company has two of its wave generation systems operating in Israel and now has
the go-ahead for an installation in Gibraltar. This Gibraltar installation will
be attached to the existing Ammunition Pier in the harbour which is exposed to
waves from the open sea but the generation and distribution part of the
installation is on the dry land of the pier which is claimed to make it more
reliable and durable.
EWP converters draw energy from wave power through uniquely shaped hinged floats.
These are hinged to the breakwater wall and they will rise and fall with the up
and down motion of the waves. This rising and falling is translated into
hydraulic power via the telescopic cylinders that are attached to the top of
the floats and this hydraulic power is taken via piping to the hydraulic motor
in the control station which in turn is used to turn the generator.
claims that the secret of its wave generator design lies in the unique shape
of the floats. These are shaped in a curved L-shape with the top of the float
roughly level with the water surface. The approaching waves are then deflected
downwards by the curve of the float which is what generates the lifting force
on the float which is then converted into hydraulic power.
has designed two types of wave generator, the Wave Clapper and the Power Wing.
The Wave Clapper comprises individual floats with space between them and this
is the type that will be installed in Gibraltar. The Power Wing comprises a
longer series of floats which are hinged individually but which tend to work in
unison because of the minimal gaps between the floats but which can adapt to
the changing wave shapes.
floats are fully equipped with sensors which continuously monitor the
performance of the various subsystems and the surrounding ocean environment. This
data is transmitted to shore in real time and in the event of upcoming storms,
the system automatically recognizes the type of
waves being generated, and independently decides whether to raise the floats
above the water level, or to create a process of float submersion into the water
in order to protect the system from mechanical stress. When the wave heights
return to normal, the system unlocks and recommences energy conversion and
transmission of the electrical power ashore.
claims that one of the clear advantages of its system is that only the floats and
pistons are located in the water with all the technical equipment operating on
land, thereby improving reliability and providing easy access for maintenance
and repair. The floats can be attached by robust arms to any type of structure,
such as breakwaters, piers, poles, and floating and fixed platforms. The
Gibraltar installation will comprise just four floats in the initial
installation but more can be added later. For large scale commercial size wave
power plants up to 100 floats can be installed.