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The world’s first commercial wave farm is being developed 5km off the coast of Portugal and features technology funded by Britain and realised by a Scottish company.

Pelamis at Agucadoura Beach, Portugal

Pelamis Wave Power Ltd is installing a series of train carriage sized floats which will ride waves and send power to a specially built substation at Agucadoura beach. Each float contains four hydraulic rams which convert wave’s kinetic energy into electricity, producing around 750KW at peak efficiency – enough power to supply 500 homes.

If initial results are positive, there are plans to increase the number of generators from three to 28. Enersis, a renewable energy company backing the scheme has longer term plans to have 500 machines floating along the Portuguese coastline, enough to supply 350,000 homes.

Converting waves directly into electricity

Trident Energy is an engineering company making waves. A renewable energy specialist based in Southend, it has created a unique system for converting sea wave energy directly into electricity.

Floats riding the sea’s surface are used to drive linear generators, which generate immediate electricity. With only one moving part and no hydraulic or air compression equipment involved, Trident’s “Direct Energy Conversion Method” (DECM) is the simplest system of its kind in the world – making it robust and cost effective. 

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