Wave energy device about to make a splash in Galway Bay

10 Oct 2016

Wave crashing into rocks. Image: Zacarias Pereira da Mata/Shutterstock

After eight years of development, a prototype wave energy device by Sea Power is to hit the open waters of Galway Bay with a quarter-scaled model of the device.

The device has been the focus for Sea Power for eight years now, with aims of creating a feasible wave energy generator that could produce clean energy for people on a neighbouring shore.

Sea Power will now work with SmartBay Ireland – a not-for-profit company that manages the national marine test facility in Galway Bay – in bringing the device to its next stage of development.

In a statement, the Marine Institute has said that following grant support from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, the SeaPower can now hit the open seas for the first time.

With smaller scale versions of the device already tested, the quarter-sized scale model will now make the short journey from Sea Power’s facility in Foynes, Co Limerick to Galway to test its capabilities in much rougher conditions.

SeaPower device

SeaPower device. Image: Marine Institute

To join Mayo test site

Eventually, it is hoped the SeaPower will be part of a planned full-scale Atlantic marine energy test site off the Mayo coast.

The Marine Institute’s CEO Dr Peter Heffernan said of this latest development: “Sea Power is a great example of an indigenous Irish company developing novel technology to harness the power of the ocean.

“Having brought their device through various small scale prototypes, it is exciting to see this new technology being prepared for testing in the sea at quarter scale.”

Speaking last July, SmartBay Ireland said that there are “endless” opportunities for wave energy in Ireland, with the company itself being part of the European initiative FORESEA.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic