Ocean Power Technologies has begun sea trials of the PB150 PowerBuoy 33 miles off the coast of Invergordon, Scotland.
The PowerBuoy is an offshore wave energy converter, most of which is submerged below the water’s surface. Inside, a piston-like structure moves as the PowerBuoy® bobs with the rise and fall of the waves. This movement drives a generator, producing electricity, which is sent to the shore by an underwater cable.
The PB150 is the largest and most powerful device produced by the company so far and has a maximum power output of 150 kilowatts, which is comparable to a small wind turbine. The PB150 is 135 feet in length, and has a maximum diameter of 36 feet near the ocean surface.
A second PB150 is already under construction in the US for a proposed project in Oregon, and other projects in Australia, Japan and Europe may utilize the PB150. The PB40 is already operating in Oahu, Hawaii, having been connected in December 2009. This device has subsequently been connected to the power grid.