Thirdly, the design, utilising a patented wide "multi-blade" structure, is expected to capture a much higher proportion of the available energy than other designs.
"We believe bioWAVE will, when fully commercially developed, produce electricity at a price highly competitive with wind and be closer to baseload characteristics than either wind or solar", said Dr Finnigan. "It is gratifying that the potential of the technology has been recognised by the Victorian Government," he added.
Twelve other organisations have signed on to contribute cash and in-kind support for the planned four-year pilot demonstration project, including key suppliers, manufacturers, consultants and three Australian universities.
The bioWAVE consists of a structure that sways back and forth beneath the waves, integrated with a self-contained module (O-Drive) that converts the resulting oscillating forces to electricity by pressurising hydraulic fluid, which is used to spin a generator to produce electricity for delivery to the grid via a subsea cable. The technology is designed to operate in depths of 30 to 50 metres. The critical O-Drive module has been fully tested at its commercial scale of 250kW (Note, a 1MW commercial-scale bioWAVE would utilise a set of four 250kW O-Drive modules, arranged in parallel). The O-Drive is designed to be detached and easily retrieved for onshore servicing. The energetic wave climate of the Southern Ocean is ideal for performance testing of the 250kW pilot-scale bioWAVE, which will be independently assessed and validated for potential commercial development.
Up to 23 new jobs will be created in Victoria during the project. Following the pilot, there is significant opportunity for expansion in Victoria using commercial-scale 1MW bioWAVE systems, with the potential for 200 new jobs in the first five years.
|SOURCE BioPower Systems|
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