This demonstration program began in January, 2015 when the company kicked-off production of five of its full-scale wave energy seawater pumps. The pumps were shipped to ILO, Peru where the company earned a demonstration permit issued by the Peruvian Navy.
Atmocean’s program objectives achieved thus far include:
- Production cost verification;
- Shipping the system to a remote community using standard containers;
- Assembling the system using available community resources;
- Confirming deployment techniques using small boats; and
- Initial operational success.
In phase 2 of the project, the system will be deployed in the ocean for up to 6 months to confirm performance and durability data. With the success of the deployment thus far, the phase 2 objective should be realized by mid-summer 2016 – allowing commercial operations to commence.
Arrays of the Atmocean seawater pumps are anchored in 20m water depth typically 1km to 3km from the coast, sending pressurized seawater onshore for desalination, electrical generation, or other applications.
The Atmocean system has undergone over 90 days of sea trials, nearly two weeks of wave tank testing, and received seven technical grants from Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories as well as Oregon Wave Energy Trust and the UK Technology Strategy Board. The company’s zero-electricity reverse/osmosis (ZER/Otm) desalination system has been selected by AquaTech as a leading water technology innovation of 2015.
The ZER/O system produces fresh water from wave energy by integrating Atmocean’s wave-driven offshore array of seawater pumps with a renewable energy desalination module that uses energy recovery to operate without any grid electricity. With this combination, ZER/O systems can operate entirely off-grid and supply fresh water for remote coastal or island communities, as well be used to drip-irrigate coastal deserts to grow agricultural crops and absorb atmospheric CO2.
The Atmocean system also has future applications to generate electricity from wave energy, supply aquaculture facilities, and even help remove micro-plastics from the ocean.
According to Philip Kithil, Atmocean CEO, “The first use of ZER/O will be to drip-irrigate coastal deserts, growing agricultural crops while drawing down atmospheric CO2. The need for lessening atmospheric CO2 levels is critical and the scale of this problem is massive. Our projections indicate this market alone could result in installation of over 100,000 systems in the coastal deserts worldwide by 2035. With that volume, our costs will drop dramatically, opening up the wave-driven electricity market which currently is not economically feasible for any wave energy system.”
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.