New Jersey based marine engineering firm Martin & Ottaway together with industry partners, has formed a new company, SurfWEC LLC, that will develop Wave Energy Converters (WECs) using patented features that are expected to increase energy recovery rates by an order of magnitude over legacy WEC systems.
The marine consultancy firm said in a press release that SurfWEC has broken through the barriers holding back wave energy recovery technologies from successfully and economically harnessing power from ocean waves.
SurfWEC avoids wave damage associated with equipment located in surf zones and stationary mooring systems offshore. The proprietary technology conquers the challenge of highly variable wave sizes that faced past ocean-based efforts by converting wavelength to wave height, it said.
The patented shoaling feature, invented by SurfWEC Chief Technology Officer, Michael Raftery, while performing research at Stevens Institute of Technology, allows offshore waves to be converted to surging surf waves and thereby allows much more effective wave energy recovery. This increase in effectiveness is the first technically viable opportunity for utility size offshore wave electricity generation and expands the commercially viable wave energy regions to milder wave climates.
SurfWEC LLC is located in Tinton Falls, NJ and expects to take advantage of the confluence of the present favorable US East Coast sustainable energy investment climate, favorable Atlantic Ocean waves and water depths, and local technical resources to make rapid progress towards utility level power generation.
SurfWEC is partnering with Stevens Institute of Technology, Bosch Rexroth Inc., ISCO Pipe, HYDAC, Airline Hydraulics, Wire Co./Lankhorst Ropes, InterOcean Systems LLC, and other industry leaders in prototype development.
At the formation reception of SurfWEC at the New York Yacht Club on December 14, 2018, Chief Technology Officer Michael Raftery said: “The formation of SurfWEC is a unique opportunity to take a big tent approach to the deployment of these wave converters. There is so much wave power out there and to be able to use this power to develop a sustainable energy economy is a dream come true. I am particularly excited about the economics of co-location of SurfWECs with offshore wind projects.”
On December 18, 2018 SurfWEC Chief Executive Officer Rik van Hemmen and Mike Raftery made the first formal presentation of the concept at a joint meeting of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), the Society of Marine Port Engineers (SMPE) and the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE).