The UniWave200 King Island Project includes the design, construction, deployment, installation and operation of the UniWave200, a 200KW wave energy converter near Grassy Harbour on King Island, Tasmania.
In addition to its potential to produce low cost renewable electricity, wave energy could be integrated into microgrids to reduce the need for significant battery storage due the relative predictability and consistency of wave energy (compared to wind and solar).
The UniWave200 device will be partially submerged as it sits on the seabed, with an opening on one side to allow the movement of the waves in and out of the chamber. Integrated structural steel pontoons will be attached to the sides of the Wave Energy Converter (WEC) where air and water can be pumped in and out for the purpose of transportation and installation.
The design of the UniWave200 has been modified from a bidirectional turbine which rotates in two directions, to a unidirectional turbine which rotates in one direction only, which is expected to result in a simpler and more robust design with high energy conversion efficiency and lower costs.
There are no moving parts below the water which means maintenance is only ever required to be performed on the easy-to-access areas of the device.
The UniWave200 King Island Project will demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of the UniWave200. The unit will be connected to the grid through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Hydro Tasmania and operate for a period of at least twelve months.
A promising new way of generating electricity from the ocean is being trialled in Bass Strait.
King Island’s reputation as a renewable energy hot spot is set to be enhanced with ARENA announcing $4 million funding for a new $12.3 million wave power demonstration project.