bioWAVE Ocean Pilot at Port Fairy

Slideshow

  • Completed bioWAVE device ready for deployment

  • The bioWAVE device is a 26-metre tall oscillating structure designed to sway back-and-forth beneath the ocean swell

  • The device captures energy from the waves and converts it into electricity that is fed into the grid via an undersea cable

  • The design was inspired by undersea plants and the entire device can lie flat on the seabed out of harm’s way during bad weather

  • The bioWAVE device about to be lowered into the water by the crane-equipped ship which transported it to the installation site

  • The device nears the water

  • The device was angled slightly upon entering the water, piercing the surface like a diver to avoid any impacts from the waves

  • Divers monitored the process to ensure accurate placement

This project will demonstrate an innovative new method for converting wave energy into electricity using the patented bioWAVE technology that efficiently converts wave energy to mechanical energy and then uses a unique mechanical-to-electrical energy converter.

Lead organisation:
BioPower Systems Pty Ltd
Location:
Port Fairy, VIC
Technology:
Ocean energy
ARENA programme:
Emerging Renewables Programme
Start date:
June 2012

Need

Ocean waves are an abundant and consistent source of renewable energy.  Development of Australian technologies that effectively harvest this energy could lead to employment and manufacturing opportunities in the renewable energy sector as well as increased use of wave energy as a renewable source of electricity.

Project innovation

This project is testing the bioWAVE ocean wave energy system and verifying its commercial viability.

The patented bioWAVE technology was developed in Australia to extract energy from ocean waves and convert it into electricity. It efficiently converts wave energy to mechanical energy and then uses a unique mechanical-to-electrical energy converter.

The project will design, build, install and then operate a pilot bioWAVE system at an ocean site on the south coast of Australia.

One of the key challenges for wave energy generally is the cost associated with systems that are designed to survive in the harsh marine environment. The bioWAVE avoids this problem by being able to lay the unit flat against the seabed during extreme wave events.

Both the gentle swaying motion of the bioWAVE, which is intended to move with the forces of the ocean rather than brace against them, and the ability for the unit to lie flat are features inspired by nature. The result is a unique technology that has specific performance, cost and environmental benefits.

The project will supply power directly to an onshore aquaculture facility and also has a retail power purchase agreement to supply electricity to the national grid.

Benefit

Beyond the direct benefit of offsetting carbon emissions, the project will provide employment opportunities, local economic activity and skills development.

Research and associated knowledge-sharing are an important aspect of this project. A successful demonstration of the bioWAVE pilot could lead to further employment and manufacturing opportunities in the renewable energy sector and to further use of wave energy as a source of zero emission electricity.

More information

Media release – 16 December 2015: Innovative wave energy device lands at Port Fairy
Media release – 29 June 2015: Wave power inspired by nature coming to Victorian waters
Project website – BioPower Systems: The Port Fairy Pilot Wave Energy Project
Project video – BioPower Systems: bioWAVE

Contact information

Dr Timothy Finnigan, CEO
Phone:
+61 2 9146 4420
Email:
tfinnigan@biopowersystems.com