Australia-based ocean energy developer BioPower Systems (BPS) has conducted onshore testing for its 250kW bioWAVE pilot demonstration unit following its development.
The A$21m ($16.1m) demo project is being funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which has provided a grant of A$11m ($8.4M) for its construction.
The Victorian Government has also granted A$5m ($3.8m) for the project through its Energy Technology Innovation Strategy (ETIS), while another A$5m ($3.8m) was contributed by BPS.
Featured on the unit is a swaying 26m tall oscillating structure, which can sway back-and-forth under sea to capture energy from the waves and convert it into renewable power.
Energy generated through the unit can be supplied to the grid via an undersea cable.
Additionally, the unit has been equipped to automatically convert into a ‘safe’ mode by positioning itself flat against the seabed during ocean turbulences. This feature decreases the structural design requirements of the technology and consecutive costs.
The structure is expected to be commissioned at Port Fairy in Victoria Australia later this year.
Accumulated data from the project and experience from its deployment is expected to help in bringing down the cost of wave energy production. It will also assist in further development of the technology for commercial production of bioWAVE.
BPS CEO Dr Timothy Finnigan said: "Achieving practical completion of the bioWAVE is a major milestone in the development of this technology.
"We look forward to seeing it operating in the Southern Ocean, developing the next generation machine and exploiting the technology around the world."
Image: bioWAVE is expected to drive down costs of wave energy production. Photo: courtesy of BioPower Systems.