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.
Climate and environmental issues demand swift diversification to multiple renewable sources in order for us to fulfill our future energy needs. Wavestar will work in harmony with other clean energy methods to support the alternative energy movement and ensure a continuous supply of clean energy. Imagine what we can do together.
HOW IT WORKS
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.
AWARD WINNING DESIGN
The Wavestar machine’s efficiency is being continually increased. The design was recently modified to reduce the cost by 40 per cent, while energy harvesting capacity and other aspects of the machine are being constantly improved for better efficiency. The Wavestar machine is less visible and quieter than wind turbines, and it also has a positive impact on wildlife below the machine, creating a sanctuary enhanced by the limits on nearby fishing.
The aesthetic profile of the machine won the prestigious Biennale Prize at the Biennial of Crafts and Design in 2009. The machine was nominated for the “highly original and striking sculptural design of a wave power machine, which in one single image symbolizes and clarifies the huge potential of this renewable energy resource … the wave power machine constitutes a beautiful counterpart to the clear form expression of the modern windmill.”