Wave generator supplies grid power in Hawaii
Northwest Energy Innovations, LLC has developed the Azura™ wave power generation technology for converting the endless supply of ocean waves into electricity to meet the rapidly growing global demand for renewable energy.
Unlike other wave energy technologies, Azura extracts energy from both the heave (vertical) and surge (horizontal) motion of the wave, producing power from the relative rotational motion between the hull and float. The power takeoff (PTO) system is based on high pressure hydraulics and is located within the PowerPod.
A key feature of the Azura design is that the float can rotate continuously through 360° or oscillate back and forth, which enables the device to extract energy in a wide variety of wave conditions and improves the overall efficiency of the system. The fully rotating float also provides a self-limiting power shedding effect, which makes the device inherently survivable in open ocean environments and helps to reduce loads in the mooring system. Another benefit of the Azura design is the very low reserve buoyancy, which allows it to partially submerge under large waves.
The initial technology development, called Wave Energy Technology New Zealand or WET-NZ, was conducted by Callaghan Innovation (formerly Industrial Research Limited), which is a New Zealand Crown Entity. Since development began in 2006, the technology has advanced from initial concept to open ocean pilot testing. Recognizing the potential of the US market, NWEI began collaborating with Callaghan to further develop and optimize the technology.