Tolosa, Spain, and Inverness, Scotland, July 3, 2007 — A new commercial breakwater wave energy plant will be built off the Spanish Atlantic coast. It is based on Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation’s wave technology and its customer is the Basque Energy Board, Ente Vasco de Energia. The new plant in Mutriku in Northern Spain will work with the Oscillating Water Column (OWC) technology of Voith Siemens Hydro’s Scottish subsidiary Wavegen where it has been field-tested for seven years.
The wave plant will use the OWC principle. An opening in the front of the breakwater allows the sea to rise and fall within a chamber due to the action of the waves. This motion compresses and decompresses the enclosed volume of air. The energy generated from this pressure differential is then, with the aid of a Wells turbine and a generator, transformed into electricity and fed into the grid.
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