Blowhole Generator Proven in 12 month Trial

Wave Swell's UniWave200 Blowhole Generator Proven in 12-month Trial.
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Wave Swell’s UniWave200 Blowhole Generator Proven in 12-month Trial. Image Wave Swell Energy.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Blowhole Generator Proven in 12-month Trial

Wave energy is an incredibly promising source of renewable energy, but it has historically been difficult to harness. Wave Swell Energy’s UniWave 200 generator is proving the potential of this technology by successfully generating electricity from wave power in a 12-month trial.

The UniWave 200 Blowhole generator is a wave energy converter that converts the kinetic energy of ocean waves into electricity. The device consists of a floating platform moored to the seabed that contains a chamber and blowhole in the middle. Like a naturally occurring blowhole on a seashore, airflow is the primary energy source. Water is forced into the concrete chamber by wave swells, which pressurize the air inside and force it through an outlet valve. As the water recedes, a powerful vacuum is created that pulls air through a turbine at the top and generates electricity, which is fed to the onshore grid through underwater cables.

WSE’s novel design enables one-way generation, as opposed to bi-directional turbines on other systems. This approach allows for lower expenditures plus simpler operation, in addition to the advantage of being above the waterline and causing no harm to marine life. The result is a device with greater longevity from its protection from salty splashes that occur during large waves.

Waves off the coast of the U.S. have an energy potential of 2.64 trillion kilowatt-hours each year, about 66 percent of the country’s annual energy output, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). As we continue to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, sea waves can be a valuable addition to the growing list of renewable energy sources we are tapping into.

The Uni Wave 200 generator has been successfully deployed, powering local homes for 12 months in Australia. The current iteration produces 200kW of power; the next version will be more than five times as large. Because these units are movable, they could be placed in any location where they are required as a semipermanent power solution or built into a jetty or breakwater as a permanent, long-term solution. 

Wave Swell’s Uni Wave200 generator has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for producing renewable energy efficiently, cost-effectively and with low environmental impact. Its ability to generate electricity from waves, even in the most challenging environments, is a testament to its effectiveness and reliability. 

With this device installed, wave power can now be harnessed as an alternative source of clean energy with minimal environmental impact.

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    1. Hi Kathleen,
      I would think that the impact to marine life would be minimal compared to a system that uses seawater and tides to move a turbine. This design is floating and is anchored to the sea floor instead of altering the flow of water. As a result, it would only impact organisms at the anchor points and perhaps where the cables lie. Because of its design, it could be moved if the effects of its presence became problematic. Because it doesn’t rely on any specific bathymetric or geographic features it can be placed anywhere there are waves to generate clean energy. It is certainly the best design for wave energy that I know of.

  1. Does the wave generator dissipate enough of the wave energy so that it could also have a dual benefit of slowing or stopping coastal erosion?

    1. It would be nice, but I don’t think so. The generator does not take energy from the waves, it uses waves to move air through a turbine, not seawater.

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