How the bioWAVE project will be a new way to generate electricity
As Energy Digital’s sister site Business Review Australia recently wrote, the BioWAVE project created by BioPower Systems will be used throughout the next year off the south-east coast of Australia, in an attempt to gauge the commercial viability of wave power technology.
It will be a new, innovative way of generating energy as it intends to convert wave energy into electricity by first converting wave energy to mechanical energy—then converting mechanical energy into electrical energy using a unique mechanical-to-electrical energy converter.
The site of the $21 million project is now in the final stages of preparation for the completed unit’s arrival, as the onshore electrical equipment is in place with divers working on subsea power and data cabling.
According to experts, the completion and usage of this device would be the most important milestone in the development of wave energy technology.
Since ocean waves are an abundant and reliable source of renewable energy, the development of technology to effectively harness this energy could lead to a renewable source of electricity as well as an increase of employment and manufacturing opportunities.
The purpose of the large 26-meter steel structure is to sway back-and-forth beneath the surface of the ocean to create an oscillating motion in the water. This activates hydraulic cylinders to spin a generator, and the power will be harnessed through a subsea cable to an onshore aquaculture facility. The facility also has the retail power purchase agreement to supply electricity to the national grid.
Among the main challenges facing wave power technology is a high setup and high maintenance cost for systems that need to be able to function in harsh marine environments. However, the BioWAVE system is able to clear these hurdles due to its ability to lay flat against the sea floor during rough sea conditions.
RELATED TOPIC: Eco Wave's First Wave Energy Power Plant a Success
BioPower has been enhancing the technology for the project since 2006, and the in-depth research and development it has taken shows that new, renewable energy generation ideas require substantial time, effort and funding to operate at its highest potential.
This wave energy project in Australia intends to help commercialize the technology and eventually power an entire community in the near future.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.