Published on September 4th, 2012 | by Nicholas Brown1
AW-Energy Raises $9 Million to Commercialize Wave Power System
A Finnish developer of systems that generate power from the motion of waves, AW-Energy Oy, has raised $9 million from investors to build an innovative hydroelectric plant. The country’s biggest utility, Fortum Oyj (FUM1V), is projected to help commercialize this technology.
Sitra is an innovation fund that reports to the Finnish parliament and Tekes. It also helped to fund this project, according to AW-Energy.
The technology is called a WaveRoller (we’ve been writing about it for years). It is a device equipped with a panel that is moved back and forth by sea waves — it’s affixed to the sea floor. Movement of its panel causes it to generate electricity.
Whenever electricity is generated, it is always a conversion of one form of energy into another (even a substance) — whether it is transforming fuel to heat, fuel to electricity, wind to electricity, sunlight to heat, sunlight to electricity, heat to mechanical energy, or something else. Converting wave movement into energy is the process of converting the kinetic energy that waves possess (kinetic energy is energy possessed by a body due to its movement) into mechanical energy (which is the movement of the panel), and then finally, a device attached to the panel converts the mechanical energy into electrical energy (which is, of course, the desired product).
If you want to go even further back in the energy conversion process, you will see that wind energy plays a role in this process, as well. Or, even further back: nuclear fusion generates sunlight -> sunlight reaches earth and heats areas unevenly, causing air to move -> wind blows against seawater, causing waves to form -> waves move the panel to generate electricity.
Three WaveRollers were installed in a pilot project off the coast of Portugal in August, costing $6.8 million USD (€5.4 million).