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Irish Tube Compressor: Wave Energy Breakthrough or Pipe Dream?

Irish Tube Compressor

A new method of harvesting wave energy, the Irish Tube Compressor, is under development by the Dublin company JOSPA, which hopes to demonstrate superior performance in sustainable electricity production with their device.

The Irish Tube Compressor is based on reinforced, flexible tubes lying on the water, using air and water driven forward in successive ‘slugs’ by ocean waves, with the resulting water head and air pressure being converted to electricity, either by conventional means or being used directly in other processes (such as water desalination).

It looks like some kind of Rube Goldberg invention, but early tests show promise and possible ‘proof of concept’, which may lead JOSPA to fully develop and market the model.

According to the company, the benefits of the Irish Tube Compressor are:

  • A big improvement in lower maintenance costs
  • Tube- or Hose- based, it mitigates the severity of marine conditions while it cannot remove them entirely.
  • A lower specific capital cost is expected (€ or $ per kW installed capacity)
  • A greater response to varying waves – superior bandwidth availability – greater time availability
  • Lower specific production costs – lower € or $ cost per kWh of production
  • Greater marine survivability
  • Faster return on capital invested due greater annual salable output

For more info, and test results, see the company’s Irish Tube Compressor tests page.


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Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!


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