Pilot wave energy project planned in Overberg


A pilot project to harness wave energy has been given the go ahead in Hermanus. The Abagold Wave Energy Converter Project is being offered as an alternative option to the nuclear power station proposed for this region. The project’s developer, Pierre Hugo, will present further information on the technology in Hermanus on 30 July.

 

According to Abagold, the project is a first of its kind in South Africa and globally. The company says that with waves of 2.5m, the wave energy converter can generate nearly 4 MW of power “with extremely low visual impact and negligible environmental impact”.

 

Abagold has been given environmental authorisation to go ahead with the project from the Department of Environmental Affairs. The group is now awaiting the lease of the sea agreement from CapeNature and a concession agreement from the Department of Public Works.

 

Hugo says that the principle of the slot-slope concept is to allow a wave to run up a sloped ramp and then to capture the returning water by means of slots embedded in the ramp as the wave recedes. “Abagold’s unique design is based on the retention of the water passing through each slot in the sloped wall by a simple, but robust non-return flap (valve).”

 

The water is retained in a common buffer storage dam, that allows the water to be returned to the sea smoothly through submerged, slowly rotating, quiet, fish-friendly turbines.

 

He says, “Power storage, utilisation of a broad range of wave sizes and good efficiency are built-in characteristics of the unique combination of technologies.  Structural integrity is enhanced by the weight

of the water inside the buffer dam, ensuring survivability during extreme storm events.” Abagold has spent four years integrating proven technologies, completing hydraulic modeling in a 14m wave tank.

 

Hugo will provide more information on the technology and their pilot at a Whale Coast Conservation open meeting. The meeting takes place at The Green House, R43, Vermont, on Tuesday 30 July at 17h30. Costs are R10 per person. For more information, contact Anina Lee on 028 316 2527 or email: anina.lee@ocf.org.za

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