wave swell energy uses an artificial blow hole to harness sustainable ocean power

australian-based startup wave swell energy’s company name gives just a slight hint as to the means by which they set out to produce clean, emissions-free electricity.

the company is by no means the first to harness the power in ocean waves in the name of sustainable energy, but what sets this aussie start up out from the rest is the efficiency with which they are doing so. wave swell energy’s technology essentially works by using an ‘artificial blow hole,’ better known to wave energy specialists as an oscillating water column (OWC). when connected up to an off-the-shelf generator, a standard wave swell energy unit produces a peak power output of 1 MW.
wave swell energy’s 1MW unit consists of a large concrete chamber partially submerged, sitting on the seabed
images courtesy of wave swell energy
wave swell energy’s an oscillating water column consists of a large hollow concrete chamber, partially submerged and sitting on the seabed, and vented to theocean through an underwater opening. the concrete chamber also includes a small opening to the atmosphere above the water line, in which is housed an air turbine. as waves pass through the chamber, the water rises and falls inside it, consequently causing the pressure of any air trapped above to swing between positive and negative pressure. the fluctuations in pressure forse the air to pass through a turbine at the top of the chamber, generating electricity as it goes.

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