Ecotricity believes that generating electricity in Britain from wave power has taken its next step, due to the successful first stage of testing of its “innovative” Searaser, the brainchild of British inventor Alvin Smith.
“We’ve just completed wave tank testing at Plymouth University to validate the extensive computer modelling we’ve been undertaking,” said Smith.
“We’ve put Searaser through the most extreme testing regime at Plymouth’s CoastLAB and it’s passed every challenge.”
According to Ecotricity, the Searaser is designed to overcome two of the biggest challenges in the deployment of renewable energy on the necessary scale to feed Britain’s massive demand — cost and variable output.
Searaser doesn’t generate electricity out at sea, like other marine energy technologies, but instead will use the motion of the ocean to pump high pressure seawater ashore where it will then be used to make electricity.
“Our vision is for Britain’s electricity needs to be met entirely from our big three renewable energy sources – the Wind, the Sun and the Sea,” said Ecotricity founder Dale Vince.
“Out of these three energy sources, generating electricity from the sea is by far the most difficult due to the hostile ocean environment – it’s also the least advanced of the three technologies but it has enormous potential.”
Searaser works like this: As the Searaser is moved by wave power, pistons inside the device drive a pump which pushes pressured seawater through a connected pipe to an onshore hydropower turbine which produces the electricity. The design has been labeled a “Seamill,” and is intended to work with onshore reservoirs to make renewable electricity on demand — avoiding the variable output of other renewable technologies like wind and solar, which rely on specific weather conditions.
“We believe these Seamills have the potential to produce a significant amount of the electricity that Britain needs, from a clean indigenous source and in a more controllable manner than currently possible,” explained Vince.
“The potential is enormous. This is a British invention that could transform the energy market not just here in Britain but around the world. Our plan is to develop the technology and make them here in Britain, bringing green jobs as well as green energy to our country.”
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