When most people think of renewable energy their thoughts go straight to the big players – solar and wind but waves are one of the most powerful things that mother nature has to throw at us. That power is is what Aquamarine are using to their (and our) benefit with the ‘Oyster’.
The Oyster consists of 2 main parts – a horizontal base and the vertical section. It sits on the sea bed and as the waves move past they move the vertical section with them – the vertical part however is fixed at the bottom so the movement is merely back and forth – this movement is used to pump water to a hydroelectric plant on the shore.
The current incarnation – the Oyster 800 – is installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney and generates are 800 kW at any time. It’s 26 metres wide and sits 13 metres under water – the top being visible able the water.
The next model (the Oyster 801) is planned for deployment in 2014.