More video is available from Ocean Power Delivery Limited of their Pelamis Wave Power system.
The Pelamis is a semi-submerged, articulated structure composed of cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints. The wave-induced motion of these joints is resisted by hydraulic rams, which pump high-pressure oil through hydraulic motors via smoothing accumulators. The hydraulic motors drive electrical generators to produce electricity. Power from all the joints is fed down a single umbilical cable to a junction on the sea bed. Several devices can be connected together and linked to shore through a single seabed cable. More here.
OPD Ltd is an Edinburgh based company set up in January 1998 to develop the Pelamis WEC concept. In March 2002, OPD Ltd. secured £6m (EUR 9.8m) funding from an international consortium of venture capital companies led by Norsk Hydro Technology Ventures, the venture capital arm of Norway’s largest industrial company and including 3i, Europe’s leading venture capital company and Zurich-based Sustainable Asset Management (SAM). Each organisation provided an equal level of funding to produce the largest investment of its kind in a wave power company. More on the company here.
The western seaboard of Europe offers an enormous number of potential sites. The most promising sites are off the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and Norway. There is sufficient energy breaking on the UK shoreline to power the country three times over. However, it is not practical to recover all of this energy. The economically recoverable resource for the UK alone has been estimated to be 87TWh per year, or ~25% of current UK demand. More on the resource here.
The first UK ‘wave hub’ is to be build of Cornwall at a cost of £28m. It already has planning permission and the necessary funding. The announcement.
*Wave Hub could generate enough electricity for 7,500 homes, directly saving 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 25 years.
*Wave Hub could create 1,800 jobs and £560 million in the UK economy over 25 years.