Since its inception, Wave Swell Energy (WSE) has focused on the design, construction, transportation, installation and operation of its UniWave200 demonstration wave energy converter (WEC) at King Island.
This has been vital in proving the technology and its potential. Having achieved this goal, it is now time to consolidate on the success and learnings from the UniWave200 project to commercialise the technology.
It is evident from the independent report produced by the CSIRO that the WSE technology has the potential to be very competitive with other forms of renewables. To achieve this competitive position, the report indicates the need for a continual increase in installed capacity, combined with the maintenance of a prescribed learning rate.
The first of these requirements will be achieved through the installation of WSE WEC’s at various locations around the world, in remote islands to displace diesel generation, as grid-scale arrays and, importantly, in seawalls and breakwaters, doubling as coastal protection. The second requirement will be achieved through Project Bluefire, an intensive technology enhancement program with a focus on reducing CAPEX, improving the performance efficiency, and maximising the reliability of the technology.
The UniWave200 provides an accurate baseline that can be used to both optimise and validate all aspects of the technology as part of Project Bluefire. Utilising the significant data captured from UniWave200 will facilitate the development and validation of a software simulation tool called “UniWire”, also part of Project Bluefire. This simulation tool will enable each system in the UniWave technology to be dissected and optimised individually, providing feedback as to the overall impact on energy extraction. As systems are upgraded and optimised, detailed cost analyses will also be performed to determine the overall impact on levelised cost of energy (LCOE).