New Jersey-based Martin & Ottaway, together with industry partners, has formed a company aimed at developing Wave Energy Converters using patented features expected to increase energy recovery rates by an order of magnitude over legacy WEC systems.
The company, SurfWEC, states it has broken through the barriers holding back wave energy recovery technologies from successfully and economically harnessing power from ocean waves. SurfWEC utilizes technology which “conquers the challenge of highly variable wave sizes that faced past ocean-based efforts by converting wavelength to wave height.”
SurfWEC is a novel WEC approach to wave energy conversion invented by M&O’s Mike Raftery. The units are designed to create optimal surf waves offshore for WEC applications. By creating optimal surf waves with maximum steepness before breaking, SurfWEC units cause waves to input 100 times as much kinetic energy into surface floats as in typical offshore wave conditions. This is accomplished by enabling the surface floats to have average speeds 10 times faster than in typical offshore wave conditions.
SurfWEC LLC, located in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, expects to take advantage of the confluence of the favorable US East Coast sustainable energy investment climate, favorable Atlantic Ocean waves and water depths, and local technical resources to make rapid progress towards utility level power generation.
SurfWEC is partnering with Stevens Institute of Technology, Bosch Rexroth Inc., ISCO Pipe, HYDAC, Airline Hydraulics, Wire Co./Lankhorst Ropes, InterOcean Systems LLC, and other industry leaders in prototype development.
At the formation reception of SurfWEC at the New York Yacht Club on December 14, 2018, Chief Technology Officer Michael Raftery commented, “The formation of SurfWEC is a unique opportunity to take a big tent approach to the deployment of these wave converters. There is so much wave power out there and to be able to use this power to develop a sustainable energy economy is a dream come true. I am particularly excited about the economics of co-location of SurfWECs with offshore wind projects.”
Photo: Signing of the SurfWec LLC formation papers at the New York Yacht Club on December 14, 2018. Showing around table clockwise from left: Michael Raftery (SurfWEC CTO), David Zimmerman (Director of Technology Commercialization, Stevens Institute of Technology), Peter Ford (SurfWEC Secretary Treasurer), Rik van Hemmen (SurfWec CEO), David Tantrum (Partner, Martin & Ottaway), Wayne Thomas (partially obscured, Partner Martin & Ottaway), Pierce Power (Partner Martin & Ottaway), John Greco (with back to photo, Partner BVGK, Corporate Attorney).