A newly developed Australian wave-power machine has successfully generated electricity and fresh water in a year-long trial on the seabed off the Western Australian coast.
The 10m prototype machine is named CETO after a Greek sea goddess. The CETO technology is being developed by the UK-based Renewable Energy Holdings’ Perth-based subsidiary, Seapower Pacific. The Perth-based clean energy company Carnegie Corporation co-developed the technology before selling it to Renewable Energy Holdings. Carnegie remains a shareholder in REH and has participation rights in future REH projects.
The CETO prototype has met all design and concept challenges and successfully produced clean power and fresh water from the ocean waves.The technology, which was invented by Australian businessman Alan Burns, allows a unit to sit on the seabed and use the power and movement of the waves to force highly pressured seawater to shore through a small pipe.Once ashore, the water is used to drive a turbine generator to produce electricity.
A wave farm of 125 CETO units can produce 18MW of electricity with no greenhouse gas emissions, enough for 10,000 households, or a desalination plant producing 45B litres of fresh drinking water each year. The CETO prototype will be replaced by CETO II pre-commercialisation units, which will be installed in 2007. Full commercialisation will take place by 2010.