The Wave Power Group
Website latest updates by: Jamie Taylor 7th August 2008
14th March 2008: BBC 'Working Lunch' programme on Pelamis in Portugal
|The Wave Power Group dates back to 1974 - the year that Stephen Salter invented the 'duck' as a means of converting into electricity some of the abundant natural power that arrives as ocean waves on our western shores|
|The development of the duck concept so that it might compete economically with conventional sources of energy required several new technologies. Above all, there was a need for very high efficiency high-pressure bi-directional oil hydraulic transmissions that could implement the advanced control algorithms required to get the most energy out of waves. With the arrival of Robert Clerk and his ground breaking designs, we started in the early 1980s to develop a new generation of high performance hydraulic machines. Building on that experience, a new company called Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd. was founded by Win Rampen in 1994 to develop the next generation of hydraulic machine. We call this new technology 'digital hydraulics'. The wave energy group and Artemis work closely together.|
From the beginning, wave energy research also needed a new generation
of test tanks. We were advised by the leading wave mathematicians that
maintaining a very strong emphasis on the tank testing of models would be
essential for the understanding and optimisation of wave energy devices.
1978: Duck model on the surging heaving rig meets 50 year wave. As good as it gets in a narrow tank.
Some of our projects
As well as working on wave energy, the group have always been active in other areas. The common thread in our activities is engineering design and the heart of our group has always been our workshop. Most past and present members of the group have spent many happy hours there.
We're planning to put lots more of our current and historic material and photos on this web site. In the meantime, here are some of our current or recent projects:
You can also follow our work by clicking on these clips
from our recent 'Power for Change' video.
Looking for a general introduction to wave energy?
A very good start is Chapter 8 ('Wave Energy') by Les Ducker in the Open University book: 'Renewable Energy - power for a sustainable future', Editor: Godfrey Boyle, Oxford University Press, 1996, ISBN 0-19-856451-1. Although several major projects have started up since then, this remains a very good introduction to the subject.
An older but more detailed treatment of the fundamentals is in Chapter 12 of the excellent 'Renewable Energy Resources', by John Twidell and Tony Weir, Spon, 1985, ISBN 0-419-12010-6. This link is to the new 2002 edition which we haven' t had a look at yet.
You may want to know more about waves - how they're generated by wind, how they're measured, what happens in shallow water, how they're forecast, how their directional properties are assessed. There is a wonderful but hard to get hold of book: 'Waves in Ocean Engineering', M.J.Tucker & E.G. Pitt, Elsevier, 2001, ISBN 0-08-043566-1. Tucker started working with waves in 1944 and spent six years writing this book after retiring from the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences. This second edition of the book has been substantially revised by his colleague Ted Pitt. The book covers most aspects of waves with mathematical treatments that are accessible to the interested reader, but there is also a lot of contextual information about the recent post-war history of wave measurements and analysis which makes it a most enjoyable read.
A classic journalistic account by an author who has followed developments from the beginning is: 'Power from the Waves', David Ross, Oxford University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-19-856511-9
At a higher and more mathematical level there is a very good new text by a long established and well respected Norwegian wave energy expert:'Ocean Waves and Oscillating Systems', Johannes Falnes, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-521-78211-2
A very good way to find out more about recent wave energy
activities in the Europe and the rest of the world is by getting hold of
the proceedings of recent conferences:
Fourth European Wave Energy Conference 2000,
4th-6th December, Aalborg Denmark. Proceedings published by Energy Centre
Denmark, Danish Technological Institute, DK-2630 Tastrup, firstname.lastname@example.org, ISBN
1993 European Wave Energy Symposium, 21st-24th July 1993, Edinburgh. Organised by NEL. Proceedings published by European Commission EUR 15571 EN, ISBN 0-903640-84-8.
Useful wave & tidal power links
latest link: 7th April 2008
Universities, National and Government