Picture from: http://arena.gov.au/project/carnegie-ceto-6-technology/
Today the need for a more diverse energy grid is greater than it has ever been. The Perth Wave Energy Project is an Australian project lead by Carnegie Wave Energy Limited. The programs goal is to create commercial-scale wave energy, and uses the CETO wave energy technology.
The CETO Wave Energy uses a specialty designed submerged buoy tethered to a hydraulic pump placed in the seabed. The buoy is then pulled by the waves from the sea and pulls on the tether. This movement helps create the energy that is then sent back to the main land. While it is difficult to say exactly how much energy the CETO 5 creates per wave. The CETO 6 is said to be able to generate around four times as much energy, about 1 MW.
Aside from the energy, the waves creates desalinated water, which can then be sent to a plant to be turned into freshwater. While the main achievement of the CETO system is the energy creation, one cannot overlook the importance of something like that in a place that has little to no flowing water.
The CETO system is very brilliant in its design. Since the buoy is under the water, as apposed being above, the buoy is protected from storms. The buoy is connected to a hydraulic pump that anchors it to the floor. As the buoy moves from the ocean’s waves, the pump sends pressurized water ashore through a pipeline. Once the water is pumped onshore, the CETO uses it to drive a hydroelectric turbine. This process can be altered to have multiple pipelines.
Currently the CETO 5 is placed at Australia’s largest naval base the HMAS Stirling. Carnegie placed buoys under the ocean that were connected to a desalination plant and a plant that was connected to the grid. This was the first time that the CETO system has been connected to an energy grid.
That project lasted a little over a year. In January of this year, Carnegie submitted its final milestone. Over the last year, Carnegie has won an Australian Research Council grant, and a Scottish Government grant, all of which is going into the CETO 6.
The CETO 6, according to Carnegie, is going to generate four times as much energy. It’s also going to be more efficient, lower capital, and lower maintenance. If this all comes to pass the CETO 6 system, is going to be an improvement in all ways.
The uses for this project are broad and Carnegie should be commended for that. There is a limit to what the technology can do. People have said that it can be used for disaster relief. It can’t, though the buoy system is quick to set up it doesn’t create any energy by itself. Because of that, it’s hard to say that it can be used for disaster relief.
The CETO system is an impressive step, and it is a needed system. With the ability to create both power and to help create water, California is prime for the CETO system. With the large push to create renewable energy in California, it would be a huge step for them to bring the CETO 5, or 6, to their seashores.
For more information about CETO: