Oyster hydro-electric wave energy device
The world is your oyster, or so the saying goes. Well, soon the Oyster might help save the world, especially when it comes in the form of a hydro-electric wave energy device and not an edible one. Being the largest working hydro-electric wave energy device in the world, the Oyster has just been officially launched in Scotland, having been stationed at the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) Billia Croo site near Stromness, churning out juice round the clock. How does the Oyster ensure it creates clean energy? Well, it pumps high pressure water to its onshore hydro-electric turbine which in turn is fed into the national grid, helping provide homes in nearby Orkney and beyond with enough juice to keep them running.
This device is wave energy company Aquamarine Power’s first demonstration-scale wave energy device, and the company strongly believes that a farm comprising of 20 such Oysters is capable of providing an amount of energy equivalent to power 9,000 three bedroom family homes – that’s a whole lot when you think about it, and we hope that other countries will be able to see the advantage of such a set up and start making their own arrangements to fit the Oyster in where possible. Specially designed to capture the energy found in near-shore waves in water depths between 10-16 meters (33-54ft), the Oyster has minimal moving parts in order to increase reliability and efficiency while all electrical components are placed onshore, resulting in it being robust enough to withstand the rigors of Scotland’s harsh seas.
Of course, countries which do not have the geographical capacity to accommodate an Oyster will have to turn towards other forms of renewable energy sources, but we do hope that the installation of the Oyster will in no way impact surrounding marine life negatively. We do hope to see more of such green ideas hit the market on a large scale basis so that we have an earth to pass down to our kids.