Why is Wave Power Far Behind?


We know what wind and solar look like

It is easy to imagine what wind power looks like. Most of us have seen the three-bladed turbines on top of towers that are scattered throughout the landscape. The idea of solar power provides us with images of dark rectangular plates placed on rooftops, cabin walls or elsewhere.

But what about wave power?

We do not know what wave power looks like. The final design is not yet found, - in spite of thousands of ideas for how wave energy can be retrieved.

Technologically wave power is therefore where wind power was decades ago, before it emerged into the winning design spread all over the world today.


So why is wave power that far behind?

Wave power is difficult. The challenges are many. Overload from large waves during storms, fouling, corrosion and costly connection to shore.

Most of the wave energy is far away from where it will be used. How do we transport the energy from the middel of the Atlantic Ocean to the market?

Wave energy is dispearsed. To obtain a high yield, energy must be obtained from a large number of waves, simultanously.

All human activities at sea will, to a greater or lesser extent, have impacts on marine ecosystems. This applies particularly to fishing, but also to shipping. Commercial development of wave power could have considerable consequences as well. These must be minimized.


How to overcome these challenges?


Challenge: Overload from large waves during storms


The solution lies below the wave zone. We put the wave
energy convertor into the stagnant water in the depth. Here
it will be protected from the destructive forces at he

A buoy at the ocean surface follows the wave motions
there and convey it to the convertor by means of a cable.
We call this concept “Subwave”, for obvious reasons.


Challenge: Fouling

  Also here the answere lies in the depth. The Subwave wave energy convertor is located too deep for the sunlight to reach down. This protects against fouling.
The buoy, however, will be exposed to both sun and air. But the buoy is a simple and readily available device that can be protected and looked after in the same way as boat hulls.

Challenge: Corrosion

  This is a matter of materials and coatings. There is no way around this
except by constructing turbines in a way that prevents vulnerability to these conditions.

Challenge: Costly connection to shore

  The map shows that the major wave energy resources are
located far offshore. It requires huge investments to bring the
power to market by means of an umbilical. The solution is to use
hydrogen as an energy carrier.

Challenge: Wave energy is dispersed

  A localized device, however effective, will be able to retrieve
energy only from the waves present there. Our strategy is to
spread our Subwave units in a field structure spanning over
several square kilometres of ocean surface.

Challenge: Impacts on marine life

  Our system will be constructed of environmentally friendly materials, steel or aluminum, will not contain oil, will not have discharges of any kind, will not make sound and will not be able to harm animals physically.  


           Future global energy challenge


Waveco’s goal is to develop our Subwave concept to be the ultimate choice of technology for wave energy harvesting.


As the pressure on coal, oil and gas, and partly also on nuclear power, increases, and the best opportunities for exploitation of hydropower is exhausted, wind, solar and marine energy remains to fill the gap. When these energy forms are developed on an industrial scale, the level of conflict on land and in coastal areas will increase. Then, if not before, the focus will be directed towards the huge energy potential on the oceans. The Subwave concept will be there then.


The Subwave turbine is patented and owned by Waveco AS, Norway. Org no. 916 216 645