Oceanlinx Wave Energy Turbine

How Oceanlinx Wave Energy Works

Ocean waves contain enormous quantities of energy. Harnessing this energy is the objective of the Oceanlinx technology. At the heart of the technology are several simple elements:

  • An Oscillating Water Column;
  • An Oceanlinx turbine;
  • A generator and control system

Oscillating Water Columns

Oscillating Water Columns (OWCs) are simple constructions that act like a piston and cylinder. As the wave rises within the OWC, it replicates the action of a piston, driving a column of air ahead of it and past the turbine. As the wave recedes the opposite effect is experienced. Air is sucked back into the OWC and past the turbine.

To make the energy extraction effective, the cross sectional area of the OWC is narrowed as it approaches the turbine. This serves to accelerate the air so that it reaches its maximum velocity as it passes the turbine.

Oceanlinx has developed two variants of the OWC concept; one for shallow water (greenWAVE) and one for deeper water (blueWAVE). Both variants use the same fundamental principles of the oscillating water column, the same turbine (airWAVE), and the same generator and control systems.

The airWAVE Turbine

AirWave Turbine - Wave Energy TechnologyMost turbines are designed to function with a gas or liquid flowing in a single direction with constant flow. Given the oscillating nature of wave energy, turbines designed for a single direction and constant flow are very ineffective for this application.

Many turbines have been designed over the years in an attempt to overcome this limitation, but with limited success and generally low efficiency. The airWAVE turbine has successfully overcome these limitations. The airWAVE is a design evolution, improving upon the original Denniss-Auld turbine. The airWAVE has fewer moving parts and a conversion efficiency that is higher than both the Denniss-Auld and other comparable turbines. It is located well above the ocean, with no moving parts at all in the water. The airWAVE turbine further improves the overall wave-to-wire efficiency of the Oceanlinx greenWAVE and blueWAVE products.

The Generator and Control System

Located on the top deck of the structure, the power generator is coupled to the airWAVE turbine. The rated capacity of the generator will vary depending on the unit being installed. The airWAVE turbine is an Oceanlinx developed and patented technology. Commercially available and proven off-the-shelf power generators and drive technologies will be employed in conjunction with the airWAVE. The power drive will use off-the-shelf Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Programmable Logic Control (PLC) technologies.

Animation

The Oceanlinx Mk1 technology was featured on Australian television station Channel 7's Beyond Tomorrow program. This footage explains the fundamentals of the idea behind our technology and how the technology works. Click here to view this footage.