Michael Raftery's blog

Scale is a difficult concept when novel technologies are being introduced, especially when it comes to marine renewable energy projects.


Let’s assume we are talking about a 1000 Megawatt wave farm. It is quite interesting to visualize such a farm off the coast of New Jersey (see Figure 1).

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Wave energy conversion systems have not yet made it to the stage of development of wind and solar, but wave energy is a much more concentrated and consistent form of wind and solar energy covering over 70% of the Earth. Once waves over inches high are generated on the ocean, the only thing that usually stops them is a shoreline. Gravity is what keeps waves over inches high moving.


The biggest problem is that waves are not easy to harvest safely and efficiently. Some existing systems work well in big waves and others work well in small waves. The team at Martin & Ottaway has designed a wave energy converter (WEC) capable of converting offshore seas and swell to surf waves and avoiding large structural loads from waves in storms; therefore, we now have a WEC which can convert large and small waves to electricity safely and efficiently. Once waves are converted from seas or swell to surf in mild to moderate wave conditions, the energy is concentrated and energy capture is easier to accomplish. Surfers can not extract energy "ride" seas or swell, they can only only ride surf waves efficiently. 


The Surf Making Wave Energy Harvesting Device (SurfWEHD) produces surf waves by creating an adjustable bottom or "adjustable offshore beach"  beneath ocean waves.


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