Wave2O - Clean Water From Ocean Waves

Wave2O - Clean Water From Ocean Waves

The problem that we are solving

Over 1 billion people suffer from the effects of water scarcity with the vast majority being poor residents of developing countries. Desalting seawater is an excellent potential solution but traditional reverse osmosis (R/O) desalination systems require a connection to a strong electrical grid. However, because developing countries typically lack sufficient electrical grid capacity and cannot afford the capital or time required to build and deploy traditional R/O systems, our W2O consortium is proposing an innovative solution to this problem - the world’s first wave-driven desalination system (called Wave2O) that can be deployed quickly, operate completely “off-grid” and supply large quantities of fresh water at competitive cost.

Wave2O will be a unique combination of new and mature technologies that harnesses the abundant energy of ocean waves to directly drive an R/O desalination system and produce fresh water suitable for drinking and agriculture. It will be designed to include the following customer benefits: low capital investment; rapid deployment; simple operation & maintenance; readily scalable; minimal environmental impact compared to incumbent diesel-driven R/O systems; and low cost/m3 of water produced. 

A global opportunity, with potential for the creation of a strong European export industry

As a medium-scale, grid-independent, renewable energy driven water production system, we believe Wave2O will have wide ranging utility in developing countries and island nations outside Europe. Inside Europe, potential markets include the overseas Departments and Territories linked to EU member states (e.g. Canary Islands, New Caledonia, etc.). The W2O consortium has already been active in several countries and has obtained commitments for pilot-scale Wave2O plants in Cape Verde, South Africa and Mauritius. We believe Cape Verde represents the shortest path to commercialization because we have secured a commitment from the local power and water utility, Electra, to purchase a full-scale Wave2O plant after trials of a pilot-scale plant have been successfully completed. The eventual global deployment of Wave2O plants will help create a very competitive European export industry. At commercial scale, European-sourced components and services will account for approximately 60% of the content of each Wave2O plant with an approximate value of over €11m per unit. In addition, by 2019 we estimate that the W2O consortium will have created more than 200 direct jobs and more than 1,000 indirect/induced jobs in Europe.

Our Concept

The Wave2O concept is based on the SurgeWEC™ technology developed by W2O partner Resolute Marine, and harnesses the abundant and inexhaustible energy of ocean waves to directly drive an R/O desalination system. Wave2O consists of several Wave Energy Converters (WEC) deployed at the perimeter of the surf zone (i.e. close to shore) that pressurize seawater which is piped ashore to drive a seawater reverse-osmosis desalination system.  An important advantage of Wave2O is that the brine (saline by-product of the RO process) is diluted before it is returned to sea and thus does not harm the environment. At commercial stage, Wave2O’s benefits will include: low capital investment; rapid deployment; simple operation & maintenance; readily scalable; minimal environmental impact; and low cost/m3 of water produced.

For our demonstration in Europe and commercial application in Cape Verde, the Wave2O system will comprise two converters and two 30ft containers - one that houses equipment that produces electrical power (not shown here) and another that produces fresh water (refer figure below). The WECs will be connected to the containers by a several flexible pipes that carry pressurized seawater to and from the WECs. 

A short description of our project is attached.