The Wave Swell Energy (WSE) technology differs from others in two distinct ways:
- Most previous wave energy technologies have been developed for deep water applications, requiring floating units. Floating objects are inherently less efficient at absorbing the energy in waves. And, in almost all cases, these technologies have been reliant on moving parts in the water, which have often been their downfall. Having moving parts in the water results in prohibitively high maintenance costs, particularly when the technology is located in deep water. The WSE technology involves no moving parts in the water. The only moving parts – the turbine and the simple flap valves – are located well above the water line. In addition, the technology involves no oils, lubricants or contaminants.
- More closely related to the WSE technology, though, is the class of technologies known as oscillating water columns (OWCs). All previous OWC technologies have been bidirectional, requiring air turbines that operate on reversing flow. This necessitates either an inefficient turbine, a more complex turbine with pitching blades, or a complicated system requiring the redirection of flow on each cycle. The WSE technology, however, is fundamentally different in that it utilises unidirectional flow allowing for a simpler, more robust, more efficient and cheaper air turbine.
Further applications of the WSE technology include:
- Large scale grid connected electricity
- Generation of electricity in remote locations (including islands), displacing expensive diesel
- Coastal protection and breakwaters – the units placed side by side act as a breakwater
- Desalination – the production of potable drinking water
- Hydrogen production.