In the race to grab a piece of the huge untapped wave energy market, Eco Wave Power founder David Leb believes he has a technology that can beat his more than 100 competitors by making the ideal compromise.
In the harsh ocean environment, Leb said, the best waves impose the most on a wave energy system’s cost and reliability. “The challenge,” he explained, “is to find the Golden Middle between producing the maximum amount of kilowatts, while still ensuring the reliability and the long life span of the system.” The unforgiving ocean environment has set back some of Leb’s more advanced competitors like Wavebob, Pelamis and Ocean Power Technologies.
Israel-based Eco Wave Power’s technology has just passed an initial phase of prototype testing at the Hydro Mechanic Institute of Kiev. It will take on the major real-world challenge of the Black Sea within the next few weeks.
The device consists of a floater affixed by an armature containing a hydraulic cylinder and a generator at the other end of the armature that is affixed to a structure at or near the shore.
The floater absorbs the waves’ energy and moves the armature. The movement of the armature drives the pressurized fluid in the hydraulic cylinder. That movement of the fluid drives the generator, which generates electricity.
The device is engineered to hit Leb’s Golden Middle in four ways.