Clean Energy from PowerBuoy of Ocean Power Technologies

by OldSailor on November 7, 2008



Here is the PowerBuoy from Ocean Power Technologies (OPT). OPT’s PowerBuoy is a smart ocean-going wave energy converter anchored to the seabed to produce clean electricity at low-cost.

Some of the interesting features of OPT’s PowerBuoy are:

  • the rise and fall of the ocean waves move a vertical piston arrangement of a hydraulic system inside the PowerBuoy to drive the generator to produce clean electricity.
  • the low voltage electricity generated is then transmitted through cable to the shore power grid.
  • an array of PowerBuoys can be installed to scale up to the desired power of 100 plus Megawatt.
  • a typical 10 Megawatt OPT power station would occupy only approximately 30 acres (0.125 square kilometers) of ocean surface.
  • typically located 1-3 miles offshore at water depths in the range of 50 metres.
  • comparing to offshore wind farms, only a small part of the buoy is visible at close range as most of the buoy is submerged below the ocean surface.
  • the PowerBuoy has in built safety to be inactive during rough weather and can restore operation during calm weather.


The PowerBuoy systems available in three models (PB 40,150,500) are optimized to work in sites with 20 kilowatts per metre of wave front or greater.

Commercial application of PowerBuoy is already in progress to install a 1.39 MW wave farm off the northern coast of Spain through a joint venture with the Spanish utility Iberdrola SA.

Also the U.S Navy has awarded a $3m contract to OPT to use the buoys to power the second phase of its Deep Water Active Detection Systems (DWADS) programme.

Here are some video clips of OPT’s PowerBuoy in action. Clip1 and Clip 2.

Both images are from OPT and for more information on PowerBuoy, log on to Ocean Power Technologies.

Posts in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:

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Scientific Divers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Discover New Species Under the Aleutians

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