Transforming the constant power of waves into electricity

Eco Wave Power
Eco Wave Power harnesses ocean waves using floaters to generate clean electricity. Images courtesy Eco Wave Power

Wave energy, a form of renewable energy harnessed from the natural movement of ocean waves, offers a promising solution for clean and sustainable electricity generation. Eco Wave Power (NASDAQ: WAVE) is at the forefront of this sector, developing and implementing technologies to capture and convert wave energy into electrical power. This article examines the company’s innovative technology, its working mechanism, and several key projects that highlight its progress and potential.

How Eco Wave Power technology works

Eco Wave Power has developed a unique approach to generating electricity from ocean and sea waves. The system involves the use of floaters attached to existing man-made structures, such as breakwaters and jetties. These floaters move up and down with the waves, driving hydraulic pistons filled with biodegradable fluid. This motion compresses the fluid, which is then transmitted to accumulators located on land.

Within the accumulators, the pressure from the compressed fluid drives hydraulic motors that rotate generators, producing electricity. The electricity is then transferred to the grid via an inverter. The entire system operates within a closed circular mechanism, where the fluid is continuously reused, ensuring efficiency and sustainability.

A smart automation system controls the operation, monitoring wave heights and adjusting the floaters’ positions to prevent damage during storms. When wave heights exceed safe levels, the floaters rise above the water, resuming normal operation once conditions stabilize.

Eco Wave Power Up Down Movement
The up-and-down movement of the pistons compresses hydraulic fluid to generate pressure, which drives a motor to produce electricity.

Recognitions and achievements

Eco Wave Power’s technology has garnered significant recognition and support. It has been labeled a “Pioneering Technology” by the Chief Scientist of the Energy Ministry of Israel and received the Efficient Solution label from the Solar Impulse Foundation. The company has also won the United Nations “Global Climate Action” Award and secured grants from various entities, including the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Horizon 2020.

Eco Wave Power Storm Safety
During storms, the floaters automatically rise above the water level to avoid damage, resuming operation once the storm passes.

Key projects

Gibraltar Pilot

From 2016 to March 2022, Eco Wave Power operated a grid-connected wave energy array in Gibraltar under a 5 MW Power Purchase Agreement with the Government of Gibraltar and GibElectric. This pilot project served as a proof-of-concept, demonstrating the feasibility of wave energy integration into the grid and its resilience against Gibraltar’s stormy conditions.

The Gibraltar project provided valuable operational insights, with maintenance knowledge and technological upgrades subsequently informing the design of the Jaffa station in Israel. The project achieved an operational expenditure (OPEX) of 3.2% of the capital expenditure (CAPEX) and generated 73% of the forecasted electricity in its final year of operation.

Eco Wave Power Gibraltar
The Gibraltar Pilot project successfully demonstrated the feasibility and durability of Eco Wave Power’s wave energy technology over six years of operation.

EWP EDF One Pilot (Israel)

One of Eco Wave Power’s notable projects is the EWP EDF One Pilot, a 100-kW wave energy station installed at Jaffa Port in Israel. This project is a joint venture with EDF Renewables IL, a subsidiary of Électricité de France S.A., and has received co-funding from the Israeli Ministry of Energy. In August 2022, the Israeli Electric Authority set an official Feed-In Tariff (FIT) for the project, facilitating its connection to Israel’s national electrical grid.

As of August 15, 2023, the EWP EDF One station was officially connected to the grid, making it the first wave energy project to supply electricity to Israel’s power network. The project continues to undergo research and development, with performance improvements set to be deployed in a forthcoming commercial-scale project in Portugal.

Port of LA Pilot Project

In the United States, Eco Wave Power is advancing a pilot project at the Port of Los Angeles. In partnership with AltaSea, the company plans to install a 100-kW wave energy station. The project has received strategic co-investment from Shell MRE and is currently in the final stages of licensing, with approvals awaited from the Port of Los Angeles and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Upon receiving the necessary licenses, the project is expected to be implemented within six months.

Eco Wave Power Inside Station
Inside the power station, accumulators, generators, and motors work together to convert wave energy into clean electricity.

Portugal Project

Eco Wave Power’s ambitious project in Portugal involves a Concession Agreement with the Port of Leixões (APDL) for the construction of a wave energy power station with a capacity of up to 20 MW across four locations. The project will commence with a 1 MW station, with plans to expand to the full 20 MW capacity subject to certain conditions.

In March 2024, Eco Wave Power received the final approval needed to begin construction of the first megawatt installation in Porto, supported by a performance bond issued to APDL. This project is poised to become the first commercial-scale wave energy installation globally, marking a significant milestone in the commercialization of wave energy.

Eco Wave Power Portugal Project
The planned Portugal Project aims to construct a 20 MW wave energy power station across four locations, starting with an initial 1 MW installation.

The future of wave energy

Eco Wave Power’s pioneering projects underscore the potential of wave energy as a viable source of clean electricity. By leveraging existing infrastructure and deploying a robust and adaptable technology, the company aims to make wave energy a mainstream renewable energy solution. The recognition and support from various international entities highlight the credibility and promise of Eco Wave Power’s approach.

As global energy needs continue to grow, wave energy offers a sustainable alternative that can complement other renewable sources such as wind and solar. With continued innovation and strategic partnerships, wave energy has the potential to play a crucial role in the transition to a more sustainable and resilient energy future.

Source: Eco Wave Power