No 10. April 2013

Wave Power Commercialization to Speed Up

Bombora Wave Power, whose novel Wave Energy Converter Device (WECD) was one of five winners in the GE Ecomagination Challenge 2013, is to speed up fund raising and commercialization of the technology.

The Ecomagination Challenge was open to all businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators to share their best ideas on how to reduce carbon emissions, and attracted 191 entries from Australia and New Zealand. Bombora won $100,000.

Director Glen Ryan said "It is a great honour to have our technology selected as one of the finalists given the strength of the ideas submitted to the challenge. It is extremely gratifying to know that the high calibre evaluation committee recognizes the significant potential and purpose of our technology for reducing carbon emissions.

"We can foresee the substantial economic potential of the technology due to its large scale (1.5 MW), near shore location, performance and survivability benefits. Each unit could potentially supply up to 500 homes with renewable electricity each year, or the equivalent of taking 825 cars off the road.

"The timing of the finalist announcement couldn't come at a better time" said Mr Ryan. "We have been self funding the project thus far and have now decided to accelerate our development schedule to complete our next phase. This will require us to raise our first round of external capital. Being selected as a finalist will assist in increasing our exposure to both local and overseas interests," he said.

The Bombora Wave Energy Conversion Device.

Bombora Wave Power Pty Ltd was established in 2011. Its Wave Energy Conversion Device is a V-shaped geo-polymer concrete device mounted on the sea bed close to shore in water depths of 4 to 15 metres. The device operates fully submerged and uses a simple, low impact, innovative and resilient design to effectively harvest and concentrate the wave's energy.

Each arm of the device contains a number of cells covered with a flexible membrane, separating the seawater from the air contained within the device and separating each cell from the others.

As the waves pass over the device they push down on the membrane and sequentially compress the air within each cell. The air is allowed to flow from a cell through a valve to a central air loop or manifold, which takes the pressurised air from all of the cells to a central apex module. It then flows through an air turbine and powers an electric generator. The air is then returned back to the cells by another low pressure manifold and valves on each cell.

The technology generates zero emission electricity, and can survive storms while encouraging marine ecosystems.

Its long term goal to be cost competitive with onshore wind, which is currently the cheapest form of renewable electricity.