What produce four times more energy. Its construction should begin in 2016.