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Hydrogen production from wave energy

Credit: Andrew M. Cornett, A GLOBAL WAVE ENERGY RESOURCE ASSESSMENT, Canadian Hydraulics Centre, National Research Council, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Conference Paper in Sea Technology, July 2008.

Hydrogen production in the most energetic ocean areas in the world will be the ultimate utilization of the energy potential from ocean waves. These areas are far from land and market, and too deep for anchoring. They constitute a vast energy resource.

A solution for the ocean space age

Waveco propose a completely autonomous system producing hydrogen by electrolysis of desalinated water in a submarine plant. The energy will be delivered by hundreds of Subwave units connected by cables kept about 30 meters below the surface. Far from any coast the only option for exporting the energy is to shuttle it to an onshore base. We propose robotic submarine vessels that automatically connect to the production unit, uploads, disconnect, and then go to the base for delivery.

By keeping the production unit and the shuttles below the wave zone, the operation will not be affected by surface conditions. This will allow for year-round operational regularity.

The hydrogen gas will be liquefied on the base and brought to market in large tankers. The main market will be east and southeast Asia where the gas will be used for centralized electricity production, for heavy duty transportation and for industrial processes.

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