SeaPower Promises Emission-Free Power and Water


Perth, Western Australia, as we’ve noted before, is considered the most remote city on the planet. And one thing they are running out of, like much of drought declared Australia is fresh drinking water. Plans are in train to provide a chunk of this via a desalination plant, but such facilities do require a hefty amount of energy to run. Wind is being considered. But a new alternative hopes it might get a look in. Inventor Alan Burns has his idea with Seapower Pacific (Carnegie), who’ve invested $10 million AUD on R&D; to bring the concept towards the market. In brief: hypalon bladders are affixed to a piston that moves inside a tube secured to the seabed. As the ocean swell ebbs and flows the bladders rise and fall providing momentum to the piston. It subsequently pumps high pressure sea water to an onshore desalination plant. Some of the pressurised water can be then used to spin a turbine, generating power for the the production of freshwater. The intention is to have a forest of these bladder thingees (called CETO) fill an area 2 km x 60m about 8km offshore. Unlike many other wave energy devices, everything is underwater and operates in a passive rather than resistive mode. Apparently the CETOs are relatively simple to manufacture and transport, and their component materials have a proven 20 year submerged life. An independent technology assessment says the concept has significant potential and more trials are now underway with commercial units planned for 2009. ::Seapower Pacific, via ABC.

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