Power generation from waves continues to develop as Aquamarine Power has unveiled its new, second-generation Oyster 2 wave power generator. According to the company, "The new 800kW device will measure 26 metres by 16 metres and will deliver 250 per cent more power than the original Oyster 1 which was successfully deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney last summer." A test installation is planned for 2011 and will use three wave devices connected to a single power generation station to produce 2.4 megawatts of electricity.
Like the Pelamis wave generator (now, sadly, sitting on the shore for lack of maintenace funds), the Oyster rides on the surface to harness wave power. This means that Oyster cannot coexist with surface vessels, unlike other underwater systems. But, instead of housing the generator at sea, where conditions are harsh and maintenance and repair are costly, the Oyster system harnesses wave power to drive hydraulic systems and on-shore turbines to produce electricity.
The new Oyster incorporates many improvements over the original design, including simplified construction requiring less steel to produce and design to enable easier mass production. Aquamarine Power expects to deploy Oyster in farms of 100MW generating capacity or more. An animated Oyster video shows more about how the system operates.
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