The Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (Aneel) says that the start-up of a prototype wave energy converter represents “good progress” in its programme to exploit the country’s ocean energy resources.

Aneel has announced that the 50 kW machine was started on June 24th and operated for ten minutes. The project is part of the agency’s Research and Technological Development Programme.

The prototype consists of a floating structure and pump that is mounted on an onshore breakwater and connected to a hyperbaric chamber and turbine-generator. It is currently being prepared for a second start-up and longer trial operation.

The project will last a total of 36 months and will cost R$14.4M, says Aneel.

The prototype was developed by the University of Rio de Janeiro’s Foundation of Project Co-ordination, Research and Technological Studies (COPPE) in its Submarine Technology Laboratory. The machine would be easy to scale up and deploy in other projects along Brazil’s coast, says Aneel.