Harnessing the waves can help humanity secure a sustainable future. Floating turbines swing up and down to convert the motion of water into electrical energy. Oscilla Power, one of the wave energy converter (WEC) pioneers, recently launched the Triton-C WEC in Hawaiian waters. After a lengthy development period, the new unit will now test its power output in the face of the harsh elements of the open sea.
Triton-C uses a multimode point absorber strategy. It consists of a geometrically optimised surface float connected by three flexible links to an annular, vertically asymmetrical base plate.
Unlike most WECs, Triton's floating parts on the surface can collect the energy of waves from all types of motion: roll, pitch, surge, roll, and yaw. This provides better energy-harvesting capabilities in a variety of marine environments. Average annual energy production is higher and electricity costs are lower.
That promise of power and durability will soon be tested off the coast of Hawaii, when it will begin operations at the Marine Corps base. While the Triton-C can produce 100 kW in energy waves, the test site only produces 30 kW (enough to power about 25 homes).
In the future, larger versions of Triton-C could power communities in remote areas like the Alaskan coast. The capacity of larger units can reach 1 MW. A device of this size is intended for testing in the Indian Ocean. "The launch of Triton-C is an impressive reflection of the clean energy innovation supported by our state's Clean Energy Fund," said Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, who funded Triton-C research.