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Renewable Energy: Buoys Harness Power of Undersea Waves For First Time

Nov 10, 2015 12:53 PM EST
CETO 6 units (one of which is pictured here) may be able to harness the energy of undersea waves.
(Photo : Carnegie Wave Energy)

Researchers may soon be able harness the power of undersea waves. Carnegie Wave Energy and Western Power are working together to create the first wave energy island microgrid in Australia. 

This technology, known as the CETO 6 Project, will be built six miles off the coast of Garden Island, a small Australian Island near Perth. 

"Carnegie sees great potential to integrate its world leading CETO wave technology into islands as well as fringe of grid applications wherever there is a strong wave resource," Michael Ottaviano, Carnegie's CEO, said in a news release

Essentially, CETO units will be fully submerged buoys called buoyant actuators. The units will be tethered to a pump on the seafloor, which will transfer wave energy into pressurized fluid used onshore at hydroelectric power plants. The buoys register the ocean's wave energy and send it to the seafloor pumps through the attached tether. This system has been in the works for roughly a decade, according to Tech Insider. Preliminary tests have already yielded successful results, according to Carnegie. 

"Additionally, Carnegie's island power projects will invariably involve integrating CETO with other renewable energy power sources, desalination plants, diesel generation and increasingly energy storage. This project will also be a great opportunity to demonstrate a real world, wave integrated microgrid system to our island customers," Carnegie said. 

Developers predict that CETO 6 will be able to produce enough energy to power about 2,000 to 3,000 homes. However, all generated electricity will be going to the Australian Defense Department and a desalination plant located on the island for now. 

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

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