Research & Innovation

Shipwreck-inspired wave power idea nets EUR 10 mn for full-scale demo

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Shipwreck-inspired wave power idea nets EUR 10 mn for full-scale demo

Shipwreck-inspired wave power idea nets EUR 10 mn for full-scale demo
July 08
12:13 2016

The kinetic energy of the waves can convert into electricity that can be fed into the grid with the help of a device, which has won a EUR 10 million loan from the Eu to enable its Finnish developer to build the first full-scale demonstration unit.

It’s the kind of technology that society needs to rely on more and more as fossil fuel power is phased out in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reign in global warming.

The original idea came from a professional diver, Rauno Koivusaari, who had a moment of inspiration when diving in a shipwreck and seeing the way an old piece of hatch moved backwards and forwards with the waves.

Finnish company AW-Energy translated Koivusaari’s idea into WaveRoller – a system that consists of an underwater panel attached to the bottom of the ocean on a hinge which moves back and forth as the waves surge past it.

Hydraulic pumps attached to the panel drive a motor which, in turn, drives an electricity generator, and the resulting power is taken on shore by an undersea cable.

Now AW-Energy has the finance to build a full-scale demonstration device thanks to the EUR 10 million loan from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

EUR 150 million

The loan is part of the EU’s Energy Demonstration Project programme, which has earmarked a total of EUR 150 million to help companies demonstrate the commercial viability of their renewable energy or hydrogen fuel cell technologies.

‘We want to support renewable energy pioneers to contribute solutions to global climate change challenges, while generating employment and sustainable economic growth at home in Europe,’ Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said during a signing ceremony on 6 July in Brussels, Belgium.


AW-Energy – the company develops and delivers technology for converting ocean waves to electricity.                                                                             They have developed WaveRoller – a fully submerged wave energy converter which utilizes wave surge phenomenon. This commonplace effect is observed in near-shore waters where the circular motion of water particles present in open sea waves changes into elliptical circulation due to more shallow bottom.

WaveRoller is a device that converts ocean waves to energy and electricity. The machine operates in near-shore areas (approximately 0.3-2 km from the shore) at depths of between 8 and 20 meters.

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