A hybrid marine plant off Alghero
(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – It has finally touched the Sardinian waters WEPA, acronym of Water Energy Point Absorber, an innovative hybrid marine plant created by Wave for Energy. What’s so special about it? A single unit can simultaneously exploit three different renewable sources and return both electricity and desalinated water.
The system is the result of the Waves4Water project with which in 2021 the company was awarded the Special Park of Porto Conte, in the municipality of Alghero. The objective of the initiative was to design, install and test an offshore facility that would exploit marine resources for two purposes: to produce clean electricity and to provide drinking water. An ambitious task but that has found Wave for energy ready. The company, strong of its experience in the waters of Pantelleria with the ISWEC, (wave energy conversion floating device), has faced the challenge chest.
Energy from waves and more: how does WEPA work?
The innovative hybrid marine system integrates two main technologies: a vertical oscillation floating wave converter and a reverse osmosis desalination system. The first uses the technology of point absorbers that can capture the kinetic energy moving in tune with the waves.
In addition, the unit integrates on the surface some solar panels and a micro-wind to maximize electricity production, together with a battery pack for stability of energy supply. The result is a compact and flexible system, capable of working even in adverse sea conditions. In addition to offering the advantage of being able to built and installed easily. “The combination of these two technologies – writes Wave for energy on its website – and the optimization of coupling will help to address the challenges of water and energy supply in a particularly sensitive environment such as Porto Conte”.
“An important day for the Park and for our marine protected area that completes, with the installation in the water of the plant an important experimentation on the real potential of this useful technology, not only for the production of energy from the sea, but also for desalination, in full respect of the environment”, commented the President of the Special Company Park of Porto Conte Raimondo Tilloca, in a press note of the same body The next steps? A first offshore test campaign to test the technology’s response to a real operating environment.