The recent growth of wave power has many scientists concerned about its potential impact on ocean life. But a start-up called Swell Fuel claims that its small-scale wave power generators could actually benefit the deep sea environment.
Swell Fuel’s Trojan Horse wave power converter consists a buoy that supports a lever that moves up and down with the waves. The device moves into a protective position during storms and high tide. According to Swell Fuel, Trojan Horses can arranged in an offshore energy farm to scale up.
In addition to providing 100 kilowatts of power each, Swell Fuel claims that its wave power generators can actually promote coral reef restoration with low-voltage electricity that stimulates growth.
A number of companies, such as Mars Symboscience in Indonesia and Samkun Powertec in South Korea, are testing out Swell Fuel units. But the company has plenty of competition in the wave energy arena. A proof-of-concept version of Checkmate Energy’s Anaconda wave power device was unveiled earlier this week, and the start-up hopes to have numerous Anacondas installed off the coast of England by 2014. Other companies working on wave power devices include Pelamis and Seagen.