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Solana Beach Firm Developing Wave Generator for University

June 11 2010 | Ocean Ecosystems, Ocean Energy,
by Rick Wilson

American Wave Machines Inc. in Solana Beach, California is developing a wave generator for the Ocean Energy Research Lab at the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) for the ultimate purpose of making ocean waves a renewable energy source.

Unlike wave generators for the amusement industry, The wave generator for the university will be the central component of a large wave tank system. It will be capable of generating waves with controllable wave heights and frequencies in a tank measuring fifteen meters long, one meter wide, and one meter deep. Upon completion, the wave tank will become a primary facility for ocean energy research at UTB.

Researchers at the university said that, although ocean waves hold enormous energy, that energy is under-utilized because there’s no reliable and cost-effective way of harnessing it. The Ocean Energy Research Lab is currently pursuing a novel technology to enable a corrosion-free, maintenance-free and hurricane-proof wave energy converter. The AWM wave generator will be used to simulate a typical ocean environment in the lab for testing bench-scale prototype wave energy converters.

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