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Page first featured January 19, 2009
Oceanlinx is a leading international company in the field of wave energy conversion. It has developed proprietary technology for extracting energy from ocean waves and converting it into electricity, or utilising that energy to provide desalinated industrial or potable grade water from sea water.
Since 1997 Oceanlinx has designed and deployed wave energy systems to remain at the leading edge of marine renewable technology development.
Oceanlinx’s core patented technology is an Oscillating Water Column (OWC). Since the OWC chamber narrows, the air is accelerated to its highest velocity as it passes the turbine, allowing for maximal extraction of the energy. The oscillatory wave motion causes a similar oscillatory airflow through the chamber, and the turbine converts energy on both the up and down stroke. This innovative turbine converts the energy in the airflow into mechanical energy which drives an electrical generator.
A single Oceanlinx power unit can generate peak power outputs of between 100 kW and up to 1.5 MW, depending on the wave climate and specific power requirements of the population. The capacity of each unit can be tailored to the individual needs of the community or grid it is servicing.
Oceanlinx offers a desalination product which harnesses the power in ocean waves to generate the clean energy needed for the reverse osmosis process. The cost can be lower than certain conventional desalination, with easy maintenance and availability of replacement parts. Modular units, deployed as water farms, can produce any desired amount of potable water, and units can be situated far enough offshore to preclude almost all environmental and aesthetic issues.
The technology has been successfully constructed and tested with the first full scale Oceanlinx wave plant, installed at Port Kembla in NSW, Australia; with some eight contracts for plants in other areas of the world.
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29th March 2010
Australian First – MK3PC Grid Connected
- "Today Oceanlinx is launching its 3rd Generation Wave Energy Converter, the Mk3PC. This latest design and pre-
commercial platform, is one of the most efficient and cost-effective wave energy technologies in the global scene today. We are very proud to announce that this unit is the only wave energy device in Australia of this size to be connected to the electrical grid and producing energy. In fact, we are one of very few wave energy developers around the world that have grid connected wave energy devices. This is a very exciting achievement for both Oceanlinx and the renewable energy sector. " (Press Release)
How it Works
The Denniss-Auld Turbine "Oceanlinx’s core patented technology is an Oscillating Water Column (OWC) device, based on the established science of wave energy, but one which – when compared to other OWC technologies – offers major improvements in the design of the system, the turbine, and in construction technique.
Since the OWC chamber narrows, the air is accelerated to its highest velocity as it passes the turbine, allowing for maximal extraction of the energy. The oscillatory wave motion causes a similar oscillatory airflow through the chamber, and the turbine converts energy on both the up and down stroke.
This innovative turbine converts the energy in the airflow into mechanical energy which drives an electrical generator. The chamber and turbine are the essence of the Oceanlinx Wave Energy System.
The Oceanlinx turbine, however, uses a different method - variable pitch blades which, with the slower rotational speed and higher torque of the turbine, improves efficiency and reliability and reduces the need for maintenance.
The turbine uses a sensor system with a pressure transducer which measures the pressure exerted on the ocean floor by each wave as it approaches the capture chamber, or as it enters the chamber. The transducer sends a voltage signal proportional to the pressure which identifies the height, duration and shape of each wave. The system is calibrated to prevent small-scale “noise” from activating it.
The signal from the transducer is sent to a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) which adjusts various parameters in real time, such as the blade angle and turbine speed. These are calibrated in the algorithm based upon the particular conditions and energy content of the site at any particular point in time.
The generator, which is coupled to the Oceanlinx turbine, is designed so that the electrical control will vary the speed and torque characteristic of the generator load real-time to maximise the power transfer.
An induction machine will be used for the generator, with coupling to the electricity grid provided by a fully regenerative electronic control system. The grid interconnection point and the control system are located in a weatherproof building external to the air duct. The voltage of the three phase connection at this point is 415 V L-L at 50 Hz.
The electrical interface between the generator and the mains supply comprises two bi-directional DC/AC 3-phase inverters, which each operate under independent microprocessor control. The inverters are coupled to each other on the DC sides with sufficient stabilising capacitance to prevent undesirable interaction. The generator side inverter senses the generator speed and provides the appropriate voltage and frequency control so that the generator operates according to the optimised algorithm.
The DC link/mains inverter senses the mains voltage and waveform zero crossings, with appropriate filtering. With the appropriate phase and pulse width modulation, power is transferred in either direction with harmonies and power factor variation contained within the electricity authority’s requirements. The system is normally configured to operate at a power factor of 0.95 or better.
- Oceanlinx YouTube videos - several
- Oceanlinx OWC 1 - Oceanlinx OWC 1:60 model in wavetank. (YouTube; February 28, 2008)
- Expected to have the lowest production cost per unit of its wave power peer group (source: Electric Power Research Institute).
- Simple and robust technology with one moving part, the turbine, which enhances reliability of the mechanical and electric plant and provides for easier access of crews for maintenance and repair.
- Product diversity, with a unit capable of producing either clean energy or potable desalinated water, driven by the Denniss-Auld turbine.
- Where peak capacities of greater than 1.5 MW are required, multiple units can be deployed in the same general area, all connected back to shore by the one electrical cable, thus constituting a wave farm. There is no theoretical limit to the number of units which can be deployed in any one location. Units can be spaced close together to reduce the impact of waves on the shore (acting as a quasi-breakwater), or spaced further apart to negate any impact on the inter-tidal zone.
The Oceanlinx technology can produce fresh drinking quality water of any desired quantity, via its modularized system which entails:
- No land occupation
- No fuel costs
- No carbon or other emissions
- Minimal brine disposal issues
The patented Denniss-Auld turbine used in the Oceanlinx device is significantly more efficient than the Wells turbine most commonly used in other OWC devices at converting wave energy into electricity (source: Oxford Oceanics)
Company: Oceanlinx Limited
Energetech Australia Pty Ltd has changed its company name to Oceanlinx Limited. The company also has a new web site at www.oceanlinx.com.
Oceanlinx currently has the following contracts and major projects:
- Portland (Victoria, Australia): progressing the permitting stage for the deployment of multiple units into a wave energy array.
- Port Kembla (New South Wales, Australia): a Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) has been signed with Australian utility Integral Energy for the supply of electricity from the prototype 450kW unit.
- South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA, Cornwall, UK): a signed Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with SWRDA for a 5MW facility as part of the Cornwall Wave Hub.
- Rhode Island (USA): a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Rhode Island State authority for a 1.5MW unit, followed by a 15 to 20MW electricity generating facility off the mainland.
- GPP (Namibia): a signed contract with GPP, part of the listed Southern African Utility SELCo for a 1.5MW unit. Once unit achieves agreed performance criteria to be followed by additional units, equivalent to 15MW.
- Hawaii (USA): a signed MOU with an island in Hawaii for up to 2.7MW.
- Mexico: a proposed project at Rosarito in Baja California, to be jointly developed with CFE and DEFAESA (the renewable arm of Grupo R) from 2010.
- Offshore Port Kembla - Both wave energy devices developed and installed by Oceanlinx can be viewed in high resolution on Google Earth. It is believed that Oceanlinx is the first wave energy developer to have two different devices in the water concurrently. The bottom mounted MK 1 device can be viewed at 34° 27’ 07.6” S, 150° 54’ 06.8” E. The floating MK 2 device is positioned at 34° 28’ 16.7” S, 150° 54’ 56.5” E. Simply type these coordinates into the Fly To section, in the upper left hand corner of the Google Earth page.
In the News
- Top 100: Hydro > Wave >
Huge swell sinks wave energy generator - A 170-tonne wave energy generator which was launched off the New South Wales south coast in March, has sunk in rough seas. Breaking free from its pylons on Friday afternoon it sank on Saturday. Early efforts to tow the barge to safety were abandoned due to rough conditions. Attempts to retrieve the barge will be made this week. (ABC; AU; May 17, 2010) (Thanks Tedd)
- Wave Energy for Maui - Oceanlinx plans to provide electricity to Maui Electric Company from Hawaii's first wave energy project, that will provide up to 2.7 megawatts (MW) of energy. The project will include three wave platforms and could be operational by the end of 2009. (Renewable Energy Access; Feb. 8, 2008)
- Energetech - The company has developed a new and commercially efficient system for extracting energy from ocean waves and converting it to electricity or desalinated water. The Energetech technology now makes it possible for wave energy to provide a cheap, sustainable source of power or water to grid-connected and remote users.
- Focusing incoming Waves for Power Plant - Energetech's 40-foot-tall rig relies on the up-and-down motion of waves to force air in and out of a chamber, turning a turbine that produces electricity. $1.5-million prototype device is presently moored several miles off the Australian coast, collecting data. (Live Science; Feb. 21, 2006)
- EnergeTech Full-Scale Prototype Nears Deployment - After years of planning and development, the wave energy approach proposed by the Australia-based Energetech is about to be tested at a full-scale level in the ocean for the first time. (Alt Eng Access; Nov. 17, 2004)
- EnergeTech America Plans wave energy project for Rhode Island - Energetech America LLC plans to build the first wave energy project in the United States more than a mile off the southern coast of Rhode Island. (Energy Info Source, Sept. 7, 2004)
See Discussion page
PO Box 116
Botany NSW 1455
Telephone: + 61 (0) 2 9549 6300
Facsimile: + 61 (0) 2 9549 6399
Oceanlinx (UK) Limited
Company No. 6135848
Portland House, Stag Place
London, SW1E 5RS
Telephone: + 44 (0) 207 869 8041
Facsimile: + 44 (0) 207 869 8001
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