Frequency Asked Questions
What is wave energy?
Wave energy is super concentrated solar energy with the ocean acting as a giant solar collector and concentrator.
The sun heats the air differentially which creates wind. The wind creates waves which are ~25 times more energy dense than the original solar energy that started this chain reaction. It is this energy density that gives wave energy advantages over wind or solar power.
For instance, wind power tops out at about 2.5 MW per wind turbine. Partly because of the energy density of the waves, the PowerGin™ can be sized for up to 20 MW and therefore can spread the cost of construction and maintenance across far greater output.
What does a wave energy converter do?
A wave energy converter or a WEC as its called in the industry converts the power of a wave into reciprocating a rotary of mechanical energy. The WECs that convert to reciprocating energy must go through an additional step to convert that energy into rotary motion. The PowerGin™ converts wave energy directly to continuous rotary motion.
How does the PowerGin™ work?
The PowerGin™ is a patented offshore wave energy converter which is has approximately 51% of its structure above the water line. Two rotors are lined with energy capture units or buckets which catch wave water and use the gravity of the captured water to turn the rotors. The continuous rotary motion drives a power take off unit that is similar to the technology used for wind turbines. Electricity that is generated runs through an under sea cable to an on shore base station.
The PowerGin™ is designed to produce 5MW – 20MW each depending on its size and the wave resource. Connecting more than one PowerGin™ together forms a Wave Power Park™ which can be sizes to generate the desired power capacity.
What is done to assess the environmental effects of putting a system like this near the shoreline?
A comprehensive environmental analysis is prepared approved by local, state and federal governments prior to construction. We strive to collaborate with all stakeholders who may use the ocean for recreation, fishing, drilling, natural beauty, shore erosion, the environment and other competing interests and factors.
We have not determined any negative effects on sea life, shore line or physical beauty.
How is the buoy anchored to the sea floor?
The PowerGin™ is slack moored to the ocean floor using a single point anchor. It is a minimally invasive procedure that avoids damage and threat to the ocean floor and surrounding life.
How much of the PowerGin™ can you see from shore?
The PowerGin™ may be sited as much as three miles off shore. At am average height of 10 feet with slightly more than half exposed above the water line, the unaided human eye is not likely to see any portion of the PowerGin™. The PowerGin™ will have a standard mast which is raised above the surface of the water and will contain all equipment that is dictated by local marine regulations and may include LED lighting, radar reflection equipment, day marking and other warning indicators to aid mariners.
What are the effects on fishermen, swimmers and surfers in the area?
The PowerGin™ can be sited to avoid fishing and surfing areas and will not cause any significant restrictions to using the ocean. The PowerGin™, much like buoys, are expected to attract fish and other marine life.
All electrical power generation equipment, including the cables, will be insulated and shielded to prevent any leakage of electricity. The systems used are similar to equipment that is currently in use in the ocean and is designed to prevent any loss of electricity.
What is the impact on the shoreline?
Waves that interact with the PowerGin™ pass through the back of the system and continue toward shore.. A small portion of the wave will be slowed down and may assist in a minor way to reduce beach erosion. No detrimental effects on the shoreline are expected