The need to develop renewable energy technologies continues to grow as the impact of climate change becomes more evident. Ocean wave energy is a significant source of renewable energy that remains untapped and requires further research and development to make it technologically and economically viable. Significant effort has been spent in the last 50 years in searching for a commercially-viable technology for extraction of energy from ocean waves, yet this objective remains unfulfilled.
Although a vast number of different concepts have been proposed and investigated, many have been based on interacting with the waves using either buoyancy or diffraction forces. The LiftWEC concept provides an alternative approach. Based on the exploitation of lift forces generated by wave-induced water velocities, the project develops a new type of wave energy converter extracting ocean wave energy using a rotating hydrofoil. By interacting with lift forces the LiftWEC concept has the advantage that the motion can be unidirectional. In addition, the lift-force can easily be reduced so that the concept can survive storms in the same way that modern wind turbines survive, by stopping turning. LiftWEC is a Horizon 2020 funded initiative.
LiftWec is coordinated by our colleagues in the Marine Energy Group, QUB. For more information on about the LiftWEC concept and its progression, visit the website by clicking here.