The Finavera AquaBuOY is a floating buoy structure that converts the kinetic energy of the vertical motion of oncoming waves into clean electricity. The AquaBuOY is categorized as a point absorber, defined as having a small dimension in relation to the longer wave length in which it is operating. It utilizes a cylindrical buoy as the displacer and the reactor is a large water mass enclosed by a long vertical tube underneath the buoy.
Construction of the AquaBuOY 2.0 wave energy converter is now underway at Oregon Iron Works in Portland, Oregon. Take a look at the video below, to see how it works.
AquaBuOYs are designed to maximize power output during more typical, moderate wave conditions on an annual basis versus extreme wave intensities that occur less frequently during storms. This avoids costly over-design that only captures extreme spikes in storm-based wave intensities.
Nevertheless, AquaBuOYs are being designed for 100 year storms by riding atop the extreme waves at sea, rather than experiencing catastrophic damage, as during tsunami, from the breaking waves onshore. AquaBuOYs would be moored with advanced anchoring and mooring technology.
Because the systems are modular, scalability to meet growing power demand is easily accomplished. Additionally, this modularity provides a more consistent flow of power during maintenance cycles. The simplicity of the AquaBuOY system makes it easier to source materials from local suppliers, construction, and maintenance companies. Most components are readily available from in-country suppliers and the job skills required for fabrication and maintenance are present in most coastal communities.
The power plants are scalable from hundreds of kilowatts to hundreds of megawatts. The wave power plants are designed to provide clean, renewable energy for large population centers. The offshore plants are suitable as distributed generation and load balancing at coastal transmission points.
Finavera Renewables currently has wave energy projects running in Portugal, Canada, the United States and South Africa.