Aqua Power Technologies Origins And Developments
Aqua Power Technologies Origins
Aqua Power Technologies origins stem back to 2012, when the sheer power within a wave was first realised. It was whilst learning to kite surf that the raw power within waves was identified as an overlooked energy generating opportunity.
With a final year at Brunel University still to go, an undecided major project to start and plenty of time to think and design, the opportunity to investigate a method of harnessing the power within waves was initiated. Within the first four months of the project’s existence, the basic principle had been formulated and a James Dyson scholarship had been awarded to the design. Later that academic year, a series of successful simulations and tank tests gave confidence in the capabilities of the design and its potential to generate.
Since the design was awarded a James Dyson Scholarship, it seemed only natural to enter the design into the James Dyson Award. The design, Renewable Wave Power (RWP001), won the UK round and then proceeded into the international final where it finished in the top 20 of over 800 other designs. Despite not winning the International award and the sizeable award fund of £30,000, the smaller award fund received from the UK round allowed for a further limited period of development to commence.
In the meantime, the design had anonymously been entered into SEMTA’s Best of British Engineering award where it was shortlisted against Sir James Dyson and Sir Jonathan Ive. After accumulating 6000 peer votes from the design and engineering industry, the design established its position in SEMTA’s Engineering Hall of Fame.
Alongside the Dyson and Best of British Engineering awards, a series of grants, development funds and angel investment opportunities were investigated and realised. All of the above culminated in a successful pitch for a grant awarded in early 2014. The grant supplied by Innovus and supported by Manchester University, Britain’s Energy Coast and the National Nuclear Laboratory gave the project security for further development, with the ultimate ambition of commercializing the technology in the near future.
The west coast of Scotland is home to some of the most powerful and consistent wave generating potential in the world. Despite 11,800Km of coastline and the possibility to produce an average of 55KWh per meter, we do not currently use even 1% of this free, powerful and renewable resource. In addition, wave power is not a commodity exclusive to the UK. Worldwide, there are number of international coastlines boasting huge potential power outputs from the natural power of waves.
Generating energy from the power of waves has a number of benefits, which help to create a convincing case for further development and commercialization of the technology in the UK. At present, the UK produces approximately 10% of the total wave energy in Europe. More specifically, the European Marine Energy Center situated on the Orkney Islands hosts the largest number of grid connected wave energy devices. This center for technology development, along with a few other sites around the UK, is the reason behind the UK producing a tenth of Europe’s Wave Power. This not only helps to establish the UK as a leader in wave energy technology, but also confirms that at present, wave power is an underused resource.
Since the UK is home to some of the leading wave energy developers, there is a considerable amount of infrastructure already in place to aid development and help commercialize technologies. With access to test sites and commercial sites via the Crown Estate and the knowledge and expertise of the manufacturing industry, the potential to realistically manufacture, commercialize and produce wave power within the UK is a real opportunity. In addition, recently developed offshore power grid networks and a series of academic institutions with a wealth of research in marine energy help to reiterate the UK’s intentions of increasing power from off the shores of Britain.
Kilometres Of UK Coastline
Coastline Exploited For Generation
- Renewable Power 8%
- Nuclear Power 18%
- Coal Power 30%
- Natural Gas Power 44%
Average kWh Per Meter Of Coastline
Pence Per kWh of Wave Power Produced
As the keynote facts above show, wave power is an underused resource with huge potential. With an ever decreasing cost per kWh, wave energy costs are becoming more competitive, in comparison to conventional methods of energy generation. The key difference between the two methods is the carbon output. Aqua Power Technologies wave energy convertor produces no carbon emissions when generating energy, compared to the vast amounts produced when generating using fossil fuel based energies.