Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Wave Country Notes
Canada has not traditionally been thought of as having an interest in wave energy. However, there have been several important developments in recent years, including Canada becoming a member of the IEA's Implementing Agreement on Ocean Energy Systems. A number of organisations have set up the Ocean Renewable Energy Group to promote wave and tidal energy in Canada by addressing common issues (resource assessment, permitting, supply chain); it includes a number of individual device developers (http://oreg.ca). Wave and especially tidal current are seen as a promising energy source, with a number of Provinces actively supporting development projects such as that by BC Hydro for Vancouver Island, where a number of wave and tidal energy developers are seeking to install devices. This activity is starting to be matched at a national level, with the Government undertaking work that will benefit all potential developers, for instance looking into permitting processes.
Canada has several organisations and universities working on wave energy and a few device developers.
This company has taken over the AquaBuOY technology formerly developed by AquaEnergy (www.finavera.com/wave). It consists of a floating, vertical hollow cylinder rigidly mounted under a buoy, with the tube open at both ends so that seawater can pass unimpeded back and forth. Inside the tube are two Hosepumps, one is attached to the top via non-return valves, the other is similarly attached to the bottom and both are attached to a neutrally buoyant disk or piston in the middle. When the buoy is at rest, the piston is held at the midpoint by the balanced tension of the two Hosepumps. When the buoy moves vertically in the waves, the central piston moves with respect to the tube, thereby alternately stretching and compressing the Hosepumps. These are steel-reinforced rubber hoses whose internal volume is reduced when they are stretched, thereby acting as a pump. The pressurised sea water is expelled into a high-pressure accumulator within the buoy which drives a turbine and generator rated at 250 kW. This device has undergone considerable development and is at the pilot plant stage. Finavera has plans for projects in several locations, including a 5 MW scheme in Uculet on the west coast of Canada (later to be upgraded to 100 MW), as well as in the USA, Portugal and South Africa.
SyncWave Energy Inc. (SEI)
SEI is developing a floating device where two floats oscillate out of phase with each other and the relative motion between the floats is harnessed by a mechanical power take-off to generate electricity (www.syncwaveenergy.com). This technology is at the R&D stage.