Did you know that the globe could prevent 4 to 7 million premature deaths due to air pollution each year by converting to wind, water, and solar power?
However, the majority of these unconventional energy sources are typically more expensive and challenging to manage. This issue is relevant to most common renewable forms of energy.
Renewable energy has been explored and harnessed in the domains of solar, wind, geothermal, etc. However, their potential in harnessing wave and tidal energy has been more limited. Existing wave and tidal energy projects can be expensive and harder to maintain.
However, a device known as Waveline Magnet, developed by a UK-based company, has come up with an excellent solution to the problem. Not only does it harness the energy of the waves, but it also does it with a low cost, is easy to maintain, and has the potential to produce higher amounts of energy. What is it, and how does this device work?
What is a Waveline Magnet and how does it work
The Sea Wave Energy Ltd (SWEL) is a company based in the UK. They have been involved for over ten years in developing the Waveline Magnet, a kind of Wave Energy Converter (WEC) device. Over the years, they have been making, prototyping, and testing their devices for power generation. These devices use the energy from waves to generate power.
In simple terms, Waveline Magnets make use of plastic floats connected to a central system. In this arrangement, even floats made from recycled material are disposed in long and modular chains in a straight line aimed at the waves. They are also connected to a rigid central power system by lever arms.
As water passes through the floats, they move to slither along with the water’s curves. In this arrangement, the floats go up and down with the waves while the central system stays still.
The Magnet determines the size and speed of the ocean waves as it interacts with them. It enables the device to adjust the energy extraction at each generator. The levers generate electricity in this process as the electric generators rotate due to the movement.
This is a big asset of the device, as instead of decreased functionality, high waves and tides improve the functioning. This device thus, is a great asset in harnessing the energy of the waves.
Results of the testings
The parent company has subjected various generations of prototypes to testing, in collaboration with several European universities, both in wave tanks and in open seas.
The product’s biggest advantage is its ability to produce high levels of power at an exceptionally low cost.
Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) is an important way of examining an energy source over the entire lifetime of a source. Calculations include the original capital cost and ongoing energy production costs.
The important implication is that the cost of production of energy using this source is much less than that of the production of energy using wind and solar energy. It is far more affordable and economical than fossil fuels.
The device cuts manufacturing and transport costs because it is lightweight and has a simple design. It is easy to repair and maintain the device. It is even good for the environment as it is built using recyclable materials like reinforced plastics.
The Waveline Magnet, one of the next generation of innovations to tackle climate change
The Waveline Magnet is an extremely important technology that has the potential to unlock and unleash the energy stored in the sea waves and tides. This generates not just high energy but does so at a low cost of energy.
It has extremely high potential and can be useful for generating a higher amount of energy, taking in lower costs than most renewable forms of energy. The major challenge remains how the device can be made to realize its maximum potential and how to commercialize the product for better usage.
Read also: 7 best innovations to tackle climate change