A machine that uses the energy produced by the wave motion of the sea to transform it into electricity: this is the basic principle of Wavestar, an oleodynamic platform that promises to create – always through the sustainable exploitation of wave motion – enough electricity to be potentially met five times the world demand.
The concept was invented by sailing enthusiasts Niels and Keld Hansen in 2000. The challenge was to create a regular output of energy from ocean swells and waves that are 5-10 seconds apart. This was achieved with a row of half-submerged buoys, which rise and fall in turn as the wave passes, forming the iconic part of Wavestar’s design. This allows energy to be continually produced despite waves being periodic.
The machine’s unique storm protection system, one of the many patented aspects of the design, guarantees the machine’s sea survivability and represents a real milestone in the development of wave energy machines. Wave energy will play a crucial role in securing our energy future, but only machines that can withstand the strongest storms will survive.
The Wavestar machine draws energy from wave power with floats that rise and fall with the up and down motion of waves. The floats are attached by arms to a platform that stands on legs secured to the sea floor. The motion of the floats is transferred via hydraulics into the rotation of a generator, producing electricity.
Waves run the length of the machine, lifting 20 floats in turn. Powering the motor and generator in this way enables continuous energy production and a smooth output. This is a radical new standard and a unique concept in wave energy; it’s one of the few ways to convert fluctuating wave power into the high-speed rotation necessary to generate electricity.
Environmental and climate issues, as well as uncertainty about energy supply, demand that we diversify our energy supply to multiple renewable and clean sources. Wavestar plans to lead this movement by building the very first energy parks where wave energy machines can be placed in between the wind mills. This is a win-win as it increasing efficiency and reduces costs for all. When wind and wave join forces to produce clean energy, everybody wins.
“This is a brand new and revolutionary idea in an industry that often fails to see the bigger picture – they say on the website – At Wavestar we don’t just want to produce electricity; we want to power a whole movement that understands we need many clean and elegant solutions working together in order to meet the planet’s energy needs”.