Coal, Renewables

SyncWave Energy cuts cost of ocean wave energy

10 November 2006 — SyncWave Energy Inc. (SEI) has announced a new technology that may make wave energy cost competitive with electricity produced from wind and clean coal.

The SyncWave Power Resonator is a new approach to capturing the energy in ocean waves with frequency-based technology. SyncWave is a free-floating, self-reacting point-absorber system that is expected to improve the economics of wave energy. According to SyncWave Energy, ocean waves are a major renewable resource, even eclipsing wind and hydro in potential.

SyncWave announced that its electricity generation technology cuts the cost of wave energy down to levels affordable by consumers and industry today. SyncWave power could sell for as little as $US 5cents/kWh.

Nigel Protter, President & CEO of SyncWave Energy Inc. describes recent prototype tests as “an enormous breakthrough in proving our technology IP and advancing the science of low cost wave energy conversion. Our prototype device, nicknamed ‘Charlotte’, exceeded our expectations and helped to refine our simulation models to a new level of sophistication. We’re now committed to moving ahead with partners on a 3 year, $15 Million demonstration project off the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada. The goal is to bring SEI’s technology to commercial readiness with sales booked and supply chain in place by 2009.”

SyncWave Power Resonator is comprised of two floats and a controller deployed in deep waters offshore. Under the regular stimulation of ocean swell the floats naturally heave out of phase due to differences in their physical properties. The SyncWave Energy Latching System (SWELS) controller optimizes their relative motion in the full range of wave conditions, and limits SyncWave to safe operating modes in extreme seas. The key difference from competing technologies is the company’s view of the wave resource as a propagating energy field – like a radio wave. SEI designed SWELS to force SyncWave to resonate with the dominant frequency of the wave spectrum like an antenna tunes to a radio signal. This delivers consistent energy to the power take-off, which is converted to electricity and sent to shore by undersea cable. SWELS tracks changes in sea state and wave frequency over time, and constantly applies corrections to keep the system maximally productive.