Wave Swell Energy Deploys a Spotter wave buoy to support their King Island marine energy project.

Chris Ayan
Chris Ayan

Historical and real-time access to marine data is paramount to the success of marine operations. Marine renewable energy programs require accurate environmental conditions at all stages: site characterisation and energy potential assessment, design criteria, construction, performance and fatigue analysis.

Spotter can be used to help with site characterization and design criteria. Utilizing hindcast models along with Spotter can help establish wave climate in a region and the potential wave energy of a site. That same data can be used during the converter design stage to design and size energy converters. In addition, the installation of wave energy converters typically involves some barge, crane and anchor work so, monitoring the conditions in real time and potentially calling things off is critical.

In that vein, Wave Swell Energy has partnered with Sofar to deploy a Spotter for their wave energy project on King Island, Tasmania, Australia. The King Island Project aims to demonstrate the commercial viability of their proprietary Uniwave technology when deployed at large scale, and its ability to be integrated into existing power systems. 

“Information from the buoy will be fed into the design and allow us to plan for installation that fits into an acceptable weather window,” said Scott Hunter, chief technology officer of Wave Swell Energy. 

Once the wave energy converter is installed and operational, WSE will keep Spotter deployed to measure power output of the converter against incoming wave heights. Looking at the historical data provides knowledge on the device itself and its efficiency. 

In addition, the data that Spotter provides can assist in day-to-day operations, to either tune the devices to the conditions, turn them off if the conditions are too critical.

Wave Swell Energy’s project provides an exciting opportunity in marine renewables, and the data Spotter will provide will help ensure the success of the project and open the door for future opportunities. 

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