Brazil wave power prototype generates first energy

Brazil’s electricity regulator announced the first generation of ocean wave energy in Brazil from a prototype unit installed at the port of Pecem in San Goncalo do Amarante, Ceara State.

Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL) said July 12 that the 50-kW unit generated power for 10 minutes on June 24, providing sufficient electricity to power lights and air conditioning of the test center. Trials are to continue in order to generate power for a longer period.

The research project, for deployment of an onshore wave converter prototype off northeastern Brazil, is to last 36 months with a budget of 14.4 million reais (US$7.1 million).

The sponsoring company for the project, Tractebel Energia S.A., is working with the University of Rio de Janeiro’s foundation for project coordination, research, and technical studies, Fundacao Coordenacao de Projetos, Pesquisas e Estudos Tecnologicos.

The prototype is two modules consisting of a float, arm, and pump that are fixed to a breakwater and linked to a turbine-generator and hyperbaric chamber. ANEEL said its advantages include ease of production and easy coupling to a desalination system to produce potable water.

ANEEL said the Brazilian coast presents good conditions for energy production due to its proximity to high density coastal populations. It is estimated wave energy on Brazil coasts has the potential to produce 87 gigawatts.

The University of Rio de Janeiro also studied a pilot tidal power plant at Bacanga Dam in Sao Luis in northern Brazil that would install an intake system and turbine-generators to harness tidal flows between the ocean and Bacanga Reservoir. (HRW December 2007)


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