Testing begins on prototype for electricity from waves - ENEA

To provide energy to small Italian islands in Mediterranean

13 January, 18:35

    ROME - Testing is set to kick off on the prototype developed by ENEA and PoliTo (Polytechnic of Turin) to produce electricity from sea waves, in a system that is a candidate to supply energy to the many small Italian islands that are not self-sufficient, ENEA said in its online magazine Eneainform@.

    ENEA is the Italian public research entity controlled by the Ministry of Ecological Transition that operates in the energy, environment and new technology sectors.

    It said it has fine-tuned version 2.0 of the Pewec1, the converter that can turn sea waves into electrical energy for the Mediterranean, in areas where the waves are of small height and high frequency.

    This low-cost system for producing energy from the sea is suitable for small Italian islands, where electricity supply is ensured "by expensive and polluting diesel power plants", ENEA said.

    The new floating system, similar to a semicircular hull to be positioned in the open sea, is able to produce electricity by exploiting the oscillation of the device due to the waves.

    "A 1:25 scale prototype was tested at the Naval Tank at University of Naples to study how the hull and moorings would respond to extreme waves," said Gianmaria Sannino, head of the ENEA Laboratory of Climate Modeling and Impacts.

    ENEA and Politecnico di Torino are now working to build the preliminary 1:1 scale project to be installed along the "most energetic" coasts of the Mediterranean, such as the west coast of Sardinia and the Strait of Sicily.

    This technology can also be implemented for industrial uses, for example in aquaculture, which allows for eco-compatible energy production on-site with a focus on "green" fish farming.

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