Anaconda uses an entirely novel concept to harvest wave energy. Wave energy is free and widely available to the UK and Eire. Other potentially rich coasts include the USA and South American western seaboards, South Africa, Australia, parts of Malaysia, Japan, New Zealand and the western facing coasts of Europe.
The inventors proposed the concept of a distensible rubber tube anchored to the seabed that floats just beneath the surface head to sea, where bulge waves are excited by passing sea waves. The device is continually squeezed by passing sea waves. These waves form bulges in the water-filled tube and travel down its length developing the power to drive a turbine generator in the stern.
Wave energy is a particularly rich yet untapped energy resource which government studies state could produce 3%-5% of our electricity initially and up to 20% eventually.
The Anaconda project team has been testing a scaled device – part of a programme of rigorous development – completing the final stage of an exhaustive proof of concept phase at QinetiQ’s Haslar Marine Technology Park at Gosport, Hampshire. The team utilised the UK’s largest wave testing facility where the strength and frequency of ocean waves the device may encounter can be simulated.
Chairman, Paul Auston said: “The UK is known for its engineering excellence and politicians of all parties have been keen to challenge companies to come up with renewable energy projects that can be sold around the world. With Anaconda we have an invention that changes conventional thinking and it will help to meet the ambitious government target of providing renewable wave energy from our coastal waters. It will also help cement the UK’s world leading position in this technology.”
“We’ve seen excellent results in scale model testing, and we are now gearing up to attract the necessary investment to develop Anaconda and take this proven concept through to full commercialisation within the next five years.”