This ARENA Measure was devised to understand the performance of ocean wave energy arrays in Australia.
Unlike for wind energy, there is no single established wave-energy conversion concept. This is due to fundamental mechanical principles. The wind turbine, and its water equivalents the hydroelectric or tidal-flow turbines, require in essence only a single moving part to extract power from the motive fluid, be that fluid air or water. That is because the inherent motion of wind (or of water exiting a dam, or driven by an ebb or flood tide) is uni-directional.
However, the inherently reciprocating (to-and-fro) nature of waves, in which the speed of the water is never steady and constantly reverses, demands a more complex mechanism. And up to now, no perfect mechanism for this task has been invented. This fundamental issue has led to a plethora of alternative inventions. Thus there are many, totally varied WEC inventions, most championed by a separate wave-power company, and they have been growing rapidly in recent years.
There are wave-energy technologies at almost all positions in the technology-development lifecycle, ranging from purely conceptual to grid-connected pilot plants. Although most of the concepts have been theoretically modelled and experimentally tested in laboratories, most wave-energy technologies are still in the development stage.