Wave power trials begin in WA

Tuesday, 16 August, 2005

A wave energy generator has been positioned on the sea floor off Fremantle, Western Australia to start trial production of electricity and fresh water with no fossil fuel input.

The CETO wave energy generator was designed by Alan Burns and developed over three years by West Australian company Seapower Pacific.

In February, Seapower Pacific was taken over by Renewable Energy Holdings, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange specifically to invest in cutting-edge renewable energy technology.

Dennis Kelly, managing director of Seapower Pacific, said CETO is regarded as a breakthrough in renewable energy technology at the right time, given the pressing worldwide demand to produce power and water from clean, alternative, available sources.

"Unlike other wave energy technologies that require undersea grids and costly marine qualified plant, CETO requires only a small diameter pipe to carry high pressure seawater ashore to either a turbine to produce electricity, or to a reverse osmosis filter to produce fresh water," he said.

"The prototype is expected to generate up to 100 kilowatts of electricity, enough for 100 homes. In desalination mode the prototype is expected to produce about 300,000 litres of fresh water per day."

CETO inventor Alan Burns said wind-generated waves off the West Australian coast have the highest concentration of energy. "CETO brings together technology developed over 25 years to convert this reliable source of energy into electricity and fresh water and we hope it proves to be the interim step to commercial production," he said.

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