A 200-kilowatt demonstration version of Wave Swell Energy’s fascinating “blowhole” power generator has been deployed at Grassy Harbour on King Island, off the Australian island state of Tasmania and will be connected to the grid in the coming months.
The UniWave200 device harnesses wave energy by channeling water in and out of a concrete chamber as the waves ebb and flow. The water pushes air in and out of the top of the chamber, forming an artificial blowhole from which energy can be harvested using a wind turbine. Controversially, it only harvests energy on the in-stroke. Wave Swell Energy CEO Tom Denniss told us in 2017 that the complexity of bidirectional turbines makes them less efficient than a simple, single-direction turbine like this one.