Wave Energy Device Types

The presentation of information on these pages is to assist the public to understand the various types of device that are in development. It should not be interpreted as an expression of a preference regarding a particular device type or a specific manufacturer.

Attenuator (Hinged Floating Surface Device) - This is a long floating device which is aligned perpendicular to the wave front. The device effectively rides the waves and captures the energy as the wave moves past by selectively constraining the movements along its length.

Point Absorber - Energy is absorbed in all directions by the device with power generated in one of a number of forms. This is generally a floating structure with its motion restricted by a mooring system.

An example of this type of device is the OPT Powerbuoy www.oceanpowertechnologies.com

Oscillating Wave Surge Converter - Energy is produced by wave surges and the movement of water particles oscillating an arm on a mounted pivot joint. These are generally bottom mounted devices.

Oscillating Water Column (OWC) - Water pressure is used to drive air through turbines. The device is partially submerged with an open “collector” below the water surface allowing water moved by waves to enter and exit the device. This wave action moves the air through a turbine in both directions through changing pressure. The turbine generally rotates with air flowing both ways and the rotation of the turbine is used to generate power.

Overtopping Devices - Water is directed from waves into a reservoir, sometimes with collectors to concentrate the wave energy, above sea level. The water is then returned to the sea through turbines beneath the reservoir, driving the turbine to generate power.

An example of this type of device is the WaveDragon device www.wavedragon.net

Submerged Pressure Differential - The motion of the waves causes the sea level to rise and fall above the device therefore causing pressure changes. The device responds to the alternating pressure to pump fluid through a system to generate electricity. They are typically located near shore attached to the seabed.

As with tidal, other device manufacturers exist at various stages of development.

For a full list of wave device developers click here