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Extracting energy from the sea with a tiny generator

EU-funded researchers have developed a low-cost device to efficiently extract energy from the sea

 

A European consortium funded by the EU-funded research project Snapper has developed a wave energy capture and conversion device appropriate for deployment in off-shore areas.

The new technology allows an efficient and clean extraction of energy from the sea, amplifying a waves’ velocity. This enables a significant reduction in the size and cost of this type of generator, normally quite bulky, and made from iron and cooper.

The capital cost of the generator is expected to be reduced from €40,000 to €7,000 for a 175kW device. The quantity of iron and cooper could also be cut by around 85% to 4.1 tonnes per MW.

Researchers from the consortium, made up of research centres and SMEs, have also found a solution to connect the prototype to an electrical distribution grid.

Due to its ‘high market potential’, the device won the Engineer magazine’s 2011 Technology and Innovation Award in the marine category.

Factsheet by the European Commission / 4 December 2013

Project’s website